Sneak Peek at DOT’s Plan for Park Slope’s 9th Street

Note: Below is the most recent update of DOT’s 9th Street plan.

DOT’s press office just called to say that there is no consipracy to hide the plan for 9th Street. They sent it to me a few days ago but it got stuck in their e-mail inbox. Doh!

Download the presentation as a PDF here

  • liz

    that’s a really informative presentation. well put together. the visual representation of the obstructed sight lines with the current config. is particularly good. kudos DOT!

  • lee

    this looks pretty good to me.

    i’d also say its good to see DOT do something to improve an area before the car demand increases to meet the extra capacity.

  • da

    Slide 13 has two big problems:
    (1) 9th St. entrance to Prospect Park is not a vehicular entrance.
    (2) The slide shows cyclists riding clockwise around Prospect Park’s loop drive, the wrong way.

    The slide should show a route up 9th St., right on Prospect Park West, entering at Bartell-Pritchard, and across one of the center drives to exit the park at the same point.

    People are going to freak when they show this slide tonight.

  • I read Slide 13 differently. I think the heavy green line is intended to show a bike route, not a vehicle route.

  • da

    Right, it’s a bike route; but the 9th St. entrance is ped-only currently. Westbound riders will either have to exit at 3rd St., or dismount and walk the short pathway from West Drive to the 9th St. exit. Eastbound riders could either walk in at 9th St. or bike to 15th St.

    But at the meeting this evening someone mentioned an option I hadn’t considered… the park administration, at their discretion, could declare the walkway between West Drive and 9th St. a “shared-use” pathway, shared by bikes and peds.

    Incidentally the CB6 transpo committee, to their credit, passed a motion to approve the plan by 4-2 vote.

  • todd

    Slide 13 also shows bike travel going the wrong way in Prospect Park….All traffic travels counterclockwise and this slide shows bike traffic travelling clockwise….Certainly something that DOT should know.

  • cecilBK

    nobody does a powerpoint like DOT.

  • Bob

    DOT’s plan shows that drivers now only have 2 points of focus- the one lane of oncoming traffic and the crosswalk. Don’t the bike lanes count as points of focus, or did they just conveniently forget to count them?

  • Bob

    DOT didn’t send all the pages that they showed at the meeting. The number of crashes at every intersection on Ninth St. is 2 to 4 times greater than at neighboring streets. Shouldn’t we try to find the safest streets for bikers. For example, 15th St. is wide, links with an actual vehicular entrance to Prospect Park, and will also link to the Armory that will soon open as a recreational site.

  • Bob,

    The presentation above is what DOT’s press office sent me the day before the meeting. It is entirely possible and likely that DOT was still working on the presentation, adding and changing it, after this version was posted online. It’s not a conspiracy.

    Yes, 9th Street is one of the most dangerous streets in the neighborhood for pedestrians. That is well known in the neighborhood and shows that very clearly. That is exactly why DOT, in response to community concerns put forward in the summer of ’04 after a car went through the front door of Dizzy’s, is coming in with this plan to provide traffic-calming and pedestrian safety measures, of which, bike lanes are a key component. The safety issues are very real and I’m curious what your proposal is to solve that problem if you don’t like this one.

    Your offer of 15th Street is very generous but that is not a good choice for a bike lane. It is a one-way street, it is intensely busy with all of the car traffic being funneled out of Bartel Pritchard, it is, I believe, too narrow to add a bike lane, it is 12 blocks from the nearest bike lane on 3rd Street and it doesn’t really connect important commuter and recreational cyclist destinations like 9th Street.

    It’s mind-boggling to me that the car owning residents of 9th Street would complain about the imaginary hardship of having to load and unload their cars atop a painted bike lane yet are ready to ask cyclists to go 12 blocks out of their to find the nearest bike facility connecting to Prospect Park.

  • Bob

    The problem is that 9th St. in not a bike connection to Prospect Park, It is a pedestrian entrance, My suggestion wouldn’t ask bikers to go 12 blocks extra. If the were on 3rd St. they would just enter where we are supposed to when riding our bikes, and using 15th St. would add an additional entrance where bikes could enter/exit without worrying about pedestrians. The Armory will be a year round recreational destination in the very near future as well.
    Bartel Pritchard has a full extra lane already painted out for traffic calming when they narrowed it. It’s the left lane, that could easily be changed to the right/outside lane which would give bikers a full lane to bike safely in. Below 8th Ave. 15th St. gets wider than most other streets, and it will have no busses and very little commercial traffic.

