Last spring or summer, the city's Department of Transportation outlined plans for bike lanes in Bayside. But even though the complete roads law calls for bike lanes on rebuilt roads and even though Northern and Bell Boulevards were redone after that law was passed, the mention of plans for bike lanes has disappeared into thin air.
That's a big loss for both Bayside businesses and residents. As recent data released by the DOT shows, protected bike paths increase business. On the North end of Union Square, the new bike path resulted in a 49 percent reduction in business vacancies at a time when citywide vancies were increasing by five percent. There are similar figures for Manhattan's 9th Avenue and Brooklyn's Pearl Street.
Bayside already has many of the raw ingredients of a transit village, where people can live without the daily use of cars because they can walk or bike wherever they need to go. The Bayside BID and the Community Board should take a leadership role in filling in the missing parts of a Bayside transit village because it will mean more business for their members and serious increases in real estate values.
Bike lanes are one of these key missing parts. I hope these two organizatons can act in the interests of both Bayside residents and merchants on this important issue.