An NYPD Light Tower Has Blocked the Flushing Ave Bike Lane for Three Days

This light tower has forced cyclists to contend with motor vehicle traffic on Flushing Avenue all week. Photo: Matthew Kime
This NYPD light tower continues to force cyclists into motor vehicle traffic on Flushing Avenue. Photo: Matthew Kime

An idle NYPD light tower has been sitting in the Flushing Avenue bike lane all week, forcing cyclists into motor vehicle traffic.

Flushing Avenue’s westbound bike lane runs along the north curb. It will eventually be upgraded to a two-way protected lane, but right now is separated from motor vehicle traffic by a painted buffer. Commuters found the light trailer blocking the bike lane just east of Navy Street on Monday.

Responding to a 311 complaint, NYPD said officers were notified to move the light on Monday afternoon. But it was still there as of this morning.

Motorists have injured four cyclists on Flushing Avenue in the vicinity of Navy Street — from one block to the west to two blocks to the east — this year through July, according to city crash data.

The block of Flushing between Navy Street and North Eliot Place is located in the 88th Precinct. Messages left with the 88th Precinct and the NYPD public information office were not returned as of this writing.

  • Kevin Love

    NYPD: “Good enough for the likes of you peasants.”

  • Vooch

    rather tempting to simply push it out of the way, bet if it was pushed in the motor lane, it would get moved within minutes.

  • Joe R.

    Surprised there isn’t a patrol car parked right past it giving out tickets for not riding in the bike lane.

  • Shemp

    Probably the same one they dumped in Kent Ave bike lane for a week and a half last summer

  • BrandonWC

    Moved right back into the bike lane I’m sure.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Is the future 2-way bike path going to continue up Navy? (where the east sidewalk and parking lane are currently blocked due to what appears to be a structural problem with the Navy Yard wall) I’ve yet to see anything about that aspect of this bikeway. Everything on Streetsblog just showed the layout on Flushing.

    In theory Flushing and Navy could be the city’s first protected intersection (a quarter of one anyway). Hopefully this won’t be like the situation at Columbia Street and DeGraw where to enter/leave the bike path from a cross street involves using a ped ramp. Bad design.

  • notsurprised

    Worth noting it was moved, but only so the lights sticking out didn’t intrude on the general travel lane

  • Eric McClure

    If only there were going to be a parade on Flushing Avenue this weekend…

  • just sayin

    these are pretty easy to move with two people. just sayin

  • BrandonWC

    The 2014 Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Implementation Plan calls for a 2-way raised bike path on the east sidewalk of Navy between Flushing and York (while keeping the 1-way SB class II bike lane on the west side of Navy). See pp. 29, 35. I know of no work towards actually implementing that part of the implementation plan.

  • jeremy

    Brooklyn desperately needs more Protected Bike Lanes. It’s crazy to think there are so few. Brooklyn has a larger population then Copenhagen and Amsterdam together. Manhattan has way more than Brooklyn, and is much smaller.

    It shouldn’t be so complicated, remove parking spots on one side of the street, paint it green, done! You get a 2 way PBL! These shitty bike paths, shouldn’t be even called bike paths. It’s just a line of paint that squeezes cylists between parked cars and moving motor vehicles. They are just as dangerous.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    It seems really bizarre to not implement that at the same time. Transitioning in both directions between Sands and Flushing is already bad on a bike, but it’s really going to make it frustrating to have it be so bad with segregated bike paths on both ends.

    Also, like I mentioned before that plan makes zero reference to intersection treatments, which are actually the most important part to get right. That plus the sidewalk mixing (ride down Columbia Street some afternoon and tell me its functioning the way a bike path should) really leaves a lot to be desired for the millions of dollars being spent.

  • walknseason

    Yeah, and then risk being slapped with some specious felony concocted by the NYPD?

  • AMH

    What is the purpose of these light wagons? I see them set up in random locations but they rarely seem to be meeting a need. Usually they’re just folded and sitting in the way like this one.

  • Joe R.

    My understanding is they’re mostly used in areas where there have been crime spikes which may be caused by inadequate or broken streetlighting. They’re also used to light up crime scenes while an investigation is in progress.

  • jeremy

    It’s just a way of saying we’re doing something about crime, when they’re actually not

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    They look really cool when its snowing. Sometimes they actually leave them running while folded down so they look like the bat signal. Also they burn a lot of fuel…

  • AnoNYC

    Pretty much. There are a bunch installed in the projects.

  • SSkate

    I have seen them erected near projects where there has been a recent newsworthy crime. But often I have also seen them set up close on the periphery of Times Square.

  • AnoNYC

    They’re on 24/7 in the Bronx/Harlem.

  • Frank Kotter

    To answer the question of ‘why’:

    1.Because they see cyclists as an uppity, arrogant nuisance.
    2.Because the police are cagers.
    3.Because parking a light is their passive aggressive way of giving cyclists the finger.
    4.Because they will face zero consequences.
    5.Because their superiors are of the same mind.
    6.Because they have insulated themselves from any leverage from outside their ranks.

    There is a very simple solution to this: force cops to use methods of transportation that better reflects the realities of the populations they are expected to serve. However, see point 6 and realize this will never happen.

  • frackedup

    DOT stalled it because if the proposal for the light rail which we do not need which would run down Flushing….like the B57 bus that I take every single day that works perfectly fine. We have several buses that service the area from subways and the light rail is totally unnecessary. Please give us our PBL.

  • djx

    Or beat down by NYPD THEN slapped with some specious felony?

  • AMH

    That leads me to another question–why are there so many generators in a city that is wired for electricity?

  • Joe R.

    Good point. Why not have receptacles in the base of street lamps which can power these lights? I’m sure the city could come up with something tamper-proof.

  • Jonathan R

    Every once in a while there is a blackout and that’s when the city really needs lightsets.

  • AMH

    That makes sense, but it’s not on a regular basis.

  • Wilfried84

    When did cops stop walking beats, and why?

  • neroden

    Unlike a motor vehicle, this thing is small enough to move by hand. So remove the abandoned property and throw it in the dumpster.

    The NYPD may then attempt to harass the team which did this. That’s when you get a really good lawyer and start the countersuit. By the time you’re done, they’ll be begging you to settle.

  • neroden

    It should be done by a group of well-to-do people who have already retained a lawyer.

    And possibly bodyguards.

    It is absolutely 100% legal to remove this abandoned property from its position blocking the bike lane. If the NYPD tries to harass you, refer them to your lawyer.

    If corrupt NYPD crooks continue to try to harass you with weapons after that — which is hopefully unlikely — then they’re committing assault and you can (and should) kill them in self-defense.

    Someone’s gotta start fighting the crime gang in blue. But nobody should do it alone, and nobody should do it without a lawyer, and nobody should do it without a load of money.

  • neroden

    No, it needs to be removed entirely from its illegal placement. Dumpster, I think.


DOT Proposes Flushing Ave Bikeway in Prelude to Major Greenway Push

Image: NYCDOT [PDF] Here’s a look at the Flushing Avenue bike path concept that NYCDOT presented to the Brooklyn Community Board 2 transportation committee last night. This project would add another preliminary link to the path of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, following in the footsteps of the Kent Avenue bike lane. After a round of […]

Cyclists and Pedestrians Now Make Up a Huge Share of Flushing Ave Traffic

Biking has skyrocketed on Flushing Avenue by the Brooklyn Navy Yard since the installation of bike infrastructure in 2010, according to new counts released by the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. The route is slated for more biking and walking upgrades as the city builds out the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. Cyclists and pedestrians comprised 25 percent of traffic […]