More than 200 riders completed on Sunday, July 14, the Tour de Flushing, a 15-mile bike ride through the parks and streets of eastern Queens.
State Senator John Liu and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic joined local residents for the Tour de Flushing that began and ended in downtown Flushing, passing through or along seven different parks.
The tour highlighted an immense network of park connected bike paths in eastern Queens, accessible to all New Yorkers, and the economic value of creating bike connections to business centers.
“The Tour de Flushing is an annual invitation to our beloved bike community to ride the borough’s expanding bike paths and one-of-a-kind parks, as one,” Liu said. “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. I look forward to it every year.”
The Flushing Chamber of Commerce collaborated with Transportation Alternatives and Eastern Queens Greenway to bring hundreds of New Yorkers to participate in this year’s Tour de Flushing.
With more than 200 riders finishing the tour, local business owners in downtown Flushing made thousands of dollars from tour riders. The Tour de Flushing was sponsored by Vaccaro and White, representing injured cyclists and other accident victims.
This year’s ride featured a bike dedicated to the memory of Allison Hope Liao, who was killed by a motorist five years ago on Flushing’s Main Street. A unique street sign dedicated in her name was ridden on a bike, in her memory.
John Choe, executive director of the Flushing Chamber of Commerce, offered condolences to Liao’s family.
“We pledge to do all we can to honor her memory and prevent similar tragedies from occurring in our community,” said Choe.
This year’s route also featured an optional four-mile leg in Douglaston, making it the longest route in Tour de Flushing history at 19 miles long. The optional leg featured newly installed protected bike lanes on Northern Boulevard, allowing dozens of riders to safely get to Douglaston and ride through the beautiful, hilly neighborhood. A water break station and information about different local businesses was provided at the Douglaston Plaza by the Douglaston Local Development Corporation (DLDC).
Victor Dadras, vice president of DLDC, said the organization has always been a strong advocate for safe streets for all residents, including autos, buses, and especially for pedestrians and bicyclists.
“The Douglaston Local Development Corporation (DLDC) is proud to participate, as a community partner, in this year’s 3rd Annual Tour de Flushing bicycling event, sponsored by Transportation Alternatives and the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. We are proud to have Douglaston featured as part of the cycling potential of beautiful Eastern Queens,” Dadras said.“The Tour de Flushing event will help connect our northeastern corner of Douglaston and Little Neck to the ever-growing, safe bicycle infrastructure of the rest of Queens, and in doing so will also help accomplish our mutual goals of revitalizing local businesses, and promoting a greater sense of community, for all our neighborhoods.”
Juan Restrepo, Queens organizer of Transportation Alternatives, is encouraging the city to continue its efforts to put more bike lanes in downtown Flushing and the greater eastern Queens area.
“Each year, the Tour de Flushing gives hundreds of riders the opportunity to ride the beautiful greenways and streets of Eastern Queens. The parks are amazing to ride on, but 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.
Rozic said the Tour de Flushing is an opportunity to showcase all that the borough has to offer — vast parkland, growing bike paths, and fun food.
“Congratulations to everyone involved for organizing a successful third annual event that continues to bring Queens’ bike riding community together while commemorating all that we still have to accomplish to make our streets safe for all,” Rozic said.