88th Precinct Won’t Stop Blocking the DeKalb Ave Bike Lane, So DOT Is Removing the Buffer
Instead of changing how police park so their vehicles don't obstruct the bike lane and the sidewalk, a segment of the bike lane will lose its buffer from car traffic.
Earlier this year, after the Brooklyn Paper called attention to NYPD’s longstanding practice of parking in the DeKalb Avenue bike lane by the 88th Precinct, DOT officials did a site visit, and both agencies pledged to come up with a solution.
Now we know what the solution is, and it doesn’t involve changing the police practice of “combat parking,” with vehicles positioned perpendicularly to the curb, obstructing both the sidewalk and the bike lane.
In the last few weeks, the bike lane markings have been scratched off the pavement directly in front of the precinct house. Markings will be painted back but not with a buffer. Here’s the update from DOT:
Working with the NYPD, DOT developed a new design shifting the bike lane to where the current buffer is located; the bike lane width will remain at 5 feet. As part of the process all the markings had to be scarified. The contractor is expected to complete the work before the end of the week.
Needless to say, this won’t change what cyclists are upset about — having to jog closer to car traffic to get around NYPD vehicles.
In December, Captain John Buttacavoli, the 88th Precinct’s commanding officer, told the Brooklyn Paper that, while he’s “sensitive to the complaints,” his officers don’t have the time to drive around the neighborhood looking for parking, and the precinct doesn’t have its own parking lot. He said the 88th has 27 squad cars, plus 50 autos that belong to personnel who car commute (and apparently cannot get to a location one block from the subway by any other means).
So the precinct will continue to store its cars by bunching them onto sidewalks and taking a chunk out of a bike lane buffer. It’s NYPD’s city, the rest of us just walk and bike in it.