  • Bob,

    I’m not sure where you get the idea that 9th Street is not a bike connection to Prospect Park. 9th Street has been an important bike route on the NYC bike map and NYC Bike Master Plan for many years now.

    The weekday afternoon that I was out taking photos of the street I snapped a number of cyclists using 9th Street and I can post some of those here.

    Via 9th Street cyclists access the Park either by dismounting their bike and walking it along the short pedestrian path behind Marquis de Lafayette or by taking a right on PPW and entering at Bartel. It would probably make sense to create a bike path along PPW adjacent to the park so that cycists didn’t have to ride on the sidewalk to access 3rd Street. DOT has actually kicked around this idea as well.

    We should go for a bike ride on 5th some time. You’ll find that buses and bikes co-exist rather easily on 5th Avenue. Bus drivers, who are trained, accountable, professional drivers, are generally not the big safety problem for NYC cyclists.

    I agree with you that if and when the Armory comes online as a rec center, that could justify running a bike lane along 15th Street and maybe 16th as well. Something will need to be done to 15th because that street is really dumped upon by traffic. One thing we could do to help would be to make PPW into a two-way street to relieve the crushing traffic burden on both Union and 15th.

  • Bob

    During the over 30 years that I’ve lived in the Slope and used the Ninth St. entrance regularly, I’ve rarely seen anyone actually walk their bikes to the drive. The Drive is just about at it’s furthest point from the outside of the park at 9th St. The short walk you mention has to go past both the Harmony Playground & the bandshell before reaching the drive. Or as you mentioned you make the right at PPW to go to 15th St, then you end up right where I suggested the bike lane should bring you to.

  • If cyclists are endangering park users along the pedestrian paths that’s an enforcement issue for the NYPD and Parks Department. It doesn’t have much of anything to do with DOT plans for streets around the park.

    Fortunately, Prospect Park Alliance doesn’t hear many complaints about cyclists riding recklessly on ped paths. The complaints they hear about cyclists are almost always aimed at the spandex-clad racers who ride in packs around the Loop Drives.

    I heard someone suggest that the City put up a “Dismount Your Bike” signs at the entrance to the Park there. Bob, I really hope you don’t let the City do that. That view at the top of 9th Street is really beautiful and it would be a shame to ruin it with ugly city street signs.

  • I ride my bike on 9th St. regularly and never once used it to access the park. There are many destinations on and around 9th St. that people on bikes use 9th St. to get to. Personally, I often end up riding down 9th St. all the way down to the Clinton St. bike lane, to Tillary St. and then over the Manhattan Bridge. 9th St. is part of my network.

    I’d sugest to Bob that the reason that statstics show more crashes involving cyclists on 9th St. is simply because there are more cyclists using 9th St. If there are twice as many crashes but 10 times as many users, then it’s hard to draw a negative conclusion about the appropriateness of bike lanes there.

  • Steve Faust

    Re the DOT 9th St plan – I like it.

    DOT has included buffer space alongside the bike lanes. The roadway lane allocations work with one vehicle lane each way, a 3 foot buffer in the center of the street and a dedicated left turn lane. Yes, drivers still need to watch for bicyclists and pedestrians when they turn, only there will be one less lane of oncoming traffic to distract them when they turn.

    This is not at all like the One-way No-way plan that a different unit of DOT tried to BS us with.

    DOT has used the latest thinking in multi-modal traffic planning on 9th St. This is state-of-the-art design to move everyone smoother, and though hard to believe, slow speeding motor vehicles, while getting traffic through the street quicker.

  • Anna S.

    I am a resident of 9th Street btwn 4th & 5th Ave, with a six yr old child, and I’ve always known this street to dismayingly be one of the most inhospitable to pedestrians. I applaud and welcome the positive changes proposed. Both my child and I have nearly been hit by cars 4 times, close enough that I banged on the car window in furious response (we were legally crossing the street on all occasions).

    A bike lane could only be an asset to my rough block and is sincerely welcomed by my family. The idea that people would have difficulty doing drop offs and pick-ups as a consequence is nonsense: I’ve received DOT tickets for doing exactly that in the present scenario, so what’s the difference?

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