Lander and Brooklyn CB 6 Urge DOT Not to Wait on Fourth Ave Protected Bike Lanes [Updated]

Image: DOT
Image: DOT

Update: This post accurately reflects what happened at the December 21 CB 6 meeting, but DOT had adjusted the Fourth Avenue project timetable prior to the meeting without updating its presentation. The upshot is that many of the concerns raised by Council Member Brad Lander and CB 6 have in fact been addressed: DOT does intend to include bike infrastructure up to Atlantic Avenue, and to build out the section between Atlantic and 38th Street in low-cost materials in 2019. We replaced the graphic at the top of the post to reflect the revised timetable but otherwise did not change anything in the piece.

Council Member Brad Lander and the Brooklyn Community Board 6 transportation committee told DOT to speed up its multi-year timeline for Fourth Avenue protected bike lanes, which aren’t scheduled to extend north of 8th Street for at least four years.

DOT plans to use low-cost materials to install 27 blocks of the project south of 38th Street as soon as the spring [PDF]. The rest of the project would wait until the Department of Design and Construction orchestrates a full reconstruction of the street, which is scheduled to take up to four years and could drag out longer.

While the first capital project, extending north to 8th Street, is set to begin construction next fall, the second phase, extending to Carroll Street or possibly Atlantic Avenue, is not scheduled to break ground until 2021.

So according to DOT’s timeline, CB 6 will only get seven blocks of protected bike lanes in the next three years. That frustrated Lander, who told DOT Bicycle Program Director Ted Wright he felt DOT had “bait-and-switched” the district by kicking implementation so far into the future. Lander said he’d been under the impression DOT would implement the whole plan with temporary materials.

“We were told we would have this project soon, and not maybe in four years for most of our neighborhood,” Lander said.

Wright said the agency had not planned to use temporary materials in CB 6, but that the board should request it.

Image: NYC DOT
DOT could use temporary materials to put protected bike lanes on Fourth Avenue sooner, as it’s doing on 27 blocks in Sunset Park. Image: NYC DOT

Lander also urged DOT to commit to protected bike lanes on the segment between Carroll Street and Atlantic Avenue, where the agency has yet to settle on a design solution.

The committee unanimously approved a resolution endorsing the redesign and asking that DOT hasten implementation of the project all the way to Atlantic Avenue. The full board will vote on the resolution when it meets next month, on January 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cobble Hill Health Center, located at 380 Henry Street.

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To keep making progress on traffic safety, redesigns as substantial as this protected bike lane planned for Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn will have to be implemented citywide. Image: NYC DOT

DOT Shows Its Plan to Get the Reconstruction of 4th Avenue Right

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Fourth Avenue is far and away the most viable potential bike route linking Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, and Park Slope, but it's still scary to ride on, with no designated space for cycling. At 4.5 miles long, a protected bike lane would make the reconstructed Fourth Avenue one of the most important two-way streets for bicycle travel in the city, connecting dense residential neighborhoods to jobs and schools.