What’s Next for the Two-Way Protected Bike Lane Proposed for Clinton Ave

DOT wants to give Clinton Avenue in Brooklyn a two-way protected bike lane. Image: DOT
The Clinton Avenue redesign calls for adding a two-way protected bike lane between Gates and Flushing. Image: DOT

DOT has been going door-to-door in Clinton Hill to get the word out about its plan for a two-way protected bike lane on Clinton Avenue, which the agency first previewed at a Vision Zero town hall held by Council Member Laurie Cumbo in January. While a full presentation on the project is scheduled for next month, it’s expected to come up for discussion at a forum this Thursday hosted by 57th Assembly District Leader Olanike Alabi.

Currently, Clinton Hill lacks a protected north-south bike connection. The redesign would add a two-way, parking protected bike lane on Clinton Avenue between Gates Avenue and Flushing Avenue, connecting to the Brookly Waterfront Greenway. The street would be converted from two-way motor vehicle flow to one-way northbound, and pedestrian islands would narrow crossing distances for people on foot.

Representatives from DOT have been out in the neighborhood the past week talking to residents about the project, and people can also submit comments on Clinton Hill’s biking and walking needs via online surveys. DOT’s street ambassadors will be out again this Wednesday, on the campus of St. Joseph’s College from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and outside the Pratt Institute at the intersection of DeKalb Avenue and Hall Street from noon to 4 p.m.

A DOT presentation to Community Board 2’s transportation committee is scheduled for May 17, according to an agency spokesperson.

This Thursday, 57th Assembly District Leader Olanike Alabi is hosting a town hall, and the Clinton Avenue project is expected to be one of the topics addressed. There’s no presentation planned, but a DOT rep will be on hand to take questions and comments from residents. As with any substantial change to the streets, some opposition from nearby residents is expected. If you live in the neighborhood and want to see this safety improvement move forward, your voice can make a difference.

The town hall starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Teen Challenge Center at 444 Clinton Avenue.

  • BBnet3000

    Is there ever going to be more details about the actual design? Where is the connection supposed to be made in the N/S directions to/from Vanderbilt for those traveling south of Atlantic Ave?

    Also, a protected lane on (what ought to be) a side street? Somewhere a Dutch traffic engineer is laughing (or crying).

  • Geck

    How about calling it the Lauren Davis memorial bike lane.

  • Geck

    Gates Ave to connect to Vanderbilt if I am not mistaken.

  • J

    Via sharrows, I presume. Seems like you could extend the one-way section another block and make a real connection.

  • The more I learn about this proposal, the more ambivalent I feel. Until recently I was under the mistaken impression that Clinton continued south of Atlantic Avenue- if that was true, then I could understand its utility by connecting the waterfront with Prospect Park or Eastern Parkway. But by dead-ending at Gates, I don’t see how it will contribute to building a cohesive bike network.

  • Geck

    Clinton path will connect to the Greenway in the North, and South of Gates, Vanderbilt has bike lanes (they are not protected, but the function pretty well in my experience) that connect to Grand Army Plaza/Eastern Parkway/Prospect Park/PPW. Hard to imagine a more significant link connecting high quality Brooklyn lanes/paths.

  • Wes

    They really need to take this all the way down to Atlantic and make a protected connection on Atlantic to Underhill Ave and give Underhill the same treatment as Clinton. This would make a great north/south connection between the Brooklyn Greenway and the Eastern Parkway greenway (and thus Prospect Park).

  • Toddster

    A more significant link would be Vanderbilt itself. Using Clinton is requiring all cyclists traveling NW, to the bridges, or SE, back from the bridges, to detour a block each way to continue their journeys past Gates. (Admit that it’s a educated guess that more people travel NW-SE to/from the city than NE-SW to/from Williamsburg and Queens).

    Meanwhile Vanderbilt provides those connections without the detour and probably will remain the main bike route of choice since no one – pedestrians, cyclists or drivers – is usually keen to go out of their way to get to their destinations.

  • big nicky

    Dude. You must be the most unhappy person in this city. If it’s a bike lane, you complain that it’s not protected. If it’s protected, you complain that the details of the plan aren’t being released fast enough. Or that it should be on a major street and not a minor street. Or that the rest of the bike network isn’t complete already.

    The weather is improving. Flowers are starting to bloom. Civil rights are expanding. Television has never been higher quality. Lighten up

  • BBnet3000

    Sorry if I’ve bothered you with my blathering about a comfortable cycling network.

    By all means let’s bet the farm on this dead-end route and then wonder why, a decade hence, it’s still uncomfortable to ride south of Atlantic Avenue (where I happen to live along with probably a million other people).

  • Jonathan R

    Your imagination is lacking this evening. How about protected bike lanes on Washington, which runs straight through between Flushing Ave and Empire Blvd?

  • BBnet3000

    The Vanderbilt lane southbound during rush hour is lane splitting by another name. Northbound is a bit better but frequently double parked.

  • street_user

    Name these other fantastic cities where perfect bicycle infrastructure is the norm. Do you think this should be scraped because it’s somehow not perfect?

  • street_user

    If you one-wayed Vanderbilt, you’d have to re-route the B69 bus, which is the only N-S bus route from Jay St to Classon Av/Franklin Av. Turns are worse for buses than for bikes. Plus, you can still take Vanderbilt if you want, those sharrows aren’t going anywhere. This is just another option.

  • BBnet3000

    Most of the cities on this list, particularly in the West, are a lot more comfortable to ride in than New York: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/best-cities-cyclists/

    A lot of these cities are here partly by accident, because they’ve got much lower auto traffic, especially on side streets.

    Some of these cities have lower traffic on side streets on purpose, but we’re totally unwilling to do this in New York and insist on separation over all. Separation is the correct approach on major routes and has been very successful on the Manhattan Avenues (except where the lane ends and dumps you into high traffic in front of the Port Authority Bus Terminal or the entrance to the Midtown Tunnel!). Separation would be a great approach on Vanderbilt, which is the most direct route and has high auto traffic, but we’re unwilling to remove parking.

    But Clinton is a side street. It should be comfortable to ride on a quiet residential side street without a protected bike path. There’s no reason for this to be a through route, and with this strategy we’re going to have to wait practically forever for other side streets to be comfortable to ride on as the implementation of protected paths is very slow.

  • BBnet3000

    Nobody is talking about one-waying Vanderbilt, nor would anyone consider putting a 2-way path on Vanderbilt.

  • Vooch

    street,

    our collegue BB provides valuable duty by always reminding us to seek better standards. Expecting more is a good thing.

  • Brooklynite

    DOT should set aside some curbside space on each side of the block as Ten Minute Delivery Zones. Give the UPS and FedEx trucks some dedicated space to pull in for deliveries. Help avoid the inevitable double-parking, blocked Travel Lane and horn-honking that so frustrates residents on one-lane, one-way streets in NYC. Sure, you’d lose a few on-street parking spots. But if I lived on this block, I’d be happy to make that trade-off.

  • BBnet3000

    That’s the thing, I’m not demanding top-tier infrastructure. All I’m asking for is what’s in the NACTO guides (published right here in New York; their office is on Park Avenue). It can all be done in paint and thermoplastic.

    http://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/

  • Vooch

    actually – I was hoping you were advocating for top tier infrastructure; someone had too

  • Jen Messier

    Gates between Clinton and Vanderbilt doesn’t have sharrows, but it’s a very short block without much traffic.

  • BrooklynCyclist

    Thankfully the street will be wide enough to go around double parker vehicles but commercial loading zones/delivery spaces are definitely helpful for reducing double parking and congestion.

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