Eyes on the Street: A New Bike Corral and a Safer Intersection in Cobble Hill

A new bike corral was installed yesterday on Court Street in Brooklyn. Photo: Josef Szende/Atlantic Avenue BID

Yesterday, DOT crews installed a bike corral on Court Street near the intersection with Pacific Street, in a “no standing” zone that was often ignored. Like other bike corrals the city has recently installed, this one will improve safety for pedestrians by keeping the corner visible to turning drivers. It’s also going to improve customer access to nearby retailers, including the Trader Joe’s across Court Street.

The planting was done by Atlantic Avenue gardening shop Dig and was paid for by the Cobble Hill Association (the corral is one of several street safety improvements the CHA has called for). The Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District will maintain the bike corral. Community Board 2’s transportation committee voted unanimously in support of the project in June.

The Cobble Hill Association advocated for the bike corral to help improve sightlines at the corner of Court and Pacific. Photo: Josef Szende/Atlantic Avenue BID
  • Guest

    Are they going to put a curb to keep vehicles away from the parked bikes?  I’d be a little hesitant to park my bike in a corral without one.  

  • Danny G

    @21f308256e06ca11f707cb4711d52999:disqus If they put a curb how do you pull in to park? One reason things are sweet because you don’t have to jump a curb onto the sidewalk to park your bike.

  • Danny G

    @21f308256e06ca11f707cb4711d52999:disqus If they put a curb how do you pull in to park? One reason things are sweet because you don’t have to jump a curb onto the sidewalk to park your bike.

  • Danny G

    @21f308256e06ca11f707cb4711d52999:disqus If they put a curb how do you pull in to park? One reason things are sweet because you don’t have to jump a curb onto the sidewalk to park your bike.

  • Hilda

    If you notice in the top photo, this corral is close to a hydrant. Visiblity is made better, and access to the hydrant is improved. Complete efficiency. Way to go Cobble Hill Association!  I am going to take this precedent to my own neighborhood association.

  • vnm

    Excellent! Atlantic Avenue has one forward-thinking BID. 

  • Albert

    There should be 4 of these at every intersection in the city — one on each corner.

  • Ari

    This improves safety for drivers turning left from Pacific to Court (the only legal turn at this intersection) because they can better see vehicles on Court.  But it doesn’t really impact pedestrian safety.  Take a look at google streetview or in person and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

    Either way, it’s nice.

  • Guest

    Danny G  What I meant to say was bollards or a post that doesn’t completely enclose the space for cyclists, but would prevent cars from easily driving into any parked bikes.  

  • Win!

  • kevd

    These circular bike racks are so stupid.
    The DOT took a nearly perfect design, and through it away in favor of something vastly inferiour.The one on the sidewalk, the inverted U is soooooo much better.

  • Been over a year of advocacy speaking with Atlantic Ave BID, Cobble Hill Association, Community Board 6, and other local stakeholders, but big thanks to them all and especially to DOT for making it happen. This is what community improvements are all about!

  • @21f308256e06ca11f707cb4711d52999:disqus These have been in place on Smith Street and on 5th Avenue for quite some time and to the best of my knowledge no driver has hit a bike. I believe one person backed into the planter while parking, but that’s what the planter is there for – to protect the bike parking!

    Congrats and thanks to all involved with this.

  • kevd

    (which is not to say that bike corrals aren’t a good thing, but just that the actual racks used are a step backwards compared to the inverted Us and Ws that preceded them)

  • Marilyn

    Thank you CHA, AABID and CB6–It looks a amazing, I just rode by it this morning. But I do agree with the comments.. the inverted U type bike stands are better. It’s really difficult to get a U lock around these round stands + bike frame + tire…

  • Kaja

    The circular ones are fine by me, it’s the inverted Ws that I can’t stand.

    It’s impossible to get four bicycles into them (despite them taking twice the space of an inverted-U) — but people try anyway, which results in wheels being destroyed. You can’t park in the middle of an inverted-W, because someone else will try to park on top of you.

    So, in practice, there are only two usable spots on a W. Same as the U.

