New Twist in Kent Ave Saga: Safer Bike Path Plus Parking

After a contentious few months full of clowns, scantily-clad women, illegal billboards, and community board strife (since resolved), we may finally be approaching the denouement to the city’s most talked about bike lane drama. The Brooklyn Paper reports on the latest Kent Avenue development:

In an attempt to make peace among cyclists, who support a pair of controversial Kent Avenue bike paths, and drivers and business owners
who oppose the lanes because of their impact on parking, the city is
forging a truce that could turn Kent Avenue into a one-way street lined
on two sides of parking and loading zones — as well as a protected
two-directional bike lane, sources told The Brooklyn Paper.

Insiders who attended meetings between the Department of
Transportation and factions of South Williamsburg’s Satmar community
said the one-way, one-lane Kent Avenue would run northbound between
Clymer and North 14th streets.

Such a plan would allow the city to convert the hotly contested
no-parking and no standing zones on either side of the road into legal
parking lanes — one of which would serve as a buffer for a protected
two-directional bike lane on the waterfront side of the roadway.

The new bike path will be separated by on-street markings a la Grand Street, according to sources familiar with the plan.

The configuration more closely resembles that of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, which will eventually succeed the bike lane on Kent Avenue. "This establishes the greenway footprint much sooner than would otherwise be the case," said Transportation Alternatives’ Wiley Norvell. A two-way protected path on Kent, he added, could serve as a groundbreaking precedent for other on-street paths — even more so than the two-way path planned for Prospect Park West, which doesn’t contend with any cross-traffic.

Another thing to watch for is the treatment of parking. The absence of parking on Kent has given pedestrians an unobstructed view of traffic, making crossing the street safer. The revised design should make ample use of daylighting to keep sightlines clear and open. "As long as those safety gains are preserved, this is a win," said Norvell.


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 […]

Revised Kent Ave Plan Extends Bike Route to Flushing Ave

Image: NYCDOT Here’s a look at the revised and extended route proposed for the Kent Avenue bike path. Currently the bike lane runs from Quay Street to Clymer Street. As you can see in this map from DOT’s project presentation [PDF], the new route would continue several blocks further south, to Flushing Avenue. The other […]

Kent Ave Bike Lane Stirs Passions in Williamsburg

The Kent Avenue lane at work, with squad car. Photo: i’m not sayin, i’m just sayin. New York’s latest bike lane skirmish flared up Monday night at a "transportation town hall" in Williamsburg. About 150 people turned out, and DOT bike program coordinator Josh Benson caught an earful from bike lane opponents upset over new […]