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City Hall Effort To Upend A Bike Boulevard Gets Underway With Online Survey

Mayor Adams's promised extra outreach on a basically finished bike boulevard in Brooklyn has started, but not the way he promised.

12:00 AM EDT on November 2, 2023

File photo: Dave Colon|

The bike boulevard on Underhill Avenue has already mostly been installed, but is apparently under review by City Hall. Photo: Dave Colon

Mayor Adams's promised extra outreach on a basically finished bike boulevard in Brooklyn has started, but not the way he promised.

Residents of Prospect Heights say they are getting texts from the Mayor's Public Engagement Unit asking them to take an online survey about their thoughts on stalled conversion of Underhill Avenue into a bike boulevard.

The survey asks respondents questions on the street redesign, including their "relationship to Prospect Heights," if they've responded to previous DOT outreach about the project, how they feel about aspects of the street after the project has gone in (though it hasn't yet), and if they want to see anything changed.

A pair of the survey questions from the Underhill Avenue bike boulevard survey.

The survey is the latest unexpected twist in the bike boulevard saga. The DOT first announced the Prospect Heights open street would be redesigned as a bike boulevard in 2022, and began multiple rounds of in-person and virtual outreach on the proposal. Eventually, compromises were even made to lop off the southern end of the redesign between St. Johns Place and Eastern Parkway, but that did not satisfy opponents of the project, who won a mysterious delay on in late September, after it was almost completed.

Two weeks ago, after the bike boulevard's completion had already been paused for two weeks, Mayor Adams said his administration would go door to door on Underhill Avenue to solicit "community" feed back on the new project. But the new survey, which has been sent to people living in the 11238 ZIP code, is not door to door outreach — unless you consider a phone a doorway of communication.

The survey also curiously treats the project as a finished product despite the fact that it's not officially done. The project is almost finished, but it still lacks paint in the bike lane, signage indicating that the bike lane is a contraflow, and one block lacks planters in its mid-block chicane:

This is what an incomplete bike boulevard looks like. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

It's unclear what the survey results will do for the project, or how it will add to the robust outreach process the DOT did on the block and in the neighborhood before construction began. It's also unclear what would happen if people in the neighborhood were to say they don't like the project because it looks unfinished, which it is.

In addition to this survey, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council has done its own petition asking the city to finish the bike boulevard, which has collected more than 2,500 signatures in support. In an email, PHNDC urged supporters to take this new survey "in the hope that the project can finally be finished."

One person who supports the project suggested that filling out the survey in a positive manner would at least frustrate elements of City Hall trying to kill the project.

"If you’re motivated by spite at all, it probably is very frustrating for them that they keep running these and keep getting 'bike boulevards rule!!!' and 'my main complaint is it doesn’t go far enough!!' back," skeeted BlueSky user @kshyatt.

City Hall did not respond to a request for comment on the survey.

Last month, Streetsblog did some door-knocking on the block for a humorous parody video:

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