  • It would be great to have sections like this all along Court Street. I live at Huntington Street in Carroll Gardens and cycle for pretty much all trips. On journeys home, although I use Henry Street most of the way from the bridge, I have to ride on Court St from 3rd place to Huntington and cars treat it as a race track. Far more needs to be done to make drivers feel they’re on a narrow road and need to slow down for intersections. I’m a very experienced cyclist and it scares me. My 11-year-old daughter refuses to cycle on Court.

  • Albert

    Actually, I want to amend my earlier comment about having 4 of these corrals at every intersection in the city.  There should be *8* corrals at every intersection — one corral on either side of each corner, for maximum daylighting.  If each corral had 4 racks, like this one at Court & Pacific Streets, that would make 32 individual racks, and space for as many as 128 bicycles at every intersection in the city.

    How many intersections are there in the city?

  • Joe R.

    I agree with Albert here. Daylighting intersections is the best way to prevent collisions. By using bike corrals to do so you kill two birds with one stone.  As to how many intersections in the city, I know there are over 12,000 signalized intersections. There are probably several times that number without signals. Let’s call it 50,000. That’s potential storage for well over 6 million bicycles following Albert’s suggestion.

  • Joe R.

    I agree with Albert here. Daylighting intersections is the best way to prevent collisions. By using bike corrals to do so you kill two birds with one stone.  As to how many intersections in the city, I know there are over 12,000 signalized intersections. There are probably several times that number without signals. Let’s call it 50,000. That’s potential storage for well over 6 million bicycles following Albert’s suggestion.

  • kevd

    There are 3 spots on W.
    If the center were wider there’d be 4. 
    PS, I lock in the middle when there are other bikes there all the time. No damage to my, or other people’s wheels. So, actually there are 4. But the middle should be wider for a more comfortable 4, I admit.

    With a W or U (or a no parking sign) I can easily get both wheels and my frame with my Kryptonite chain. With the circles that is still possible but from fewer angles, meaning I have to move other people’s bikes around for it to happen.

    Honestly, the no parking sign is a nearly perfect bike rack.
    It accommodates 2 bikes locked up almost any style.

    These circles also tend to promote the obnoxious two Ulock – one for each wheel, directly to the rack technique. Ugh. That makes it nearly impossible for others to use a chain to lock up properly. Well, maybe not nearly impossible, but rather difficult.

  • fj

    Yes, these bike corrals are multi-purpose by providing often badly needed parking and greatly improving line-of-site.

    For some reason it seems I’ve become less vigilant at spots where I can’t see cars barreling down.  Most disasters are a combination of things going wrong and this helps eliminates one of those things in this case.

    Of course, the best big picture will include the complete elimination of the terrible dangers caused by cars.

  • fj

    And, maybe these things will become true peace signs for a much better future.

  • Anonymous

    @491452b8f88358120e2d0efb94ada2f9:disqus I think this does improve conditions for pedestrians at the intersection because cars turning from Pacific will no longer have to sit in the crosswalk in order to see the traffic coming down Court to know when it’s safe to turn.  I mean, yeah, they’ll still have to eventually pull through the crosswalk, but there wasn’t any real way to avoid that.  (It’s still a crappy place to have to cross Court Street, and people are better off walking up to Atlantic or down to Bergen to do that.)

  • Chris M

    I like the big circles for the new bike corrals. They take up more room and look good. I have a very small u lock so I only lock my frame anyway. It’s not like I am leaving the bike out overnight. On the sidewalk the U shaped are the best though, take up less space and have two points of contact to prevent the bike from falling to the ground, as it easily does when attached to the no parking sign.

  • Stopwastingourmoneyongarbage

    Just what downtown Brooklyn needs, less parking spaces. Stop wasting tax payer money on all this stuff that less then 1% of the population uses.

  • Anonymous

    @119e37dd259268dbf2b5416dc3876300:disqus , what are you talking about? This *added* fourteen parking spaces. In the space where you could only park two vehicles in the past, you can now park sixteen.

  • Albert

    My Dearest Troll (aka “Stopwastingourmoneyongarbage”):

    Even before Sandy, over 500,000 NYC residents bicycle at least once a month.  Perhaps 16.5% of the population might qualify in your mind as a large enough group to merit public amenities.

  • Anonymous

    “a bike corral on Court Street near the intersection with Pacific Street, in a “no standing” zone that was often ignored”

  • Mike

    Hey I think this is great. I love riding my bike since getting a great one from the bicycle store Salt Lake City.

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