DOT to Present Two-Way Protected Bike Path for PPW Tonight

Tonight, at a transportation committee meeting of Brooklyn Community Board 6, DOT will present plans for a two-way protected bike path along Prospect Park West, from Union Street to Bartel Pritchard Square. The proposal would reduce the number of traffic lanes on the high-speed thoroughfare from three to two, according to the meeting agenda.

Not on the agenda: restoring two-way traffic on Prospect Park West and Eighth Avenue, which neighborhood advocates have been calling for in addition to the protected bike path. Converting Prospect Park West and Eighth Avenue from one- to two-way flow would further reduce speeding and relieve some of the neighborhood’s most problematic bottlenecks.

Renderings of the plan, the first on-street path of its kind for New York City, are not yet available. To get a glimpse of what the new path will look like, head over to John Jay High School on Seventh Avenue between 4th and 5th Street in Park Slope. The meeting gets started at 6:30.

  • Mike

    This is great, but won’t do anything to calm traffic on 8th Ave, and won’t do that much to calm traffic on PPW. We still need real traffic calming to make these streets (and Union Street) safe.

    Those who go should also be sure that DOT has taken into account connections at either end of the path. We don’t want a disconnected cycling facility that just dumps you into the middle of a high-speed traffic circle!

  • J-Uptown

    Mike,

    You are correct that a two-way street would have a better traffic calming effect, but this is also a step in the right direction. Fewer lanes, means more vehicles per lane. This makes it more difficult for the lone reckless driver to speed through long stretches unimpeded. Plus, this option transforms a bike-hostile street into one of the most bike-friendly streets in Brooklyn. A two-way plan would have a harder time accommodating bikes, but it would slow traffic down more. I guess it depends on what you value more.

  • rlb

    I’ve often thought that a good goal would be to have two way bike lanes surrounding every park.

  • Streetsman

    What we should see here is the two-way protect bike path AND a two-way conversion of both 8th Ave and PPW, eliminating the through traffic racing across this residential community, while providing the safe and convenient bicycle facility. But I’ll happily take one thing at a time.

  • oscarfrye

    the two-way bike line should go around the entire park, not just one side

  • Xue

    Hopefully the design will allow bicyclists to relatively easily enter and exit the 2-way lane from the side streets.

  • I know there’s an eternal debate on this blog about two-way bike lanes, but I don’t think they’re a good idea, unless you don’t care about collisions with turning cars.

    Restoring two-way traffic flow would be good for bikes. A contra-flow lane on the left side of the street might work, too. But a two-way sidepath is not a good idea on a street with many intersections. It’s just not a good practice to put bikes where motorists don’t expect to see them.

  • Geck

    PPW along the park between the circles is unusually well suited for a two way contra-flow lane. It will be basically uninterrupted by Intersections; it will have almost no turning vehicles for 20 blocks. Once the 3rd street entrance to the park drive is closed this month, PPW will have only emergency vehicle entering the park at 3rd St, a Park Department parking lot entrance near 5th St and a Parks Department maintenance lot entrance near 7th St.

  • Mike

    Mitch, have you ever been to this location? There are essentially no intersections across this proposed bike facility.

  • Felix

    I hate being stuck on the B69 on Union St. I hope this goes through.

  • @Mike —

    I haven’t been to this location. If there aren’t any intersections crossing the lane (and if bikers have a graceful way to enter and leave the lane), it might work well.

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