Today’s news:

City taking Greenpoint Avenue Bridge bike lane back to the shop

The Brooklyn Paper

One of Greenpoint’s most dangerous bike lanes is heading back to the drawing board.

City officials will reconsider plans to extend a bike lane over the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge after residents and local business owners said that the truck route is too dangerous.

“It’s a dangerous commercial strip,” said Tony Argento, whose Broadway Stages production studio business is nearby. “I’m there five, six, seven times a day. I rarely see bicycle on that lane.”

The lane is part of the bridge’s $5.8-million reconstruction project, which consists of resurfacing and restriping the heavily used truck route.

The Greenpoint Avenue Bridge is used by 26,637 commuters each day, including 3,491 trucks, according to 2009 city data.

A bike lane currently exists on Greenpoint Avenue, but ends just short of the bridge to Queens, a northern suburb of Brooklyn.

The city doesn’t have recent data for cycling use — but some transportation groups estimate that nearly 500 bike commuters a day use Greenpoint Avenue.

But the road has been a dangerous one — cyclists have complained about divots and potholes in its asphalt, and last May, a cyclist flipped over his handlebars while riding over the bridge.

The city’s original proposal would extend a six-foot bike lane, with a nine-foot buffer, over the bridge, and cut the bridge to one car lane in each direction.

Transportation workers have begun repairing the bridge, but planners will hold several meetings with residents and industrial businesses to discuss potential designs, such as the installation of left-turn bays, before presenting final recommendations to Community Board 1.

Cycling advocates promised to defend the lane vigorously.

“It has been proven throughout the city that bike lanes, in addition to being popular with residents, greatly improve safety for cyclists and drivers,” said Noah Budnick of the pro-cycling group, Transportation Alternatives. “We are glad to see the city once again making time to work with the neighborhood to develop the best possible design for Greenpoint Avenue.”

But Argento wants the lane moved entirely to Monitor Street or Kingsland Avenue where there’s less traffic.

“The traffic situation on Greenpoint Avenue has become worse and worse,” said Argento. “And when those bridges open, everything gets back up over half an hour — for boats.”

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Reader Feedback

chriss42 from greenpoint says:
don't mind bikers at all but how about teaching them some rules and behavior while on the streets ??!! maybe the law makers should also think about mandatory low cost insurance for the bikers ??? it would be good for the cyclists as well for the people using autos or just walkers,i had my car scratched twice by a biker and who's paying? me!
so you see? its not a bad idea,and while the green lines are fine for the bikers , there are also people using autos and walking, please think about that too! thank you
April 5, 2011, 3:33 am
Steve from PPW says:
What does Tal Barzilai think? The world wants to know!
April 5, 2011, 8:49 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
Tal is out riding his bike, he will get back to you later.
April 5, 2011, 9:10 am
Bike commuter from Park Slope says:
Hey Tony Argento, I ride to your crap studio over that bridge. You need lanes for exactly the reason you specified, trucks and commuters drive like morons there. And barge traffic on the Newtown takes hundreds of trucks off streets. -which opens up more free on-street car storage
April 5, 2011, 9:24 am
Mike says:
Wait, delaying protecting bikes from speeding cars and trucks because the speeding cars and trucks are too dangerous? That just means cyclists need the protection MORE, not less. What's really going on here?
April 5, 2011, 9:25 am
Paco from Cobble Hill says:
Tony Argento may not see many bikes, but that doesn't mean they aren't there. And it certainly doesn't mean if some infrastucture is provided that they won't certainly come there. Kingsland and Monitor may have less traffic but Greenpoint is still the only one crossing the water and so commuter cyclists will still need a path over it. The Pulaski bridge ridership has skyrocketed and forces too many pedestrians and cyclists in the same small shared space, so Greenpoint lanes are a necessity.
April 5, 2011, 9:25 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville says:
When cyclists follow the rules we will give them rights and respect. I've never been to Greenpoint Ave. but I think it should be entirely dedicated to cars and trucks. Cities were built for cars and trucks. Cars are the best way to get around a city. Cyclists are irresponsible -- all of them. I like the smell and taste of exhaust fumes, particularly diesel. 9/11 was an inside job.
April 5, 2011, 10 am
Jim from Greenpoint says:
Cities are built for cars and trucks? OPEC and overpriced NYC parking garages thank you for your ignorance. Keep playing the oil game. Bikes and mass transit and occasional car service / taxi use are better for the city life.

Bikes make cities more beautiful, as well as their residents. Oh, and they kill far fewer people, both in short term (accidents) and long term (air pollution).

I do agree however, that like other NYC vehicles, many cyclists do ride like ——s (on sidewalks, the wrong way, blowing red lights). Once safe riding lanes are created on dangerous roads such as Gpoint and McGuinness Blvd, cops need to ticket blatant —— riding habits, not for riding recreationally at central park. I'm for Idaho stopping where applicable. We're all in this together, my friend.

