Bergen Street Cyclists Thank NYPD Precinct for Protected Bike Lane

Dave "Paco" Abraham, a volunteer with Transportation Alternatives' Brooklyn committee, hands the signed photograph to 78th Precinct commanding officer Michael Ameri. Photo: Wayne Bailey

Bergen Street near Flatbush Avenue used to be a trouble spot for cyclists going from Prospect Heights to Park Slope, with one segment of the bike lane frequently obstructed by police vehicles. Last summer, a guerrilla protected lane appeared, buffered by orange cones, then disappeared, then reappeared, incredibly, in the form of metal crowd control barriers from the NYPD’s 78th Precinct. The barriers have stood in place for over five months. Now, cyclists are thanking the precinct for taking action.

A few weeks ago, the Transportation Alternatives Brooklyn volunteer committee organized a group photo to show their thanks. The photo, snapped by Dmitry Gudkov, was presented to Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri, the 78th Precinct’s commanding officer, at last night’s community council meeting. Streetsblog has reached out to Deputy Inspector Ameri via e-mail and phone for comment. We’ll let you know if we hear anything back.

While a few precincts have taken small steps forward on safer streets, the department as a whole, despite improved crash investigation procedures and endorsing speed cameras, has not made traffic safety a top priority. In that context, these gestures from the 78th Precinct are a welcome breath of fresh air.

  • Anonymous

    I prefer these kinds of stories.

  • OMG!
    78 Precinct, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Ian Dutton

    Dear other precinct Commanding Officers,

    We’d love to have reasons to make more of these framed photos.

    Love,
    People

  • Daphna

    I would like to get the same kind of NYPD cooperation and respect for the law from the 14th precinct in midtown Manhattan (29th – 45th St, 9th Ave – Park Ave). They constantly park several vehicles in the 8th Avenue protected bike lane between 42nd and 43rd Streets. This is illegal and it creates a dangerous condition. NYPD can only park in a travel lane (car or bike) for emergency purposes. They can not use a bike travel lane as a place to park their vehicles all day and night long for non-emergency purposes, which they do!

    It is sort of silly that the NYPD has to get praise for simply doing their job and for refraining from breaking the law. Those things should be givens. But it doesn’t hurt to give them compliments such as this when they improve their behavior and start to enforce the law instead of breaking it.

  • Why

    Uh, really? We’re now commending the NYPD for not parking in a bike lane when they shouldn’t be doing that anyway? And the metal barrier does not actually make that section of the Bergen bike lane any safer. I’d like to see these cyclists pouring their energy into getting the city to fix the numerous potholes in the bike lane on Bergen St between Flatbush and 4th Ave. It’s so dangerous riding down that bike lane.

  • The metal barrier prevents cars from parking in the bike lane which had scores of cyclists had complained was a continued problem for many years, by both NYPD and residents nearby.

    Full agreement about potholes… but the way to solve that is already pretty simple. Call 311. Average fix time is 2-3 days. If you see some, call it in… or use the smartphone app that takes all of 20 seconds. Probably the same time it took to write a comment about the potholes themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps this will embarrass other precincts into being as respectful as the 78th.

    Kudos all around.

  • Goofy Two Shoes

    Now go fetch that photo from the dumpster behind the precinct!

  • Ben Kintisch

    Can you think of another precinct in the city that has actively enhanced local bike infrastructure in their nabe?

  • Eric McClure

    @7badf4cb2e4c12f36efabf558e32fe98:disqus meant he (or she) would like to see some OTHER cyclists pouring their energy into blah blah blah.

  • Eric McClure

    Why so cynical? The gesture meant a lot to the 78th’s CO, who has genuinely made an effort to reduce bike lane encroachment and illegal parking. I’m pretty sure you’ll find it in the Deputy Inspector’s office.

  • Anonymous

    Too bad this is such a rare, uncommon example of what the Police should be like. Something like this would go a long towards public safety and increased respect for the cops.

  • guest

    Trouble spot is a strong word. Yes, vehicles including police vehicles were frequently parked in the bike lane. However, given relatively modest traffic on that block, it wasn’t any meaningful trouble to simply go around.

  • Cold Shoaler

    Can this go away now? I appreciate the positive story of a cyclist taking action resulting in an improved street for everyone (except, perhaps, from the perspective of those who now have to park elsewhere). Thank you Paco and Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri.

    However…

    This just isn’t a good long term solution, and probably wasn’t a good short term solution either (@Daphna and @Why).

    Street sweepers can’t clean the lane, which will lead to conditions similar to the ‘dumpster of Williamsburg St W’. http://goo.gl/maps/9zxY6

  • Anonymous

    That dumpster doesn’t look that bad on Google Street View, although I admit I’ve never been there.

    In some countries they use a device called a “broom” to clean parts of streets that are not reachable by the big sweeping machines. Of course, the labor costs may be an issue.

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