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Here’s some wheely good news: Kent Ave bike lane fix in the works

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This could be the proposal that has Kent Avenue cyclists and motorists seeing wheel to wheel.

In an attempt to make peace among cyclists, who support a pair of controversial Kent Avenue bike paths, and drivers and business owners who oppose the lanes because of their impact on parking, the city is forging a truce that could turn Kent Avenue into a one-way street lined on two sides of parking and loading zones — as well as a protected two-directional bike lane, sources told The Brooklyn Paper.

Insiders who attended meetings between the Department of Transportation and factions of South Williamsburg’s Satmar community said the one-way, one-lane Kent Avenue would run northbound between Clymer and North 14th streets.

Such a plan would allow the city to convert the hotly contested no-parking and no standing zones on either side of the road into legal parking lanes — one of which would serve as a buffer for a protected two-directional bike lane on the waterfront side of the roadway.

Insiders said that the city was touting the proposal as a way to give cyclists a permanent spot on the roadway, reduce speeding on the thoroughfare by restricting traffic to a single lane, and recover about 75 percent of the curb space that was once used for parking and loading.

A Department of Transportation spokesman said the agency is meeting with Williamsburg groups to discuss the radical plan — an outreach that comes on the heels of wild rumors all week that the city’s plan would remove bike lanes from nearby Bedford Avenue.

Sources told The Brooklyn Paper that those lanes will remain untouched.

The Kent Avenue proposal shares similarities with a proposed buffered bike lane on Prospect Park West bike lane unveiled two weeks ago — and has already received support from some neighborhood activists who opposed the original bike lanes.

“After six long months, we are coming to a conclusion that benefits everyone,” said Kent Avenue resident Leo Moskowitz. “We’ll give them the bike lanes, but we’ll get some parking, too.”

Biking boosters said they are behind the city’s preliminary proposal for Kent Avenue, which has long been slated to host a pair of walking and biking paths stretching from Greenpoint to Sunset Park called the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.

“There is definitely a lot [in the plan] that is exciting and novel — as long as the design prioritizes safety,” said Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, a cycling and pedestrian advocacy group that supported the original lanes.

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Reader Feedback

Dav from Brooklyn says:
Special thanks for Williamsburg activist for the last 35 years and city council candidate Mr. Isaac Abraham it’s about time somebody like you should be in office, he fights what is right and always will be ready for you at any time, keep up the good work! So we all say GO ISAAC GO!!
May 1, 2009, 7:31 am
Joe from Greenpoint says:
WOW,, this is accomplishment, the people of Williamsburg know how to fight they are the best,
May 1, 2009, 8:15 am
Mike from Ft Greene says:
As a cyclist, I think this seems like a perfectly viable compromise. I hope everyone else is happy with this plan too.
May 1, 2009, 10:38 am
TeoNYC from Williamsburg says:
What happens to all the southbound traffic? Its going to go onto Wythe Ave which has a much higher density of residential buildings. The trucks and pollution will severely impact quality of life for those living on Wythe.
May 1, 2009, 11:51 am
Bob from greenpoint says:
Wythe Av. will not be a commercial route according DOT, trucks will reroute at union av. it’s already a commercial route,,thats a very fine plan by DOT,
May 1, 2009, Noon
Keith from Williamsburg says:
I am a biker it sounds to be a very good idea for both sides. If this is the case I and my friends are for it!!
The person who came up with this idea should be honored….
May 1, 2009, 12:21 pm
Chusid from Willi from Williamsburg says:
I like this plan a lot. It will be safer for the bikers and will give us more parking. Brilliant! Furthermore, this will discourage the commercial traffic from using that route. Truth is, Kent is no longer the commercial are it once was. Lots of factories have closed and many houses/condos came up in its place; yet it's still used as a pathway to get to other commercial areas. Making it a one lane will probably change all that. Looking forward to this!
May 1, 2009, 12:31 pm
Joe from Kent Av. says:
This time it’s a smart move from the Williamsburg community they like to live in peace with the rest of the neighbors…
May 1, 2009, 1:40 pm
John from Williamsburg says:
As a biker, driver and pedestrian who uses Kent Ave. all the time I am not sure I see this as a good idea overall for the area.

There are as many non-commercial vehicles as commercial using that road to either avoid BQE traffic, to get to the bridges, or to avoid the more local roads such as Wythe which have stop signs and higher pedestrian usage. While Kent for sure needs additional stoplights to slow down traffic and protect pedestrian crossings, making it one way is going to result in all of those cars and vans taking the more local roads. That to me will make those roads more congested and some of those intersections can be fairly dangerous because the cars parked at the corners block sightlines. And since parking will be allowed again it means everyone is going to drive by looking for parking spots anyway.

So doing this may sound good but the DOT needs to also think about the bigger picture for how it impacts the whole area.

