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Thursday’s Headlines: Construction Zone Chaos Edition

12:03 AM EDT on April 20, 2023

A cyclist’s perspective of the supposed shared lane on Fourth Avenue during construction. Not much sharing going on. Photo: John Tomac

The Department of Transportation has disregarded city law for months now by refusing to create a temporary bike lane on a stretch of Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn undergoing road reconstruction. Bike advocates plans to call them out for it in next month.

Transportation Alternatives and Bike New York will rally (and ride) to "#Fix4thAve" at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, T.A. Brooklyn organizer Kathy Park Price tweeted on Wednesday:

The Department of Design and Construction broke ground in October on the $60-million  “Great Streets” project between Atlantic Avenue and 64th Street — which will install raised, landscaped medians, safer pedestrian refuge areas and benches to the three-mile stretch.

DDC's plans predate DOT's installation of curbside protected bike lanes in 2020, and the lanes will return once the project wraps up. Until then, DOT has said cyclists will remain dangerously unprotected — for the sake of auto traffic.

The agency "determined that the approximately one-mile vehicle backups expected to occur from converting a traffic lane into a bike lane would introduce a significant number of turning conflicts at high pedestrian-volume intersections by vehicles seeking a detour," Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez told the two advocacy groups in October.

In other news:

    • A Bronx man who turned himself in for an April 5 hit-and-run claimed he didn't know he'd killed someone — and only found out when he turned on the news the next morning. (Daily News)
    • "War on Cars" podcast host Doug Gordon (a.k.a. Brooklyn Spoke) goes deep into the right-wing hysteria over "15-minute cities." (The New Republic)
    • The victim of the Manhattan parking garage building collapse was its longtime manager. (Gothamist)
    • Meanwhile, FDNY blamed the collapse on the building's age combined with the number of cars parked on its roof. DA Alvin Bragg is on the case. (NY Post, Gothamist)
    • DSNY is taking over highway clean-up from DOT, along with a slew of other new responsibilities. (THE CITY)
    • Speaking of Alvin Bragg, the DA's office indicated 26-year-old New Jersey driver Jonathan Valentin for a hit-and-run crash into an Inwood restaurant in January that injured 20 people. (ABC7NY, Patch)
    • ATT'N YIMBY's and NIMBY's: feel free to duke it out in the comments. (Mother Jones)
    • Finally: DOT plans to present safety improvements for McGuinness Boulevard (Kathy Park Price via Twitter)
    • No surprise: NJ Transit is approaching its own post-Covid fiscal cliff. (NJ Spotlight News)

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