Eyes on the Street: Drivers Can Now Park All Over the E 38th Street Bike Lane

Mere weeks after installing a parking-protected bike lane on East 38th Street in Marine Park, DOT removed the protection, caving to complaints about the narrower roadway even though the motor vehicle lane was still a roomy 12 feet wide.

Streetsblog reader Jeffrey Diamond shot this video of how the bike lane, which is part of a project designed to improve bike access to the Jamaica Bay Greenway, is working now that it’s not protected. (Diamond also has video of the entire Marine Park bike lane project.)

As you can see, 38th Street has resumed its function as a drop-off zone free-for-all by the park, rife with sloppy, illegal parking and standing. Odds are, losing the ability to easily double-park was what stoked the complaints to DOT in the first place. Diamond warns that once recreational sports start back up in the fall, the bike lane obstructions will only get worse.

The irony is that more people could safely access Marine Park by bicycle instead of driving — if they had good bicycle infrastructure connecting them to it. Instead, the neighborhood keeps its double-parking zone.

  • c2check

    zomgz, ppl
    pull to the damn curb

  • com63

    What a crappy design. How long until a cyclist gets killed by a driver who didn’t expect one to be coming the “wrong” way?

  • Simon Phearson

    This makes me incredibly angry. This “bike lane” now clearly protects parked cars. This design is idiotic, irresponsible, and clearly dangerous. What was the DOT thinking? At least make the bike lane one-way! Don’t invite cyclists to ride down a lane that is sure to be blocked intermittently by parked cars, requiring them to ride headlong into traffic!

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Let’s not forget to thank those cowards Alan Maisel and Martin Golden for putting their weight behind a handful of townie NIMBYs who missed the multiyear planning process for this lane and the CB meetings.

    I suppose they’re going to be putting up their own discretionary funds to reimburse the cost of removing the half-built protected path? /s

  • Joe R.

    Please tell me this video is a parody of bad NYC bike infrastructure and unchecked illegal parking, and not something DOT actually built.

  • Can someone point to the design manual where this has been approved?

  • Anonymous

    Surely it must be possible to find whoever approved this in DOT and ask them what they think they are doing here?

  • nanter

    De Blasio and Polly Trottenberg’s DOT. Never would have happened under JSK.

  • Reader

    That would be Polly Trottenberg.

  • Wow. Absolutely ridiculous.

  • Jesse

    I love contraflow lanes but riding against traffic feels (and probably is) much more dangerous without protection. That’s doubly true if you’re forced into oncoming traffic every few blocks because of double-parked cars.

  • gneiss

    Don’t forget that this was said about the bike lane, “Local Council Member Alan Maisel pushed DOT to remove the parking protection. He said that because of the redesign, “people can’t get into their driveways,” sideview mirrors have been knocked off, and delivery trucks on the street are blocking traffic.”

    It’s pretty clear this has everything to do with double parking and nothing to do the issues he cited. In every community where double parking is rampant, motorists argue against protected bike lanes and street calming because those measures narrow roadways, forcing drivers to block other drivers if they double park. The thing is, double parking is illegal so these folks can’t give the real reason why they oppose these treatments.

  • c2check

    Someone should sure tell DOT (and NYPD) that double parking is illegal.

    Maybe nobody told them.

  • J

    The sad thing is that this isn’t the first time double parking has trumped safety. DOT has a history of building in double parking into its designs, further reinforcing cultural norms that say double parking is normal. Instead, DOT should actually address curb usage issue in a meaningful manner, through market-based parking pricing, similar to SFPark. Ignoring this issue makes it worse, and bending over backwards to cater to it further reinforces a culture where lawlessness trumps safety. That is unacceptable.

  • Mike

    Also, driveways? There aren’t driveways on that side of the street.

  • dave “paco” abraham

    well… it was under JSK that the Bedford Ave bike lane was removed because of orthodox community in Williamsburg.

  • rogue

    This is the problem with DeBlasio and his DOT. They’re just lame. They have no leadership whatsoever.

  • AnoNYC

    Thanks Jeffrey for documenting this. Horrible.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    The argument some people on the block were making is that they couldn’t maneuver into and out of their driveways on the east side of the street if the travel lane was the same width as in most of Brooklyn. Marine Park is special you know.

  • Joe R.

    It’s in the appendix of “Things Not To Do”.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    They built a similar design on the Plaza Street circle (Grand Army Plaza) under JSK, though that one puts the buffer on the outside and the contraflow in the door zone.

  • Some Asshole

    Par for the course for southeastern Brooklyn. I spent my first 23 years of life in and around these neighborhoods. Always said I grew up in suburban Brooklyn.

    Heck, the B44 SBS is too much a burden to bear for them.

  • Some Asshole

    They’re just worse drivers.

  • AnoNYC

    This is the worst design I have seen yet.

  • Frank Kotter

    I wouldn’t have believed it if not for this article: NYC actually built a two way bike lane and buffered it from the parking lane. Is there anyone who checks off on these projects who actually has any idea what they are doing?

    It’s like accountants designing a jetliner.

  • Tyler

    But I’m sure the NYPD will soon set up a “crack down” squad to ticket cyclists who decide riding on that stretch of sidewalk is safer than trying to share the road with these idiot drivers.

  • AMH

    I’m pretty sure the neighborhood got DOT to weaken the traffic calming of Mount Morris Park West by actually complaining that they couldn’t double-park. One day it worked beautifully, with drivers taking it slow, and the next (after widening) they were back to careening around corners, barely slowing at the stop sign.

    https://goo.gl/maps/mzPeAXA82pL2

  • dpecs

    Shitty design, shitty execution. I can’t believe a design this stupid got approved

  • neroden

    Is it possible to sue because this change (making the road less safe for bicyclists and encouraging double parking) did not go through the public meeting process? Should be possible.

  • Rita Carron

    I think it is a poor design on the street. There was plenty of room to make a safe bike bike lane next to the side walk along the fence of E. 38th Street and Avenue V along the playground and golf course fence. Making roadways smaller is not the answer; especially when ambulances are double parked by the dialysis center on Coleman and Avenue V. That’s dangerous for everyone. who surveyed the area? I don’t drive down 38th street anymore because I don’t like it. And turning onto Avenue V is more dangerous especially when the ambulances are double parked. something should have been done better than what was done for all. The bike lane isn’t going to be used all year. There is a wonderful bike line constructed by the Floyd Bennett Field side of Flatbush avenue. They should have done the same along E 38th and Avenue V.

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