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Cyclists line 43rd Avenue bike lane in Queens, demand safety upgrade

Cycling advocates are pushing for the city to install protected bike lanes on 43rd and Skillman avenues in Queens.

People form a

People form a "human-protected bike lane" along 43rd Avenue at 39th Street in Sunnyside on Wednesday as they demand safer streets for cyclists. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Cycling advocates gathered on a busy street in Queens on Wednesday night to form a human barrier along a bike lane where a bicyclist died last year.

The so-called “human-protected bike lane,” the first event of its kind in Queens, was put together to signify the dangers posed by shared bike and vehicle lanes, according to organizers from Transportation Alternatives.

Advocates are pushing for the city to install protected bike lanes on 43rd and Skillman avenues, which in succession offer cyclists a direct route to and from Queens Boulevard and the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.

Members of Transportation Alternatives and dozens of New Yorkers gathered just before 6:15 p.m. at 3809 43rd Ave. in Sunnyside, where a ghost bike memorializes Queens resident Gelacio Reyes.

Reyes was struck and killed by an alleged drunken driver as he pedaled home from work in April 2017, according to published reports. A week later, another cyclist was injured near the same area on 43rd Avenue, per Transportation Alternatives.

While this marked the first time a human-protected bike lane was formed in Queens, this type of activism has been seen twice before in Manhattan as well as in other cities like San Francisco and Dublin.

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