Personally I like it the way it is now and the real improvement is having an area free of parked cars - parts of Manhattan are going the same way and that is fine.
May 1, 2009, 1:41 pm
Ben from Kent Av. says:
This is a city you give a take!!! You have to remember you are not only person who using this streets, there are a lots of families with kids living on Kent Av. and lots of commercial companies trying to survive especially this time in the year
With no business and deliveries companies are just going under, these people just trying to compromise with everybody
So everybody should be happy at the same time, you as a selfish person and not willing to learn I would recommended
To get your self checked out at the nearest doctor’s office you need help as soon as possible,
We at the meeting the other day we spoke to lots of bikers and they like this idea very much….
May 1, 2009, 2:07 pm
Jeff from Clinton Hill says:
This is a great compromise. Parking and good bike lanes. Everyone wins!
May 1, 2009, 2:20 pm
Tony from Greenpoint says:
I am a cyclist I love this idea I hope this is in process for this summer so I and my friends will enjoy it to ride this summer like we ride for the last couple of years.
We always like the Williamsburg community for there hard and good work!! Just keep it up!!!
May 1, 2009, 2:21 pm
ms nomer from williamsburg says:
This isn't a 100% return of car parking. There's a significant return of loading zones for the businesses, who were struggling with deliveries when parking was taken away. The car parking taht is being returned, is going to be used as a physical buffer for cyclists -- ironic that cars are being used to protect cyclists and walkers from... cars! But a great approach all around.
May 1, 2009, 2:22 pm
sol from wila says:
so we will have three avenue.s KENT, BERRY BEDFORD all runing northbound . to go soutbound need to drive four blocks
May 1, 2009, 2:30 pm
mike says:
this goes to show that the williamsburg chasidik comunity has no problem with the bike lanes or bikers... all the false reports including an article in the brooklyn paper are false...
May 1, 2009, 2:49 pm
johnny from greenpoint says:
NO BIKE LANES

those bike lanes on kent ave are laughable.

you inconvenience thousands of drivers for maybe 10 or 20 bicyclists who rarely use the lane.

REMOVE ALL BIKE LANES FROM KENT AVE..

the one on Bedford is even worse
May 1, 2009, 2:51 pm
Mike from Ft Greene says:
sol, you forgot Wythe...which goes southbound and is right next to Kent
May 1, 2009, 3:01 pm
CyclistSupporter from California says:
Wait, I thought the origin of the complaints about the cyclists were that the woman were not dressed according to Hassidic beliefs and shouldn't be in their hood. How does this address that?
The issue was born of intolerance, not parking spaces.
May 1, 2009, 3:26 pm
Vinnie from Williamsburg says:
They should just keep the street 2-way and not move the lanes. Read the NYT, Wall Street Journal and any other business publication and see if "bicycle lanes" are listed anywhere as a main cause of business failure.

Even if they put this "protective barrier" of parked cars between traffic and the bicycle lanes, the fact is that bicyclists will still mostly ride on the actual street. I can't count the number of times I've driven on Bedford and Kent and had a bicyclist going down the middle of the street, at his own pace and with no care in the world, blocking traffic. I'm sure there are some people who could take advantage of the extra-protected lanes -- like responsible bicyclists and people with kids, but the fact is that there will be basically 2 bike lanes used: the actual bike lane and the middle of the street. Where does this leave drivers, who far outnumber the bicyclists using Kent?
May 1, 2009, 5:01 pm
Bob from Brooklyn says:
People it’s about time to bake the donates!! It comes to a point everybody like this idea residence, business owners, and cyclist, that’s a compliment,
May 1, 2009, 7:24 pm
ms nomer says:
You're right Bob. Bikers, walkers, car owners all happy? That's a first!
May 1, 2009, 8:31 pm
johnny from greenpoint says:
PEOPLE! and Politicians!

cyclists don't have many votes, why do you cower to their demands!

NO BIKE LANES! ppl need to get to and from work without worrying they are going to hit one of these individuals.

STOP DIVERTING traffice for only a handful of these ppl who RARELY use the lanes anyway!
May 2, 2009, 11 am
johnny from greenpoint says:
DRIVERS FAR OUTNUMBER BICYCLISTS USING KENT Ave. AND FOR THAT MATTER BEDFORD Ave.
May 2, 2009, 11:03 am
leo from Moskovich says:
Leo Moskovich

