Thursday’s Headlines: A Bike Lane Grows in Brooklyn Edition

Success has many parents: Officials cut the ribbon on the new Schermerhorn bike lane yesterday. Photo: Julianne Cuba
Success has many parents: Officials cut the ribbon on the new Schermerhorn bike lane yesterday. Photo: Julianne Cuba

Elected officials and advocates on Wednesday snipped the ribbon on the new Schermerhorn Street protected bike lane — a years-in-the-making redesign of a lawless and dangerous roadway that is nonetheless a crucial link for cyclists heading to and from the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

“Schermerhorn Street had been the worst bike lane in Brooklyn for years. Now, we finally have the two-way protected bike lane that our community has demanded and that will allow New Yorkers to cycle through Downtown Brooklyn safely and efficiently,” said Downtown Brooklyn Council Member Lincoln Restler.

For years, drivers illegally parked their cars in the bike lane every day, many of them with NYPD placards. Now, the new design will — with hope — keep them out. The city transformed what was a 50-foot-wide, two-way portion of the street between Smith Street and Third Avenue into a one-way eastbound roadway with a two-way bike lane.

Official complaints about and vows to curtail lawless motorists on Schemerhorn date to at least 2010, if not earlier. Any improvements come no thanks to the cops, whose illegal parking and harassment of those who complained about those conditions rank as a dismal part of the Schermerhorn saga. CBS, Brooklyn Eagle, and amNY  covered.

In other news:

  • It’s a wrap: Ending a bizarre controversy, the City Council voted unanimously to rezone a few lots in Throggs Neck in order to enable denser housing. (News12Bx, BxTimes)
  • The NY Post needed three bylines on yesterday’s subway crime story.
  • From the assignment desk: DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, officials from the Mayor’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs, and various Latin American consuls will go back to the future to restore national medallions on the Avenue of the Americas at 1:30 p.m. today. New, more weather-resistant medallions will replace the decayed 1959 medallions, a symbol of post-war unity representing each of the 35 nations in the hemisphere.
  • No one wants mopeds in bike lanes, but no one wants cops cracking down on low-wage workers when there are so many richer targets. (Via Twitter)

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Jay Street Protected Bike Lane Plan Clears Brooklyn CB 2 Committee

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Last night, DOT presented its proposal for a protected bike lane on Jay Street in downtown Brooklyn to the Community Board 2 transportation committee [PDF]. Jay Street is the main approach for the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge bike path. During a 12-hour weekday period, DOT counted 2,400 cyclists on Jay Street, with bikes accounting for […]