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Contact CB1 for a Safer Greenpoint Avenue Bridge

April 6, 2011
A bike lane to nowhere.

As a major truck route, Greenpoint Avenue is a dangerous street for cyclists.  But it’s still an attractive route for many of them since it’s a major connector between Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Sunnyside, Queens.  Greenpoint Avenue does a bit of a bait-and-switch with cyclists, as Streetsblog reported last July.

Heading toward Queens, the Greenpoint Avenue bike lane ends abruptly at the bridge, throwing cyclists into mixed traffic where the road widens from two lanes to four. The confusing intersection on the Queens side of the bridge, where Greenpoint Avenue meets Van Dam Street and Review Avenue, is one of the locations most prone to crashes that cause severe injuries in the entire borough.

The DOT has long considered changes to make it safer for cyclists and drivers by narrowing the bridge’s four auto lanes to two and adding six-foot wide bike lanes with a nine foot buffer on either side of the bridge.  Of course, that plan has been met with push back, and according to the Brooklyn Paper, the city is reconsidering its plans.  Why?  Because of some squeaky wheels:

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.”

There’s a lot of classic bike lane backlash in these two short paragraphs.  A street that is currently “too dangerous” is probably the perfect place for some traffic calming.  That’s pretty much the textbook reason for it.  The fact that it’s a commercial strip shouldn’t matter, as even cyclists prefer to take the shortest route over the most scenic.

Community Board 1 is planning meetings with residents and business owners to discuss the changes, and if we’ve learned anything from recent traffic calming discussions, it only takes a few loud voices to make the most noise.  They’re not accepting emails on the subject, but you can send a fax to them at 718-389-0098.  (If you don’t know what a fax is, just look for that giant corded phone in the corner of your office.)  Make sure to sign your letter.   An old fashioned letter would also work.  Send it to:

Community Board #1 Brooklyn
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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One Comment
  1. krstrois permalink
    April 6, 2011 11:20 am

    So on it. This is my Community Board.

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