Thirteen months ago, Brooklyn Community Board 10 voted against painting a bike lane on Bay Ridge Parkway. The lane would have removed neither a travel lane nor parking from the road, but was still voted down by an overwhelming margin: 32 to 8. Council Members Dominic Recchia, Vincent Gentile, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio all piled on with statements of opposition.
Streetsblog editor Ben Fried responded with an article headlined “Prediction: Brooklyn CB 10 Will Vote For Bike Lanes Sooner Than You Think.”
That time is now.
Last Thursday night, the transportation of Brooklyn CB 10 voted unanimously to send a package of bike lanes to the Department of Transportation for evaluation. After significant debate, the committee recommended lanes be painted on Sixth Avenue, Fort Hamilton Parkway, and Eleventh Avenue. A linear park running along 67th and 68th Streets, they said, could be modified to include more continuous greenway-style bike features. (The Brooklyn Paper reports that a bike lane was also proposed for Marine Avenue, though a board member who asked to remain anonymous told Streetsblog a bike lane on that street was rejected.)
By connecting with the existing bike path along the waterfront, the hope is to create a connected loop of bike lanes through the neighborhood.
“It’s been a long push to change people’s attitudes, but things are changing down here,” said the board member. Even Allen Bortnick, the board member who emerged as the most vocal opponent of bike lanes in the neighborhood, voted “present” rather than formally opposing the recommendations.
It’s still a ways from here to actual paint on the ground, of course. The full board of CB 10 will vote on the recommendations when it reconvenes after the summer. After that, DOT will still have to study the lanes and decide whether to accept the suggestions, then return to the board for a more formal approval.