The Brooklyn Paper chatted with experts to figure out the best ways to make peace in the borough’s war between motorists and cyclists. Here’s are some recommendations we heard:
1. Install physical dividers separating bike lanes from vehicle lanes on major arterial routes. This would protect cyclists from speeding traffic on roads that accounted for 53 percent of cycling fatalities between 1996 and 2005, according to Department of Transportation statistics.
2. Make some key auto routes off-limits to bikers. Car advocates say that some arterials — like the Adams Street entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge — simply should not be forced to accommodate bikes.
3. Create incentives to keep drivers off the road — like eliminating free curbside parking. This would lessen car traffic, making streets safer and less congested for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
4. Construct a cross-river freight tunnel to decrease the number of trucks on the streets. Trucks comprise fewer than 20 percent of vehicles on city streets, but they were responsible for 32 percent of cycling fatalities between 1996 and 2005, according to the Department of Transportation. (Of course, a tunnel would cost tens of billions of dollars.)
5. Issue cycling licenses. This would allow the city to mandate safety classes for bikers, which could reduce risky riding, like pedaling against traffic or riding on sidewalks.
6. Chop up long one-way through-streets like Bergen Street — currently a major car route, despite its quiet residential look — into shorter segments that alternate car direction, yet retain a contiguous bike lane. Such “traffic cells” would protect cyclists by diverting through-traffic to more appropriate routes.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.