Brooklyn CB2 Committee Seeks Better Fort Greene Bike Connections

The transportation committee of Brooklyn Community Board 2 voted unanimously Tuesday night to advance the idea of improving cycling connections between Fort Greene and surrounding neighborhoods. The proposal put forward by committee member Mike Epstein envisions safer bicycling across Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, spanning intersections that are currently among the most dangerous in Brooklyn. A resolution asking DOT to study the plan’s feasibility is now expected to come up before the full board at a meeting next month.

contraflow.jpgMike Epstein’s proposal for new bike lanes (in blue) at the confluence of Flatbush, Lafayette, and Third Avenues. The full plan would create a safer, more cohesive network linking several neighborhoods.

The proposal would complete several missing links in the bike network connecting Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Park Slope, and Prospect Heights. If implemented it would also improve bicycle access to East River crossings, especially the Manhattan Bridge, from several Brooklyn neighborhoods.

"The area between Fort Greene and Park Slope has been notoriously difficult
to ride through," said Aja Hazelhoff of Transportation Alternatives. "This would produce safer and more reliable corridors between neighborhoods."

The proposal calls for a new connection linking bike lanes on Ashland Place, Schermerhorn Street, DeKalb Avenue, Lafayette Avenue, and Third Avenue, including a contraflow segment across Flatbush and down a few blocks of Third where motor vehicle traffic travels northbound only.

To the east, where the Carlton Avenue bridge has been indefinitely closed to accommodate Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project, an extension of the Vanderbilt Avenue bike lane to Flushing Avenue would provide a much-needed alternate route across Atlantic.

The plan also envisions a new eastbound bike route on Lafayette Avenue and a Flushing Avenue connection linking Williamsburg’s new two-way, protected bike path and the approach to the Manhattan Bridge.

Council members Tish James and Steve Levin have signed on in support of the proposal. According to reports from Tuesday’s meeting, Downtown Brooklyn Transportation Coordinator Chris Hrones indicated that it’s increasingly common for DOT to receive and move forward with ideas that originate outside the agency.

  • Anna Johns

    It’s about time that someone addressed this problem. I think more people would choose “greener” transportation if safer options were given. As it stands, I am too nervous about traffic issues to fully commit to a biking commute. I wish Mr. Epstein, Ms. Hazelhoff, and all those who work for a safer, greener commute the best of luck.

  • I applaud Mike Epstein for this proposal, and its supporters such as Tish James and Steve Levin. This looks like a very thoughtful approach to connecting existing bike lanes with new ones, so that one can pedal around that neighborhood in relative safety.

  • Aaron Midgett

    Biking to work is not only a great way to get exercise, but it also is a fantastic green alternative to being stuck in traffic on the way home. I just saw this article about cities in Portugal where they have started writing poetry on the bike paths. What a great idea to make biking more of a cultural experience as well.
    http://thegreenertruth.com/2010/02/making-biking-to-work-more-cultural/

  • Geck

    Just continuing the Ashland Place lane to Fourth Ave and providing for Bicycles to cross Flatbush onto Fourth Ave. along with pedestrians would be a big improvement.

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