http://decisions.courts.state.ny.us/fcas/FCAS_docs/2009APR/2300053132009100SCIV.pdf
May 3, 2009, 11:26 am
Tom from greenpoint says:
i hope this this idea will be ready this summer so everybody will have a good time....
May 3, 2009, 11:51 pm
Gary from Park Slope says:
Great compromise.
May 4, 2009, Noon
NotMe from BKLYN says:
What will be protecting the people whom parked their car and are getting out from these bicyclist going 20mph in the lane. So if I have a large car with large doors whats to stop the cyclist from crashing right in to my door or me as i exit the car. Kent Ave is only so wide; so i don't see how may actual buffers can be put in place unless its turned in to a one way, one lane street.
May 4, 2009, 12:47 pm
Andy B from Jersey says:
Wow! The cyclists agree that this is a good compromise but the car drivers are still complaining. You poor drivers surrounded by 2 tons of steel.
What ARE you to do?
May 4, 2009, 2:07 pm
Ken from Greenpoint says:
NotMe from BKLYN says. What will be protecting,
you dont read the full article, Yes Kent Av. becomeing a one way so you dont worry!!!!!
May 4, 2009, 4:16 pm
johnny from greenpoint says:
LOOK, actually CLICK on the picture ABOVE with the hassidic and the bicyclysts.

now look at the bikers.

there are ONLY 10 of them!!!!!!! WHAT KIND OF RALLY IS THAT?!

why INCONVENIENCE thousands of drivers for 10 bicyclysts!!!!

LEAVE KENT AVE. a two way street, send bicyclists ELSWHERE! it's a commercial street!!!!
May 4, 2009, 11:07 pm
Goyo from Los Sures says:
Don't mess with the Hussies they vote in one block and the Rabbi rides a Schwinn!
May 4, 2009, 11:52 pm
Ian J. from Kent Ave. Resident says:
Vinnie - this is short-sighted, re: cyclists. I've seen increasing use of this route by bikers every month now. Very few, if any, cyclists will engage the middle of the street if given a protected area to travel. Like it or not, we are seeing the gradual shift on Kent, as with the whole neighborhood, from Industrial/Commercial-weighted to Residential-weighted. This bike lane issue is a bell-weather of that shift.
I'm really happy this issue is being addressed for Kent Avenue. It was an extreme move the DOT took last year - installing 2 bike lanes with buffer areas. I'm not so sure that Kent should be only one direction for cars. The buffer of parked cars is some king of buffer.... I don't know, but I do know that the two bkie lanes with their buffers is a biker luxury (I bike a LOT) and I don't think that Kent should have lost ALL of it's parking for them. The space taken by the current lanes and their buffers seems extravagant.
I'd love to hear other TA types give more input/comment about what can work best. They know a few things about this....
May 5, 2009, 12:51 am
joe from greenpoint says:
Bicyclists are not required to use a bike lane, and are legally allowed to use a full lane.

Deal with it and slow down.
May 5, 2009, 8:51 am
Tom from Kent Av. says:
joe from greenpoint, just hold your horses!! I fully understand you are a biker, at the other hand if Kent Av. is a commercial rout its made for trucks and deliveries for companies who are paying taxes and all expenses for the city especially to mark the lanes for the bike lane, you as a biker you don’t pay insurance, registration, etc.
And didn’t pay anything like DOT taxes for marking the lanes for the bike lane so just is happy a ride your bike like a normal person and don’t pass red flash light of the school buses like almost bikers doing they just getting away with it,
Bikers should go on Wythe Av. that’s the next block, and my advice its better and clean air for biker on White Av. there is no trucks. Etc. . . .
May 5, 2009, 12:28 pm
Bobby from Piss Village says:
Eat my schmengy...
May 23, 2009, 3:16 am
Meredith from Williamsburg says:
I went to the CB1 meeting last night. Vincent Abate confirmed that it is "a done deal". No democracy allowed !
I think a class action lawsuit against the city, the DOT, and our own community board 1 , would be a good place to start. Why wait for the first fatality from this dangerous plan?
These streets won't hold a stopped fully loaded 18 wheeler because McCarren Park IS a swamp barely under the surface. The big condos that went up hit the water table at 15 feet. I see disaster on the near horizon , if the plan comes to be. Bloomberg can only see his myopic "legacy' in completing greenways and bike paths and not the safety of residents of North Brooklyn.
June 10, 2009, 11:22 am
Valaire from 11211 says:
I wonder if Rabbi Leib Glanz , in one of his three closed door meetings with Deputy Mayor Sheekey, at the end of last year, were about this project. Stu Loesser himself declared that they were meetings about housing and transportation. They amount to Bloomberg currying favor with a big group of voters for his third run. The Satmars will put aside the red herring of scantily clad bicyclists zooming thru south Williamsburg , if they can get their parking back PLUS the bonus of getting less trucks rolling thru. Bloomberg's myopic vision for a Greenway in his legacy will be accomplished at any cost to communities. Some of us have a more valuable currency to exchange in how it is put in place. Votes.
June 25, 2009, 6:48 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
This is not good news! It would be a disaster for all other roads, parallel to Kent Ave, picking-up all its southbound traffic; dangerous to everyone, especially kids. This must not happen. Only one bike lane should be placed on Kent, so it can be keep 2-ways.
July 22, 2009, 2:10 pm

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