DOT Defers Action on Clinton Avenue Bikeway

DOT wants to give Clinton Avenue in Brooklyn a two-way protected bike lane. Image: DOT
The Clinton Avenue redesign calls for a two-way protected bike lane and concrete pedestrian islands. Image: DOT

DOT has deferred its plan for a two-way protected bike lane on Clinton Avenue, saying it will return to Brooklyn Community Board 2 next month.

The department’s decision was announced by CB 2 transportation chair John Dew at the beginning of last night’s committee meeting. The committee had initially intended to finish hearing comments from people who didn’t get to speak at Tuesday’s meeting on the project, then vote on the plan, which Dew said he believed was “not-yet-ready for primetime.”

The redesign would add a two-way parking protected bike lane on Clinton between Flushing Avenue and Gates Avenue, converting the street from two-way motor vehicle flow to one-way northbound. In addition to creating a low-stress bike connection to the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway on Flushing, it would narrow crossing distance for pedestrians and simplify intersections, reducing the potential for conflict between drivers and people on foot.

While similar projects have reduced injuries and deaths all over the city, and the design closely resembles an arrangement that has functioned perfectly well on Kent Avenue for several years, property owners on Clinton Avenue campaigned against it, claiming that repurposing space from cars to bikes would impede emergency access, endanger seniors, and destroy “the historic nature of the Avenue.”

On Tuesday, Public Advocate Tish James and local Council Member Laurie Cumbo sided with the opponents.

Dew said last night he had planned to ask DOT to conduct more outreach on the plan, but DOT made the decision to do so on its own. “It is clear that the plan proposed and presented by DOT has not yet had any input from the local community that is most impacted by this plan,” he said. “Residents of Clinton Avenue and the surrounding neighbors have not been given an opportunity for input into this proposal. At minimum, DOT should conduct a charrette with the community to present this plan and get community feedback.”

A DOT spokesperson provided the following statement to Streetsblog after the meeting:

After hearing more from the community at this week’s meetings on the Clinton Avenue proposal, DOT will conduct additional outreach with community leaders and residents. We look forward to returning to CB2 next month.

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Last year, Public Advocate Tish James called on DOT to make protected bike lanes a standard feature of street redesigns, a stance she recently elaborated on in an interview with Streetsblog. In December, Council Member Laurie Cumbo stood with the family of Victoria Nicodemus, who was run over and killed on a Fort Greene sidewalk, at […]