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Parks Dept. Trucks Are A Constant Danger in This Brooklyn Bike Lane

"NYC Parks" has taken on its own special meaning on DeKalb Avenue.

12:01 AM EDT on July 25, 2023

Pictured: Four instances from within the last year alone of Parks Department trucks blocking the DeKalb Avenue bike lane. Photos: Jesse Coburn and Auden Oakes

"NYC Parks" has taken on its own special meaning for this Brooklyn bike lane.

New York City Parks Department trucks have been a persistent, and dangerous, nuisance in the DeKalb Avenue cycle path going back at least 10 months, according to photos captured by Streetsblog — and officials have made only a lukewarm commitment to change.

Streetsblog observed Parks vehicles blocking the bike lane for extended periods of time on several occasions this month and dating back to September 2022.

Reached for comment, a Parks spokesman declined to answer questions about the agency’s unsafe presence on the street, but said officials “will investigate and take action as necessary.” Despite the spokesman’s lukewarm commitment to take action via email last Tuesday, the next day Streetsblog again observed an agency vehicle parked in the bike lane.

Parking in a bike lane is not only illegal, but extremely reckless. Cars in the right of way force people on bikes to swerve into traffic — which can be treacherous: This exact scenario, but with a livery vehicle, took the life of Australian tourist Madison Jane Lyden while she biked up Central Park West in 2018.

The Parks Department’s dangerous behavior puts its own patrons at risk — the adjacent public pool is particularly busy, with visitors coming via foot, car, and bike. The addition of illegally parked city vehicles makes for a particularly hazardous pedestrian obstacle course.

A parks department vehicle parked in the bike lane on Wednesday following the press office’s response. Photo: Auden Oakes

Approached by Streetsblog on July 14, a Parks employee parked in the bike lane insisted workers were “just doing our job,” but had no answer when asked if they had permission to double park. 

To little surprise, when Streetsblog revisited the location Wednesday morning, there was a Parks Department truck still parked in the bike lane — much to the frustration of at least one cyclist passing through.

“It’s not fun. I have to [swerve into traffic] all the time, but I’ve come to accept it as part of biking even though I wish I didn’t have to,” sighed Age Carpenter.

“It sucks because it’s one of the only bike lanes that goes this way. This is a sad reality for bikers from all over the city. As a Bed-Stuy local, this is especially frustrating.”

Additional reporting by Jesse Coburn

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