July 17, Shane O’Brien
More than 200 cyclists joined Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and State Senator John Liu in a 15-mile bike ride through the streets of Eastern Queens this past weekend, to showcase the area’s bike network and highlight its economic value.
The third annual Tour de Flushing took place on Sunday, July 14. It began and ended in Downtown Flushing, passing by or through seven different parks in the region. To make the case for connecting business centers to bike networks, organizers stated that local business owners made “thousands of dollars” from the tour riders.
This year’s ride featured a bike dedicated to Allison Hope Liao, who was killed by a motorist on Flushing’s Main Street in 2013.
The 2019 Tour de Flushing, which was sponsored by pedestrian crash victim lawyers Vaccaro and White, also featured an optional four-mile leg in Douglastown, creating the longest route in the event’s three-year history at 19 miles. The optional leg also encompassed the newly installed protected bike lanes on Northern Boulevard.
Liu said that the Tour was an invitation to the community to explore Queens’ expanding bike network and one-of-a-kind parks in the same journey.
“The event has everything going for it — fellowship, the opportunity to share how biking in Queens can be made better, great food from local businesses and sophisticated organization by community members who understand the love of bike riding,” Liu said. “I look forward to it every year.”
Rozic commended those who were involved in organizing the bike ride and also stated that there was still work to do in order to make Queens’ streets safe for everyone who used them.
Juan Restrepo, Queens Organizer for Transportation Alternatives, said that the event was an opportunity to ride the greenways of the borough and urged the city to continue implementing bike lanes across Queens.
“We are pleased to see the city continuing to put in more bike lanes as well. Many of these bike lanes were used on the ride to help bring riders young and old to the parks,” Restrepo said. “We encourage the city to continue its efforts to put more bike lanes in Downtown Flushing and the greater Eastern Queens area.”