DeKalb Avenue Could Become a More Complete Street

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One of DeKalb Avenue’s potential new configurations.

A major route to Downtown Brooklyn and its East River crossings is set to receive some crucial safety improvements this summer. You can learn more about it tonight, when DOT presents its DeKalb Avenue Traffic Calming and Bicycle Lane Project (download it) to Brooklyn Community Board 3’s Transportation Committee. The plan calls for adding a buffered bike lane and metered parking while taking away one lane of traffic during off-peak times.

From DOT’s announcement:

Like many North Brooklyn neighborhoods, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Bedford Stuyvesant are growing cycling communities. DeKalb Avenue is an important and heavily used multi-modal commuter corridor spanning all three neighborhoods. Many commuters travel on DeKalb Avenue to work, shop or connect with transit in Downtown Brooklyn on the heavily-used B38 bus line, by car or by bike, but there is no dedicated space for cyclists. The project aims to improve safety and comfort for cyclists and calm traffic on DeKalb Avenue, while preserving the multimodal capacity of the avenue. Implementation of the project is scheduled for June 2008.

The meeting is tonight at 7:00 p.m., 1360 Fulton St. (bet. New York and Brooklyn Aves.), 2nd Floor. DOT is also holding a meeting with Community Board 2 tomorrow night.

  • Brandon

    They need seperated bike lanes like 9th ave in the city.

  • Jeffrey Hyman

    Brandon, DOT has indicated that it is not ready to take that step here.

  • ek

    I live in Bed Stuy. I can always get home by going east on the new Willoughby Ave. bike lane. Even before they put the lane in it was a relatively bike friendly street. For West bound there isn’t really any good way to get to Fort Greene. Dekalb is too hectic and the motorists feel they have a god given right to jockey between the 2 lanes without having to go around a cyclist who has taken one. I’ve resorted to just riding the wrong way on Willoughby though I always yield to cyclists going the right way. The cops don’t seem to care.

  • rlb

    It’d be nice if the peak lane were buses only.

  • Brandon

    Jeffrey,

    They need to stop wasting money and time and do it correct the first time.

  • Zach

    Man… I just do *not* see the CB going for a one-lane DeKalb. I’d love a bike lane here — usually, I take Flushing to avoid DeKalb, which sucks too. But it’s low-capacity and begging for double-parking. This’ll probably get shot down real quick-like.

  • Jason A

    It would be nice if the lights on Dekalb were more bike-friendly, too…

  • Jason

    I really don’t know, just curious:

    Does the part time traffic/part time parking thing really work well?

    It seems to me that it would be a huge cost and inconvenience to enforce.

  • Dave

    Another example of the city doing exactly the wrong thing to help alleviate traffic in the city.

    Facilitating traffic to a free bridge will only INCREASE traffic to Manhattan; are they trying to increase CP revenues?

    Toll the East River bridges; stop ANY kind of accommodation for traffic (lane reversals, etc) to make it MORE difficult to drive in the city.

    It’s a sad day when the city spends money to make traffic increase while simultaneously trying to sell CP.

    We need a committed, powerful traffic czar that will address the situation from a city-wide perspective. We don’t seem to have that now.

  • Does the part time traffic/part time parking thing really work well?

    Not here in Sunnyside. It just brings speeding cars closer to the sidewalk, endangering pedestrians. It also takes away some business. One of the conditions the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce gave for supporting congestion pricing is that this parking restriction be removed.

  • Dave, you’re misinformed. This plan would remove traffic lanes (during most hours), not add them. DeKalb is currently two lanes in one direction, and this plan would make it one lane during most hours.

  • Jeffrey Hyman

    Anybody sit in on the discussion at CB3 last night? Is Zach correct in assuming that the community boards aren’t going to like this? Not that the opinion of the community boards matter all that much…DOT has indicated that it is going to build this no matter what.

  • Dave

    While adding a bike lane this plan doesn’t allow parking during peak times to allow an extra lane of traffic access to the bridge during rush hours.

    This is the mindset that I think should change; why facilitate traffic during rush hour which only makes access to the bridge easier?

    Make no accommodation for rush hours and traffic may get bad for a while but then, the theory goes, people will be sick of the traffic and find other ways to commute. Make it easy to drive and people will do so.

    So I am in favor of the bike lane but do not think that parking should be banned during rush hours.

  • Brandon

    Do bike lanes like this keep people from driving in them? I could see people getting impatient at stalled traffic and start driving along it, followed by others.

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