Oh, and i agree about 9/11. Only military jets have that lumpy pod midway through underneath the fuselage.
April 5, 2011, 10:38 am
Jym from PLJ says:
@Tal - So the cars who run 1 million red lights a day in NYC should have their lanes taken away from them, right?
April 5, 2011, 10:40 am
Jesse from Sunnyside says:
Newtown creek divides a good part of Brooklyn and Queens. That's why there are bridges and obviously bridges create bottlenecks. Of course there is a lot of traffic! It is precisely for this reason that bicyclists need a bike lane. Currently bicyclists are forced to use the Pulaski Bridge to travel safely between Brooklyn and Queens. We need more safe, direct routes in order to connect neighborhoods and for bicycling to be practical for our children and families to use.
April 5, 2011, 10:57 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
@Chriss42: you must be a really bad and obnoxious driver to get your car scratched twice by cyclists...what's your make and model?
April 5, 2011, 10:58 am
Emily from Greenpoint says:
New York City was REMODELED for cars and trucks, and that remodelling was not welcome! See Robert Moses' historic legacy for more detail.
New York was actually designed for pedestrians, horse carts and carriages, and even then it was dangerous (horses dying in the streets and being left on the side of the road, and wagon wheels slipping in big piles of poop, since street cleaning and sewers didn't come around until the 1880s.)
If New York can be remodelled for cars and trucks, maybe it's progress to remodel it again for bikes and pedestrians.
April 5, 2011, 11:59 am
Bryce from Williamsburg says:
I bike this bridge twice a day. And I go over it as fast as possible, as do all the cars and trucks. But I'm on a bike, climbing a hill, and can only squeak out 15-20 mph, compared to the massive steel vehicles zipping along at 40 for this 1/4 mile bridge.

The bike lane should go from Gpoint Ave in BK over the bridge and continue up Gpoint Ave through Sunnyside.

BTW: Hundreds of cyclists commute on this road. Many of them are minorities working in East Village/LES restaurants. I know this b/c I ride with them towards QNS around 11pm.
April 5, 2011, 1 pm
kate from Brooklyn says:
Queens is a suburb of Brooklyn?
April 5, 2011, 1:17 pm
John from Greenpoint says:
Tony Argento should welcome the bike lane, since his production facility usurps all the automobile parking in the neighborhood.
April 5, 2011, 1:37 pm
Brooklyn Blue Collar says:
Most people who bike in this city aren't even from this city. Why are THESE people catered to so much? All they're worried about is their bike lanes, mirco-brews and Apple products. Why aren't we worried about affordable housing and decent pay for the working class? These transplants have stole the soul from our great city and we're letting them reshape it for their lifestyle. Please leave... you're not as welcomed as you think you are.
April 5, 2011, 4:10 pm
Mitch from Greenpoint says:
I rode over that bridge just today. It is seriously scary and I'm a long time city cyclist who doesn't frighten easily. Lots of people are going to ride over it anyway as taking the Pulaski is a major detour. The argument that a street is too dangerous for bike lanes is a novel one. That's kind of the point of them.
April 5, 2011, 4:52 pm
joebkny says:
I dont think that was the real tal at 10am
April 5, 2011, 6:38 pm
joebkny says:
And it wasn't me tal. so chill out!
April 5, 2011, 6:50 pm
kate from Brooklyn says:
@Brooklyn Blue Collar says:

I bet the Indians were thinking the same thing: Why are THESE people catered to so much? All they're worried about is their guns, diseases, and wars. Why aren't they worried about keeping the soil healthy and the buffalo free? These transplants have stolen the soul from our great land and we're letting them reshape it for their lifestyle. Please leave... you're not as welcomed as you think you are.
April 6, 2011, 5:06 pm
kate from Brooklyn says:
I mean this is a reply to (obviously) @Brooklyn Blue Collar

I bet the Indians were thinking the same thing: Why are THESE people catered to so much? All they're worried about is their guns, diseases, and wars. Why aren't they worried about keeping the soil healthy and the buffalo free? These transplants have stolen the soul from our great land and we're letting them reshape it for their lifestyle. Please leave... you're not as welcomed as you think you are.
Report abuse
April 6, 2011, 5:06 pm
Brooklyn Blue Collar says:
@ Kate

Your comment was moronic.
April 6, 2011, 7:10 pm
Mike says:
Yeah, but yours was too.
April 6, 2011, 7:43 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off, I wasn't here at 10 AM yesterday, I was at work. Also, the internet was down for me yesterday, so I didn't even get to be here. Honestly, I think it's a bad idea to have bike lanes in commercial areas. The roads are used constantly by trucks that can place them into harm's way. Greenpoint Avenue is a major thoroughfare, therefore making the lanes thinner will actually cause more traffic, not less. For the record, I have been to this area as part of a Forgotten NY tour when doing Greenpoint. On a side note, I do NOT believe that 9/11 was an inside job at all, and this comming from a person who never liked Bush.
April 6, 2011, 9:04 pm
Mike says:
Hey Tal,

This made me think of you:

April 6, 2011, 11:37 pm
EES from Greenpoint says:
As far as drivers and bicyclists following the rules of the road, at least drivers stop (most do anyway) at red traffic lights. I can't tell you how many stupid bicyclists I've almost t-boned when they flew through red lights. They almost never stop at the red light which is the law.

