Pictured from left to righta re State Senator Michael Gianaris, Julie Roberts, co-chair for Transportation Alternatives Queens Activist Committee, Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, and Shira Siegel, social coordinator for Transportation Alternatives Queens Activist Committee.
The Sunnyside business district has become the first in Queens to be declared bike friendly.
On August 23, local elected officials and Transportation Alternatives (TA) joined local business owners and over 50 cyclists and pedestrians to launch the borough’s first Bike Friendly Business District.
"Sunnyside entrepreneurs understand that bicycling is not only an enjoyable transportation choice, it's good for business, too,” said Caroline Samponaro, senior director of Campaigns and Organizing for TA. “Local merchants are supporting more livable streets that prioritize walking, biking and public transit access - safety improvements that have proven to boost local retail sales."
Participating businesses will advocate for a transformed Queens Boulevard that would include safe space for pedestrians, protected lanes for cyclists and dedicated lanes for buses. Supporting local activists’ efforts to transform Queens Boulevard into a more people-friendly corridor, local merchants are taking the lead on street safety.
“Designating Sunnyside as a Bike Friendly Business District means that we’re committed to making the neighborhood safe, accessible and fun for everyone,” said Rachel Thieme, Executive Director of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District. “I am encouraged to see so many local businesses signing on to this important cause.”
Following the announcement, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Transportation Alternatives led a leisurely tour through the neighborhoods of Sunnyside and Woodside to highlight over 70 local participating businesses who joined the cause.
“The launch of Sunnyside’s very own Bike Friendly Business District is an opportunity for our neighborhood to showcase its diversity as well as its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and cafes,” said Van Bramer. “As ridership climbs in our City, and the cycling infrastructure grows here in Western Queens, Sunnyside hopes to capitalize by highlighting all we have to offer.”
New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer was joined by Transportation Alternatives, Rachel Thieme, Executive Director of Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District,