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Photo by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
A cyclist uses the Bayside bike lane along Northern Boulevard as a car drives in the opposite direction.

A local group has organized a rally to call for “commonsense” changes to a controversial city transportation project in Bayside and Douglaston.

On June 16 at 10 a.m., the Douglaston Civic Association will march alongside the protected bike lane project on Northern Boulevard from the corner of Douglaston Parkway to the Cross Island Parkway overpass.

The group will then reconvene at Northern Boulevard and Douglaston Parkway and be joined by local leaders who will advocate in favor of Community Board 11’s bike lane proposal, which would expand the existing sidewalk and create a pathway that would be shared by pedestrians and bikers.

The city’s Department of Transportation implemented the protected bike lane along the corridor in summer 2017, shortly after the community board gave its approval to the plan in June. However, in September, the board officially revoked its support and instead proposed the sidewalk plan, which some argued was safer.

A number of rallies and demonstration have taken place in the months following the project’s implementation. At one event in September, bike advocates appeared at a rally organized by state Senator Tony Avella, who spoke out in favor of the community board’s plan. Counterprotestors argued that the city’s plan implemented much-needed safety changes more quickly than the board’s proposal.

The call for safety improvements at the location was spurred by the death of 78-year-old Michael Schenkman, who was struck and killed by a car while riding his bicycle on Northern Boulevard to access the nearby Joe Michaels Mile bike path in August 2016.

Those with questions about the rally can direct inquiries to the civic association at Douglaston.civic.association[at]gmail.com.

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