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Brooklyn CB Committee OKs Franklin Ave Bike Lane Shelved Since 2014

5:07 PM EST on March 9, 2017

DOT shelved a road diet for Franklin Avenue in 2014 after Brooklyn CB 9 voted against it. The agency presented a nearly-identical plan last night. Image: DOT

The transportation committee of Brooklyn Community Board 9 last night endorsed DOT’s plan to put a bike lane on Franklin Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Empire Boulevard. Previously, DOT had installed a bike lane north of the parkway in 2014, but backed off the segment south of Eastern Parkway when CB 9 opposed it.

With the southern segment of Franklin Avenue set for repaving next month, DOT wants to restripe it with two eight-foot parking lanes, one 11-foot car lane, and a five-foot bike lane. The project would also install crosswalks at Union Street and Carroll Street. Currently the seven-block stretch has two moving lanes, but they're so narrow that drivers tend to drive down the middle of the road.

The same redesign has made the section of Franklin north of Eastern Parkway safer. Since the bike lane was installed in 2014, traffic injuries have fallen 44 percent north, compared to 28 percent in the area without a bike lane.

CB 9 has been roiled by three years of intense debate over a proposed rezoning, and last night's meeting was no exception. But in between a few heated moments, DOT reps patiently responded to questions and listened to suggestions about how to improve communication between the agency and the board.

Ultimately, six committee members voted in favor of the project and four abstained.

The project goes to the full board at its March 28 meeting.

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