Streetfilms Shortie: Double-Parking Insanity in the Jay Street Bike Lane

While out collecting footage yesterday, one of my missions was to document a whole bunch of street conditions that NYC DOT is actively working to improve. One was the chronic double-parking that has overrun the Jay Street bike lane in Downtown Brooklyn forever.

The level of disregard for the bike lane is just about unmatched anywhere else in New York City. Even with all that bike lane obstruction, 2,400 cyclists a day use Jay Street, since it’s a critical link to the Manhattan Bridge. NYC DOT is working on a plan to replace the current design with parking-protected bike lanes on each side of the street.

I intended to sit on all my “before” footage to use in future pieces, but I just couldn’t believe how bad it was, so I posted this. I had budgeted about an hour to film Jay Street, but I only needed about ten minutes to sufficiently document the dysfunction on camera. As you can see, the immediate yield was very high.

On top of it all, NYPD loves to hand out tickets to cyclists up and down Jay Street. But how many tickets do they write for these drivers? I’m not sure, but since parking placards are everywhere on Jay Street and the illegal parking situation never seems to improve, I’m guessing it’s close to none.

Barring any real enforcement, we sure could use Peatónito, or a battalion of Peatónitos, on Jay Street to set these illegal parkers straight.

  • Charles Siegel

    Make it a protected bike lane (between the parking and the sidewalk), and then cars can’t block it.

  • @placardabuse

    A sad fact of corruption in NYC: the more so-called “law enforcement officers” in an area, the worse the parking and traffic mayhem.

  • Largess Egress

    That’s NYC DOT’s goal (read the text, there’s also some valuable links in there)

  • AnoNYC

    Metered parking and loading zones would make so much of a difference in so many areas. Not referring to Jay St which I’m not familiar with but it’s crazy how much free parking there is citywide.

    Take a look right now:

    https://smoothparking.com/

    The city also needs to stop creating double parking lanes. Those huge parking buffers. If more streets were like the coming reconfigured Jay St, the vast majority of people would not back up traffic minus a quick pickup/drop.

  • JudenChino

    Not looking forward to this “protected lane.” The parking lane is 2 ft narrower (which syncs up “well” with our 2 ft buffer). And cars that park in the parking lanes will not give a flying f— about the incredibly high volume of bicyclists.

    Whereas before we at least had the ability to “take the lane.” Instead we’ll be trapped. And this parking protected lane will do nothing to stop double-parkers from curb side parking.

  • Mike

    But won’t somebody think of all the poor drivers who can’t leave their parking spot thanks to the double-parkers?

  • Joe R.

    Let’s try something different to turn the tables on drivers. I propose that cyclists come out one day and park their bikes in the car lane. Let’s see how drivers like it. Maybe when they can see how disruptive double parking in a bike lane is they’ll finally stop it.

    I also don’t understand why so many people are driving to Jay Street. It’s a transit rich zone. Frankly, the entire area should be off limits to private autos, placard-bearing or otherwise..

  • Jason

    On that note, and in all seriousness, why in the world is double parking during street sweeping tolerated on the UWS?

  • iSkyscraper

    I think Seaman Ave in Inwood could give Jay St a challenge for the double-parking-bike-lane crown.

  • Andres Dee

    Hey bicycler! Yer video shows yer out of the bicycler lane. Ya know that’s against the law, right?

  • BBnet3000

    5th Ave in Park Slope is up there as well, but the pure density of double parking on Jay is really astounding: you see people have to parallel double park because there’s such dense double parking that they can’t head-in.

  • BBnet3000

    This is the case all over Brooklyn as well.

  • qrt145

    Why double-park when you can triple-park? 🙂

  • JK

    This seems like a challenge to Streetsblog/Films to do something like the Parking Crater Award for NYC double parking —- the nominations are already pouring in. Though, you may have to retire Jay Street after the first year, because it looks unbeatable, and has for many years.

  • Joe R.

    There’s a few streets in LIC, downtown Jamaica, and downtown Flushing which might give it stiff competition.

  • snommis

    Yeah why can’t they just wait there in the bike lane until all 100 or so cars leave. Always thinking of themselves.

  • screw the parking crater awards. the time has come to create real street actions. i would like to see us all just ride, slowly, in the middle of the street in each direction as an ACTION that we ANNOUNCE. without civil actions like this it will never change.

  • I agree. I have actually never seen anything this bad and I am getting emails and tweets saying “You should see it in my neighborhood!”

  • LOL. I have heard in the past some people have gotten tickets for riding outside of the bike lane. But what the hell are you gonna do???

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