Is the NBBL era finally behind us? First, Senator Chuck Schumer himself was spotted riding in the Prospect Park West bike lane. Now, the Department of Transportation is reviving a plan, shelved at the height of the NBBL-aided media circus about cycling, to build a two-way bike lane on Plaza Street.
DOT first proposed the two-way Plaza Street lane in 2010, as part of a larger set of improvements to Grand Army Plaza. The package got an enthusiastic reception from a joint meeting of Community Boards 6, 8 and 9, and most of the pedestrian and bike improvements in the plan went forward in 2011, but the Plaza Street lane didn’t make it.
The plan for a protected Plaza Street lane happened to be under discussion at the height of the political assault on the nearby Prospect Park West lane. DOT moved ahead with the Grand Army Plaza proposal last April, without the Plaza Street bike lane, promising to revisit the discussion at an unspecified later date. At the time, Streetsblog called it the “NBBL Effect.”
As first reported by Brownstoner, that later date is now. DOT will present local community boards with multiple options for providing two-way bike access on Plaza Street later this month, said a department spokesperson. “We have continued to work with the community on ways to improve bike access and look forward to presenting options at next month’s meeting,” DOT said in a statement.
The Brooklyn Paper reports that both protected and unprotected options will be on the table. Craig Hammerman, district manager for Community Board 6, hasn’t seen the plans yet, but guessed that any proposal from DOT will differ at least slightly from what was put forward two years ago.
The two-way bike lane would be an important hub in the area’s bike network, allowing cyclists to travel safely and easily between the various bike lanes that extend from Grand Army Plaza in every direction.