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.


Eyes on the Street: U-Perpendicular-Park-in-the-Bike-Lane

Reader Liam Quigley of Cyclosity fame sends this shot of the Grand Street bike lane on Saturday evening. He tells us the production company crew unloading this box truck between Bowery and Elizabeth stayed long enough to force at least five cyclists to ride up on the sidewalk and three others to ride into car […]

DOT Deploys “Street Safety Managers” to High-Volume Bike Routes

Wondering what’s up with the people holding stop signs in the bike lane today? NYC DOT’s press office just sent out this explanation: New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced that DOT Street Safety Managers (SSM) are assigned to key bike and pedestrian corridors and bridge paths in Manhattan to […]

Tremont Avenue in Line for New Cross-Bronx Bike Route

Last month, when Council Member Ritchie Torres lambasted DOT’s deference to community boards over street safety projects, he anticipated a fight over the agency’s plan for bike lanes on Tremont Avenue. DOT presented its design for the western segment of Tremont Avenue to Bronx Community Board 5 on January 20 [PDF] and, the following day, presented the design for the eastern segment […]

Anonymous Bike Lane Opponent Scores Media Coup on NY1

Will we ever see the headline "Bike Lane Opponent Resorts to Misinformation and Lies"? Image: NY1 This report on the proposed Prospect Park West bike lane from NY1’s Jeanine Ramirez doesn’t quite stoop to Marcia Kramer levels of fabrication, but that might make it even more insidious. Slap together a few shots of ill-informed people […]