Three years ago, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio cheered as Brooklyn Community Board 10 helped kill a bike lane proposal. Tonight, there’s a very different story unfolding: Responding to CB 10’s request for new bike routes, Mayor de Blasio’s DOT has proposed a bike lane plan for the neighborhood.
The plan under consideration tonight [PDF] is different than the one from 2011, which attracted media attention at the height of the “bikelash.” Back then, DOT proposed adding bike lanes to extra-wide Bay Ridge Parkway. Even though it wouldn’t have taken away car lanes or parking, local politicians and community boards objected to the idea of making room for cyclists on a busy road. DOT ultimately folded and ditched the plan.
Bay Ridge Parkway is not part of the new proposal, which covers more miles than the previous plan but does not reach into Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst. DOT is considering bike routes on Fort Hamilton Parkway, 68th Street, 72nd Street, and Marine Avenue, which were requested by CB 10 in 2012. The board also asked for bike lanes on Seventh Avenue near the Gowanus Expressway, but DOT is suggesting an alternate route on Sixth Avenue instead.
Like the plan from 2011, this proposal doesn’t change the underlying geometry of streets very much. It includes a mix of shared lane markings and painted bike lanes, not protected lanes, and it does not remove any car lanes or parking spaces. Shared lanes would be added on Sixth Avenue from 67th Street to Fort Hamilton Parkway, on Fort Hamilton Parkway from 92nd Street to 101st Street, and on Marine Avenue from Colonial Road to Fort Hamilton Parkway.
Painted bike lanes would be installed on Seventh Avenue from 66th Street to 67th Street, on Fort Hamilton Parkway from Sixth Avenue to 92nd Street, on 68th Street from Third Avenue to Sixth Avenue, and on 72nd Street from Colonial Road to Sixth Avenue.
The CB 10 transportation committee unanimously recommended a vote in support at its meeting last Tuesday. The committee asked DOT to study safer intersection designs on Fort Hamilton Parkway at 65th, 86th, and 92nd Streets, as well as at 65th Street and Seventh Avenue, according to notes from the meeting posted by Transportation Alternatives volunteer Michelle Yu.
DOT says it will install the bike routes next year, and according to committee member Bob HuDock, the agency will return to the committee to address those intersections this fall.
“We have almost a year before they would install this,” HuDock said. “They’re not in any big hurry, so there’s plenty of time to coordinate.” If anything, the process has dragged on for too long, he said. By the time the project is installed next year, it will have been four years since CB 10 and DOT first started talking about bike lanes in Bay Ridge.
Despite the slow progress and the positive reaction from the committee, the general board could still torpedo the plan. Last fall, it did just that to the Fourth Avenue road diet after months of work by its transportation committee and DOT. CB 10 staff told Streetsblog that they do not anticipate DOT will attend tonight’s meeting to answer questions, so it’s up to supporters to speak up and remind board members whey they requested these bike routes in the first place.
Tonight’s meeting starts at 7:15 p.m. at the Shore Hill Community Room, 9000 Shore Road.