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Bicycle Safety

Eyes on the Street: The Evolution of the Bergen Street Protected Bike Lane

12:02 PM EDT on October 1, 2014

Photo: Gary Eckstein
Photo: Gary Eckstein
Photo: Gary Eckstein

What began as an ad hoc fix for a bike lane chronically clogged by cars has become permanent after DOT installed a block-long barrier on the Bergen Street bike lane in front of the 78th Precinct in Prospect Heights.

It started more than two years ago when Ian Dutton moved some leftover ConEd cones a few feet into Bergen Street to cordon off the bike lane for cyclists:

Photo: Ian Dutton

The bike lane had become a parking spot for vehicles from the 78th Precinct, pushing cyclists out into traffic angling to get to Flatbush Avenue. The cones were removed, before returning again when construction resumed.

The breakthrough came when the precinct and commanding officer Michael Ameri, who has since been promoted to lead NYPD's Highway Patrolupgraded the barrier by installing a metal barricade months after the cones first appeared:

Photo: Ian Dutton

The bike lane has since become a symbol of shared goals between street safety advocates and the precinct, which has gone on to target drivers who fail to yield and hosted monthly traffic safety meetings. Officers have even shoveled snow out of the bike lane.

Now the project has the imprimatur of the city's transportation department, which installed a strip of plastic posts to keep drivers out of the bike lane. Perhaps this success story could be a model for other locations in the city. Where else should DOT install low-cost barriers to keep drivers out of curbside bike lanes?

Photo: Ian Dutton
We've come a long way, baby. Photo: Ian Dutton
Photo: Ian Dutton

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