Eyes on the Street: Time to Upgrade the 9th Street Bike Lane

The Ninth Street “bike” lane in Park Slope. Photo: @BrooklynSpoke
The Ninth Street “bike” lane in Park Slope. Photo: @BrooklynSpoke

It was 2007 when DOT striped buffered bike lanes on Ninth Street in Park Slope, an improvement made possible thanks to the work of safe streets advocates.

At the time, simply getting this road diet implemented was a struggle, with car owners on the local community board complaining that it would lead to more double-parking enforcement. If only!

Fast forward a decade and there’s no sign of double-parking enforcement. This morning, Doug Gordon, a.k.a. Brooklyn Spoke, tweeted this photo of westbound Ninth Street between Sixth and Fifth avenues. Commercial vehicles, for-hire drivers, and shoppers driving to the C-Town routinely take over the bike lane here and force cyclists into traffic.

It’s a scene that Mayor de Blasio must see on a regular basis. The YMCA where de Blasio takes his chauffeured SUV to work out is on the same block. The mayor’s convoy was spotted there this morning.

De Blasio’s DOT could make this street work a lot better. As Doug notes in his tweet, there’s room to flip the bike lane and the parking lane, and additional loading zones could keep commercial vehicles from blocking traffic. It’s obvious the current design is putting people in harm’s way.

After 10 years it’s time for an upgrade.

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Thanks @NYC_DOT for removing the loading zone on our block to gain two parking spaces. Guess what happens now? pic.twitter.com/BKVeRDKoay — Brooklyn Spoke (@BrooklynSpoke) April 15, 2016 Whenever curb space is reallocated for bike parking in New York City, the process is intensive. Getting NYC DOT to install a bike corral usually involves lots of signature gathering, and […]