Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycling

Ask and Ye Shall Receive: Brooklyn CB9 Gets a Bike Lane on Empire Blvd

3:43 PM EDT on July 1, 2009

empire_boulevard_traffic_calming.jpgDOT added bike lanes to its traffic-calming project for Empire Boulevard -- at the request of CB9. Image: NYCDOT.

These days, it's not often that we get to report about New York City community boards pushing DOT for more progressive street designs. So sit back and enjoy this post. If you read Streetsblog regularly, it'll blow your mind.

Back in April, DOT met with members of Brooklyn Community Board 9, which covers parts of Crown Heights and Flatbush, about a traffic calming project for Empire Boulevard. At the time, the project did not include a bike lane.

I asked district manager Pearl Miles about that meeting. "We said, 'How about a bike lane?'" she recalls. "Our community is largely residential, so we want it to be safe."

When DOT came back in May for a presentation to the full board [PDF], the project -- now sporting a bike lane -- passed in a resounding 38-2 vote.

Crews are now working on the Empire Boulevard project, which closely resembles the template DOT used to calm traffic on Vanderbilt Avenue. A moving lane will be removed in each direction, and a painted median with pedestrian refuges will run down the center. (Allerton Avenue in the Bronx is slated for similar treatment [PDF], as Mobilizing the Region reported on Monday. "We presented the Allerton project to the CB 11 committee that covers the specific area and we are taking their input as we finalize the plan,” said DOT spokesman Scott Gastel.)

There are many more streets where CB 9 would like to see bike lanes installed. Back in the 90s -- before anyone had ever uttered the words "Google Maps" -- land use chair Mike Cetera plotted out a bike network on an aerial map of the district. The goal, says Miles, was to identify routes for families to ride safely to local parks, including Prospect Park. The addition of the Empire Boulevard bike lane marks a major milestone for that plan.

"This is our first real implementation, and we're excited about it," said Miles.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Con Edison Cons Its Way Out of Paying Traffic Tickets

The massive energy company is bilking the city of tens of thousands of dollars in potential camera-issued traffic violations by obscuring its trucks’ license plates.

March 1, 2024

West Side Glory: State Begins the Process of Reimagining a True NYC Car Sewer

The state DOT will study the West Side Highway for "potential enhancements ... including [for] pedestrians and cyclists." West Side officials are cheering!

March 1, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Closing the Bike Share Black Hole Edition

Council Member Lincoln Restler has negotiated with local religious leaders to add Citi Bike docks to south Williamsburg. Plus other news.

March 1, 2024

Manhattan Pol Upset at Delayed Rollout of Electrified Citi Bike Docks

"I urge the Department of Transportation and Con Edison to expedite the electrification of [Citi Bike] stations," Erik Bottcher wrote to the colossuses of conveyance and current last Friday.

February 29, 2024
See all posts