Queens Boulevard Bike Pool
On the second Friday of the month, Transportation Alternatives Queens Committee leads a "bike pool" along Queens Boulevard. This street is a critical, yet dangerous part of many bike commutes in Queens. By riding together in a group each month, the bike pool aims to educate drivers that bikes are on the street, make a statement about the need for a bike lane, and give the borough's bike commuters a safe, escorted ride home. I joined up with the ride last month after seeing on the Bike Month Calendar. The next "bike pool" is tomorrow Friday June 12.
Speaker: [0:11] We are doing a ride down Queens Boulevard.
Philip Papas: [0:12] Every month we do a rally ride for the Queens Boulevard Bike Pool, which basically starts right here at the Queens side of the Queensboro Bridge, and it travels eastward along the service road of Queens Boulevard. [music]
Speaker: [0:33] I have been living in Astoria, Queens for like eight years, and I always ride on my bike from Queens to Manhattan.
Caroline Samponaro: [0:39] Transportation alternatives with help from the Transportation Alternatives-Queens Committee.A lot of Queens residents started this bike commuter pool, so that once a month, cyclists can ride together home from the base of the Queensboro Bridge and draw attention to the need for safer cycling for bike commuters in Queens.
Speaker: [0:56] It is important because the car drivers or the limo drivers have to respect that we have a right of way also. We deserve to be on the road just as much as they do.
Speaker: [1:03] I like to do this because I like to ride bicycles, and it is safe to ride with other people.
Speaker: [1:10] Queens Boulevard would be the most direct way for me to get almost anywhere in Queens, but instead, I have to take these crazy, circuitous routes under, around, overpasses and train trestles, because Queens Boulevard is just not safe.So I am really excited to get to ride on Queens Boulevard with a bunch of people. [music]
Speaker: [1:30] The Queens Boulevard Bike Pool was started not too long after Asif Rahman was killed riding his bike home on Queens Boulevard.
Speaker: [1:38] We are wearing our orange vests, and that is basically just letting cars know when they see us riding in a group, that we are out here.
Caroline Samponaro: [1:42] Usually as a cyclist, you are riding home on a street that is clogged with cars, and you are alone, and the cars have the safety in numbers. But on the Bike Pool, we are riding together on one of the most dangerous streets in the city.But it feels safe. It feels like for once, we have the upper hand on the street.
Philip Papas: [1:58] Hopefully in the future, the long range plan is to get either bike lanes or at least some sort of awareness for cars. Better signage, speed limits and things like that. [music]