You Had One Job: Schermerhorn Street Repaving Leaves Cyclists Out of Room

Someone wrote the word "BUMP" just too damn big to accommodate the bike lane.

Someone painted "BUMP" too widely on Schermerhorn Street between Court and Clinton streets, meaning it will have to be redone if the city restores the bike lane. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Someone painted "BUMP" too widely on Schermerhorn Street between Court and Clinton streets, meaning it will have to be redone if the city restores the bike lane. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

Here’s today’s metaphor for how America’s car-centric culture sees cyclists: In the way.

Contractors for the Department of Transportation recently repaved Schermerhorn Street between Court and Clinton streets in Brooklyn Heights — but the person who restriped the roadway not only forgot to repaint the bike lane, but he or she also wrote the word “BUMP” so wide that the work will have to be done all over again if the city restores the cycling path (photo above).

Here’s how the roadway looked before the repaving…

Schermerhorn Street between Court and Clinton streets before the repaving. Photo: Google Maps
Schermerhorn Street between Court and Clinton streets before the repaving. Photo: Google Maps

And here’s what it should look like…

This is what bike lane and "BUMP" paint should look like. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

The city should restore the bike lane to Schermerhorn Street between Court and Clinton streets because it is a key route around the mess of Downtown Brooklyn, linking riders from Smith Street to the Clinton Street bike path (see map below):

BH bike map

After this story was published, a DOT spokesperson said, “A work order for this site has been placed and the bike lane will be repainted soon.”

  • Call an emergency CB meeting

  • KeNYC2030

    Why does the city accommodate drivers to the point of alerting them when a speed bump is coming up in the first place? Let drivers navigate the streets slowly and cautiously because a bump or hump could appear at any time. Speed bumps are way overblown as a traffic-calming device anyway, but where installed cyclists should be afforded a way around them.

  • jeremy

    In these narrow streets I actually rather not have a painted bike lane

  • Daphna

    The DOT needs to know when the striping is done wrong. As I understand it, they hire contractors and will withhold paying the contractors for work that is done wrong.

    If on the other hand the bike lane was supposed to be removed, the lack of needing to inform the community is frustrating and unfair. When bike infrastructure is to go in, there is an extensive community process; but there is no corresponding process for when bike infrastructure will be reduced/downgraded/eliminated.

  • Joe R.

    Even worse is when a street repaving puts in a full-width speed hump when the prior one only occupied the motor traffic lane. This happened in my area when they repaved Underhill Avenue a few years ago:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7444633,-73.7848097,3a,75y,277.45h,98.63t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6NQqQWnjYHoKrRgKr-zK-g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

  • AnoNYC

    I agree with this. The efforts to expand bicycle lanes should focus on wider, faster streets. For these streets, there should be several speed humps.

  • Simon Phearson

    Yeah, it’s the kind of lane that got a cyclist creamed the other day by a garbage truck. Cyclists are probably safer on this street without inviting close passes.

  • Joe R.

    Yes, on streets like this I generally take the lane. The presence of a bike lane makes drivers think I should squeeze over to the right or left so they can pass when there’s not enough room to safely pass.

  • Guy Ross

    #notallspeedbumps

  • Daphna

    Narrow streets like these need to have parking on only one side of the street and a jersey barrier protected curbside bike lane on the other.

  • Nawc77

    In Marine Park, they made 2 15mph speed bumps on E33rd & Ave T adjacent to the park. This does not slow drivers one bit, at what cost I wonder? The community wanted a STOP sign and a cross walk, you know because there is a park there, which I assume would cost much less and do a better job. https://goo.gl/maps/U56cgwMkmaT2

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