City Will Defy Community Board and Paint Bay Ridge Bike Network

It's better than nothing!
It's better than nothing!

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.

  • Please do not use the word “defy”, as though the community board is some kind of authority. The more appropriate word is the one used in the body of the text: “ignore”.

  • resident

    DOT deserves zero praise here.* This is an incredibly dumb way to do things, even when it results in the same terrible painted lines they proposed from the beginning. And THANK GOD we haven’t lost any parking here. Wouldn’t want to really make people save or stop people from being killed.

    *The elected officials who stood up for sanity, however, should all get our thanks.

  • AstoriaBlowin

    Great that the electeds told the DOT to ignore the cranks. But you still end up with useless painted lanes after having gone through so many rounds of study. If it’s not a protected lane it might as well not exist.

  • Vooch

    This reminds me of the UES painted bike lane drama a few years ago.

  • BronxEE2000

    Sucks for the folks of Bay Ridge getting this pushed onto them.

  • ProfSlowlane

    The turf battle continues on our public thoroughfares. In the 20th Century it became a defacto policy that curbs are made for parking your car. But it wasn’t always so. Now we have the average car at over 2 tons and 14 foot long/6 foot wide (a rolling living room) with a vested interest in owning the asphalt jungle. If it were a wild animal, Donald Trump and ilk would be lining up to shoot one. Meanwhile the sustainable transport vehicle of choice (bike) is forced to justify its very existence and its 3-foot wide ribbon of space out there? ‘TF?! Ride on you crazy diamonds and in all modes of travel, obey the laws!

  • Learned Hand

    Yes, really sucks that safety improvements are coming to a residential neighborhood.

  • 6SJ7

    The NYCDOT is not required to follow any CB’s vote. But they usually do.

  • crawford57

    Yes, terrible that lives will be saved, air will be cleaner and people will have more mobility options.

  • Right, too often. Let’s hope that this trend does not continue under the next mayor.

  • veffari

    THANK YOU D.O.T. for sticking to the big picture.
    Safety first!

  • veffari

    Well, having used them for years, I’d say a painted lane is better than nothing and it’s “a cheap start.”

  • CJ

    Thankfully the “folks of Bay Ridge” don’t have the final say on decisions that are proven to save lives. If you don’t want to live in a place where streets are safer for everyone (including drivers!), move to Texas.

  • AstoriaBlowin

    I ride every day on the painted lanes going north/south to QB plaza. There is no force field that stops a car going over the painted line as far as I can tell.

  • veffari

    I ride the same! The only force field is my voice. As I say, cheap start.
    However, even if you have a parked-car barrier, there is always the problem of the intersection, where even cop cars will cut you off in oblivion. Especially in Queens.
    Drivers (especially in Queens) need to learn to respect cyclists. In time that will happen.

  • Och

    Are these just going to be painted, non protected lanes? If so, they are a waste of time, drivers just double park in them without a second thought. And the closer you are to the busier, dangerous intersections, the more double parked cars and trucks there are, further compromising your safety.

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