City Will Defy Community Board and Paint Bay Ridge Bike Network
Two days after a Bay Ridge community board shot down a city plan for a starter kit of painted bike lanes — and one day after the neighborhood’s elected officials demanded action — the Department of Transportation said it would ignore the board’s vote and initiate its plan anyway.
On Wednesday, the DOT told Streetsblog that it would move ahead with its plans for Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, even though Community Board 10 had sent back virtually all of the Bay Ridge portion of the plan for more “study” on Monday. The next day, Council Member Justin Brannan, Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus and State Senator Andrew Gounardes, demanded that DOT install the lanes “as soon as possible.”
The DOT will oblige, saying the new painted bike lane network will be completed in “late summer/early fall.”
“These new bike lanes are critical in creating a safer and larger cycling network in Southern Brooklyn,” said agency spokeswoman Alana Morales, adding a reference to negotiations that took place over many meetings that were ultimately undone by the board vote on Monday night. “We thank the elected officials for their letter of support as well as their acknowledgment of our year-long community engagement process.”
The DOT plan calls for painted lanes on:
- 11th Avenue southbound and 10th Avenue northbound between 62nd to 86th streets.
- Ridge Boulevard from 66th Street to Marine Avenue.
- 64th and 66th streets from 7th to 14th Avenue.
- Bay Ridge Parkway from Shore Road to 14th Avenue.
- The Ovington Avenue Bridge.
- 84th Street from Colonial to 14th Avenue westbound and 85th Street from Narrows Avenue to 14th Avenue eastbound.
- 62nd St. between 10th and 11th avenues.
- Dyker Place from 84th to 85th streets.
The DOT said it would return in the future to revive a plan for “safety improvements” on Third and Fourth Avenues. The Third Avenue bike lane had been rejected by CB10, but was not immediately revived by DOT.
The agency made it clear that “there will be no parking or travel lane loss,” which some residents feared, even though studies show that new bike infrastructure improves safety for all road users. The irony, of course, is that the Department of Transportation has often championed protected bike lane networks as safer than painted bike lanes, but in end, caved to local concerns and anti-bike hysteria by offering Bay Ridge only painted lanes, which are less safe.