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Bike Boulevards

Brooklynites to Mayor: Release the Underhill Survey Findings!

A community group in the neighborhood believes the city is keeping the results secret because they would show strong support for the project.

12:02 AM EST on January 19, 2024

File photo: Gersh Kuntzman|

This is what an incomplete bike boulevard looks like.

Mayor Adams has failed to release findings from his administration's "door-to-door" outreach along the unfinished Underhill Avenue bike boulevard, and a community group in the neighborhood believes the city is keeping the results secret because they would show strong support for finishing the project.

The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council demanded the mayor release the results of the latest outreach, conducted in November after the mayor ordered work be stopped on the nearly complete project and after years of prior outreach showing support.

The group said it made the demand in light of several other projects that were eliminated or watered-down with little explanation by a new office set up by Adams inside City Hall to oversee the Department of Transportation.

“Given the opaque and extraordinary interventions to Brooklyn street safety projects by this administration, we need Mayor Adams to be transparent and release the results of the Underhill Avenue survey,” said Gib Veconi, chair of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council. “Any further delay will cast serious doubt on the integrity of the Mayor’s unusual late-stage ‘outreach.’” 

The project was nearly completed last summer, but in September, Mayor Adams ordered the Department of Transportation to halt its work to collect more opinion from local residents (who had been surveyed before). The mayor said he called for the "door-to-door" survey (which ended up merely being online) because there remained some opposition to the bike boulevard design — a configuration that removes less parking and preserves full access for drivers.

Where they have been built previously, bike boulevards have proven popular.

In Prospect Heights, the neighborhood development group said its petition drive has the support of more than 3,000 people, the majority of whom live in the neighborhood.

“Multiple years of city-run outreach along with our own data already show that Prospect Heights residents want this to move forward, and this most recent survey will undoubtedly show the same,” added Veconi. “The mayor needs to accept collective opinion and complete a project aligned with the City’s stated traffic safety goals.”

Streetsblog reached out to the DOT for an explanation for why the results of the outreach were not released and for a comment on the neighborhood group's assertion that the results were being kept secret because they would reveal support for the project.

“Mayor Adams made clear that additional public input was needed at this project location to ensure we hear from the community," said DOT spokesperson Mona Bruno. "We continue to review all feedback before making a determination about next steps.”

A spokesperson for the neighborhood group was not pursuaded.

"City Hall's failure to be transparent regarding the results of the recent outreach is unacceptable, as is their claim that more time is needed to assess survey results," said Alex Morano. "There is no reason it would take more than two months to understand the results of a simple online survey.

"We expect that the results will show widespread support for the bike boulevard — just as years of previous DOT outreach have shown — and further stalling at City Hall will not change that," he added.

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