Instead of the Greenpoint Ave Bridge (aka Byrne Memorial Bridge) getting bike lanes, maybe it would be cost prohibitive, but how about some of that $10 million DEC money the area is getting going towards a dedicated foot/bicycle bridge over the Creek instead?

"... to Queens, a northern suburb of Brooklyn." Was this article written in the 1920's?
April 7, 2011, 12:43 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, that has to be the most insulting thing you have ever done. I expect an immediate apology from right this second. If you don't apologize, I will not just hold you for slandering me, I will also believe that you were the one impersonating me. Just like all other Streetsbloggers, you guys sink the lowest of the lows on anyone who doesn't see the world according to you. Nobody, not even me, as done name calling or insults to you, so cut that out. No wonder why your kind has so many enemies. It's obvious that you don't know how to have an intelligent debate. Come back when you get a brain. BTW, that post made me report you. That was a major hit below the belt. On a side note, I have aspergers, and that picture was very offensive to me, not to mention that I actually did once participate in the special olympics a while back.
April 7, 2011, 8:20 pm
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
To: EES nice solution. Another solution the DOT should consider is eliminating those two left turns coming off the bridge or turn bay w/light arrow. Traffic backs up coming off the bridge because there's only one lane, thru traffic easily take the bike lane/ far right lane to go around the left turning traffic. In fact the traffic coming off the bridge have turned it back into a 2 lane street. I would ride a bike pass McGuinness Blvd on Greenpoint Ave. It's crazy!! That area is still industrial.
April 8, 2011, 10:12 am
Mike says:
Still waiting for our Jimmy Carter mediation. Please let me know when he's free.

And, get a sense of humor, K? Your clownish, buffoonish presence here would go over a lot better if you had one.
April 8, 2011, 11:30 am
LOLcat from Park Slope says:
@Brooklyn Blue Collar

I have been riding my bike in Brooklyn, where I was born (1984) and raised, since I was about 3 (in my dads bike seat early on).

Please explain to me how bikes and bike lanes have anything to do with jobs and affordable housing?

You are the one with the moronic comment.
April 8, 2011, 5:13 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
I've lived here all my life, and I'll let the transplants in on some info. No one is especially welcomed here, but all are tolerated. Most of the people complaining about newbies will probably be gone in 5 years.
April 8, 2011, 9:20 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, where I come from, that's not funny. Many find that insulting. I am sure you wouldn't like it where I use the picture of the European politician saying that it's okay to criticize while the Muslim saying he can only make his criticisms representing you. Either way, I don't sink that low. I would rather have a debate than use something like that. If you can't stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Debates is what makes the issue interesting rather than just hearing only one side.
April 9, 2011, 10:40 pm
Mike says:
Oh yes, you're SOOOO high-minded, with your sentences that don't make sense and your tortured analogies. I forgot.

While you're trying to "make the issue interesting", we're trying to get around our city -- which you don't live in -- while not dying.
April 10, 2011, 5:35 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, I am a nerdy leftist. We use debates and focus on the issues. Since you are not a nerdy leftist, you will probably never understand. If I showed Al Gore, who is the founder of that group, he would know exactly what I said. Of course we nerdy leftists don't need your approval anyway, so say whatever you want. It's not my fault that you can't take a debate. I am sure that many in that area agree with me that bike lanes are a bad idea especially for an industrial area. Serioulsy, who ride a bicycle there, when it's probably a bad idea?
April 10, 2011, 5:40 pm
Mike says:
I'm a nerdy leftist myself: an actual progressive, who wants a safe city for all forms of transportation, unlike you, who are trying to seal our cities in sclerotic amber by turning them over to cars.

Who rides a bicycle there? People who need to get to or from that area, or need to get through it. Duh.

The rest of what you said is so ludicrous and incoherent that it's not worth responding to.
April 10, 2011, 7:12 pm
gpointnative from greenpoint says:
Dear All:

I live very close to the Brooklyn side of the Greenpoint Avenue/J.J. Byrne Memorial Bridge, and drive over it nearly every day. I have no problem sharing the road with law-abiding bicyclists. Like drivers of motor vehicles, they anticipate getting to their destination safely and without incident. I admire their courage because I have a nice bike in my basement that I would love to ride but am afraid to on NYC streets. Anyway, I cringe every time I go back into Greenpoint via that bridge because I feel like the only one who does not go into the bike lane and waits for the cars in front of me to turn left in order for me to proceed straight. The roadway is faulty in the sense that there are 2 lanes in either direction on the BRIDGE, but no warning whatsoever that the 2 lanes actually bottleneck suddenly into 1 traffic lane in order to accommodate the bike lane. The many many truck drivers realize too late that a right lane for motor vehicles on the bridge instantaneously becomes a non-usable bike lane. So they just barrel through while I am in the left lane praying for the bicyclists. The way the lanes are set up now is detrimental to bicyclists, and dangerous to ALL. Thank you and be well.
May 14, 2011, 4:13 am

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