Eyes on the Street: Kent Avenue Progress Report

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Clarence sends these shots from Kent Avenue, where the striping and painting of the city’s first two-way, on-street parking protected bike lane is currently in progress. This is the view looking north from the vicinity of Clymer Street. The project will be completed in two phases. According to DOT’s project presentation [PDF], the current work, stretching from Clymer to Broadway, will be complete in mid-September; the second phase, from Broadway to North 14th Street, is slated to wrap up in about a month. Below is the view looking south toward Clymer.

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  • Rina

    Mega!

  • This is beautiful. And it begs the question:

    Flushing to Clymer?

  • Geck

    Any word on Prospect Park West?

  • mfs

    The proposal is that from Flushing to BQE the route is supposed to be on the sidewalk, then they are taking away a lane of traffic on Williamsburgh Street to allow a two-way protected lane to allow a safe connection to Flushing.

  • will there be striping on the bike lane to divide it in 2 parts?

  • Michael1

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but they just convert Kent Avenue into a one-way northbound? Wasn’t that a two-way street? This is bike radicalism!

  • Iterate on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, please.

  • paco

    michael1… yes… it was two way, now its one way. but bike radicalism? that sounds like you’re giving it a negative connotation. I’d agree it’s bike radicalism, but that’s the way it should be. The road is being redesigned to provide more safety for all users, drivers, cyclists, peds, and now will offer a glimpse of the future brooklyn waterfront greenway… plus, if you look back at your history… just a few years before kent was two way, it was again a one way street. Roads may look sturdy but they are as malleable as anything else and should always be adjusted and improved when worthwhile projects come along.

  • teresa toro

    Perfectly said, Paco.

  • paco i think you just got trolled

  • EJ

    Regarding Kent’s new one way traffic pattern: While it serves the continuity of the bike path along the waterfront, it is directly negatively affecting motorists with highter traffic jams, and a new pattern of promoting truck traffic driving directly through increasingly residential neighborhoods. Malleable is a good word…the bikepath should also have to be flexible in making sure that neighboring communities are notd affected. I am a Supporter of the path and…also of returning Kent to a two way….or finding another way to keep trucks on the major arteries.

  • greenpoint_cyclist

    as someone who rides Kent Ave all the time, i’m not crazy about the new setup. first of all, the green lane is too narrow for 2-way bike traffic. i don’t feel comfortable riding in it. and now that the road is one-way & all split up, it feels too narrow to ride in traffic (cars can’t go around me). and the parking being in the middle of the street just creates more opportunities for surprises with the cars. i liked it better with the prior improvements, where the street was nice & wide, 2-way, and well-paved (except for where they tore it up for the new high rises & didn’t repave well) because well-paved streets mean fewer obstacles for cyclists & fewer surprises from us since we don’t have to swerve to avoid street hazards. the white bike lanes already added seemed sufficient to me.

  • jmc

    I just got back from Montreal where I rode in 2 way bike lanes. They are really the best option. For the first time I was biking in a city where I felt safe, as I never had cars coming up from behind me. One way bike lanes leave bicyclists unable to see the cars that are overtaking them. With two way lanes, I was able to head into traffic, and therefore it was confidence building. When I was riding along with traffic I felt protected by the cyclists going the other way.

    The lanes in Montreal were narrow, but they encouraged cyclists to go at a reasonable velocity and not behave like mini-Lance Armstrongs. (To the cyclists who refuse to mellow out, I suggest you think what would happen if drivers behaved like Mario Andretti!)

  • ED

    @ greenpoint cyclist –

    Not wide enough??!

  • a cyclist

    Montreal is a great city for bikers. Plenty of bikes to share/rent for free/cheap, plenty of protected two way lanes. Everyone has a bike but the lanes are rarely crowded and the bikers are civil if not friendly. NYC has some catching up to do.

  • @gptcyclist — it’s certainly too narrow if someone’s coming at you down the middle, or if a car’s parked illegally in it. I think single-file bikes at reasonable speeds can fit.

    But I’m the sort of guy who passes you, and I can’t do that in the Kent lane if there’s any volume. So I may actually stick to wythe and berry up to banker.

  • My subjective opinion is that the bike lanes are there primarily as traffic calming, not as actual bicycle thoroughfares. I support this variety of “street theater,” which uses amenities like bicycle lanes and bulb-outs to slow down through traffic, but that doesn’t mean that I would endorse actually using those “amenities” for their ostensible purpose. Kaja is right: for riders who are comfortable in city traffic, easier riding is found on the parallel one-way streets, Wythe and Berry.

  • I went to school in Montreal (unfortunately before BIXI!) and looved biking there. It truly shows how infrastructure and attitude can make a city bike friendly.

    The drivers are just as insane as in New York. I saw a driver barrel down a one way street between two lanes swerving back and forth and hitting about 6 cars (including the car I was in!) before leaving my field of vision.

    There are psychopathic idiots everywhere. The difference is in Montreal, bikes are expected and seen as valid users of the road.

  • Zvi

    As a Montreal cyclist, I can confirm that Montreal is a relatively good place to be a cyclist. Personally I am not a big fan of bi-directional bike lanes as the number of potential conflicts at intersections grows exponentially. Given the large number of one-way streets here, I prefer the one-lane reverse-direction bike lanes, with the street having ‘bicycle sharrows’ for bicyclists going in the same direction as the traffic. In the last few weeks a huge number of painted bike lanes have been added…. Much work still to be done at intersections.

    I was just in NYC last week and was actually quite surprised at how little infrastructure was in place, especially given all of the media attention that the NYC efforts have been getting. The on-street bicycle parking shelters had space for at most a dozen bicycles! My son’s elementary school added over 100 bicycle parking spaces this year!

  • Redeapedestrian

    This change dumps all south bound Kent traffic on to Wythe, past 2 schools, 2 preschools and 2 playgrounds. If you are against this change, please sign the petition and tell the DOT what you think:

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/keep-kent-avenue-2-ways

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