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.

  • AstoriaBlowin

    For the pedestrian islands and bump outs, instead of paint (which is not effective) why not use those temporary pedestrian islands they have for Eastern Parkway that can be removed for the West Indian Day Parade? With all these projects it seems like there’s no wide spread adoption of things that have been tried elsewhere in the city, let alone something from outside of NYC.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Other than the concrete ped refuge (which won’t have protected bike refuges for turns), isn’t the bike lane going to be temporary materials in 2021 anyway? I haven’t seen any renderings of a capital constructed bike path on 4th Avenue. Seems like a long time to wait for paint.

  • r

    DOT held community workshops in 2016 and 2017 but then decided not to install the project until at least 2021? Wouldn’t that render those workshops moot? If they wait that long, they’ll have to hold them again, lest anyone complain that tons of time has passed and they didn’t have the chance to weigh in on the project. DOT has the momentum now and should install this project with temporary materials this spring. Safety can’t wait.

  • HamTech87

    Lander should be able to direct this himself. The CB is unelected and just advisory. Lander is the City Council member. The mayor and his DOT should stop putting a BS process before safety.

  • anonymous

    Lander also said he supported removing parking now from Carroll to Dean/Bergen so a lane could be installed. The reporter should have picked that up.

  • J

    Seriously, does the word of an elected official carry less weight with DOT than the unelected Community Board?

  • J

    Because that would be kind of hard and slightly more expensive. DOT still spends the overwhelming $$ on street resurfacing.

  • Reggie

    Lander and CB6 are in agreement here and I suspect even in agreement with your preferences on this topic. So, what are the two of you even talking about? Or, did you see the words “community board” and just start frothing?

  • Nick Ober

    Did anyone ask why the capital project doesn’t make the bike lane into a true raised cycle track that is level with the sidewalk? DOT built a nice one for a short stretch on Tillary by the Brooklyn Bridge.

  • J

    “Wright said the agency had not planned to use temporary materials in CB 6, but that the board should request it.” It seems as though this was directed at Lander, but perhaps I’m reading it wrong.

  • Batman of Brooklyn

    Just a guess, but it’s because it goes down to Bay Ridge, that’s why. As everyone knows everyone the unwashed yokels below Industry City don’t deserve nice things /s