Eyes on the Street: Bikeway Upgrade Calms Deadly Stretch of Kent Avenue

A missing link in the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway is turning green. Photo: Frank Hebbert
A stretch of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway route along Kent Avenue turned green last week. Photo: Frank Hebbert

A project that slims a dangerous section of Kent Avenue in South Williamsburg and straightens out an awkward stretch of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway route is nearing the finish line.

In March 2013, Julio Acevedo was driving north on Kent Avenue at 69 mph when he killed Raizy and Nathan Glauber, both 21, in a two-car crash at Wilson Street. Acevedo fled the scene and later faced charges, including criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter.

The deaths spurred changes. DOT installed traffic signals at Wilson and Hooper Streets, and last January Community Board 1 supported a plan to replace parking on the west side of the street with a two-way bikeway, while adding parking along the median on the east side to slow northbound traffic.

The plan also improves the continuity of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway route. Previously, the two-way bike lane on Kent jogged awkwardly, directing northbound cyclists to hop onto a sidewalk path between Williamsburg Street West and Division Avenue, while southbound cyclists had a painted lane between parked cars and motor vehicle traffic. The new arrangement creates a route where cyclists’ paths don’t criss-cross, bike traffic stays off the sidewalk, and the bikeway is separated from cars with flexible posts. Time will tell if those posts are enough to prevent the sidewalk parking extravaganzas that occasionally overwhelm this part of Kent Avenue.

With the reconstruction of Flushing Avenue planned for this fall, there will soon be three miles of continuous two-way bikeway from North 14th Street in Greenpoint to Navy Street near the foot of the Manhattan Bridge.

  • Clarke

    Not sure about the illegal parking, but the plastic bollards certainly won’t stop that 69 mph driver from a killing spree.

  • J

    Why not use the jersey barriers like they did on Williamsburg Street west? Those are great at keeping out cars and forcing drivers to go slower.

    DOT could also try using curbs, like what DC is now installing on a number of its cycle tracks:
    http://ddotdish.com/2014/05/15/ensuring-safer-more-effective-cycletracks/

    Long Beach, CA has them too:
    http://goo.gl/maps/hqO08

  • Reader

    If plastic bollards will (sort of) work here, why not put them on more buffered bike lanes? Chrystie Street is crying out for one. They wouldn’t prevent really bad actors, but they would discourage the casual bike lane blockers.

  • BBnet3000

    I dont understand why they arent on every curbside bike lane.

  • watashi2012

    Anyone know when the Pulaski bridge bike lane construction will begin?

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    Some time this year, as part of a NYCDOT Bridge Component Rehabilitation contract. This will complement new bicycle infrastructure approved by Queens Community Board 2.

  • Hilda

    Put down a new line of parking, such as the new line of parking on Northbound Kent, and people seem to know exactly what to do. But put down this bike lane, an extension of the existing, and it will take a while for people to get used to “new design”.

  • Tyler

    Bollards and curbs are a great addition. Setting aside aesthetics, I don’t think you’d want jersey barriers in most places for access reasons. Fire trucks and ambulances (and their equipment) can go over / through curbs and bollards, not so much 2-1/2 ft tall concrete walls.

  • Rode it this morning now that they’ve painted the little bike people. Are they done? Or are they going to add a little barrier. Going against traffic, you feel a little bare.

    Also, some guy parked is car in the bike lane to let someone out. The idea of someone possibly doing that right at me is a little worrying. I had to swerve into the road.

  • J

    Good point. Maintaining emergency access is important, and hopefully some combination of curbs and bollards will permit emergency access while still keeping 99.9% of vehicles out.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

DOT Plans Road Diet and Bikeway Upgrade on Deadly Section of Kent Avenue

|
Last night, Brooklyn Community Board 1’s transportation committee unanimously recommended the board support a DOT project [PDF] to calm traffic on a deadly stretch of Kent Avenue between Clymer Street and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. The project also upgrades a link in the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway to a two-way protected bike lane. Last March, hit-and-run driver Julio Acevedo, […]

DOT Proposes Flushing Ave Bikeway in Prelude to Major Greenway Push

|
Image: NYCDOT [PDF] Here’s a look at the Flushing Avenue bike path concept that NYCDOT presented to the Brooklyn Community Board 2 transportation committee last night. This project would add another preliminary link to the path of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, following in the footsteps of the Kent Avenue bike lane. After a round of […]

Latest Kent Avenue Bike Lane Complaint: Truck Traffic

|
One section of the Kent Avenue two-way bike path has been painted. Two more will follow. Image: NYCDOT [PDF]. We’ve got another dispatch from the ongoing bike lane drama that is Kent Avenue. At Wednesday night’s information session hosted by Brooklyn CB1, the DOT team gave a short presentation [PDF] outlining their plan to address […]

Brooklyn CB1 Approves Bike Path in Place of Parking

|
Here’s how space is divvied up on Kent Avenue today… On Tuesday night, Community Board 1 in north Brooklyn voted 39-2 to support adding a separated bike path to Kent Avenue, a truck route through Williamsburg and Greenpoint. The path will be part of the Brooklyn Greenway, which is slated to follow the waterfront from […]

Eyes on the Street: Drivers Retake the Kent Avenue Bike Lane

|
DOT reconfigured the southern part of the Kent Avenue bike lane this spring, but that hasn’t stopped drivers from taking over the lane and the sidewalk for personal parking. A reader took this photo earlier today. He writes: I bike from LIC to Clinton Hill every morning and use the Kent Ave bike path. Luckily […]