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Plaza Street

April 3, 2012

Painting this bike lane green is not going to stop Access-A-Ride.

Brownstoner, the Brooklyn Paper, and Streetsblog are reporting that a two-way bike lane on Plaza Street is back on the table after being shelved last year.  While DOT said it had to do with the scope of the changes of Grand Army Plaza, NBBL’s Louise Hainline had a different theory: ““If we had not done what we’ve been doing with the bike lanes, they probably would have moved ahead.”

I saw the proposed plan for the two-way, unprotected bike lane at a meeting last month, and while it is certainly a step up from the current Plaza Street design, it falls short of being a safe, robust bike lane worthy of connecting to the best bike lane in the city.  It’s not something that I’d be completely comfortable riding with my daughter in her seat, nor is it something I’d want her riding on  when she’s ready to pedal by herself.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that for families seeking a safe way to get to and from the park, greenmarket, library, Botanic Garden, and other attractions around Grand Army Plaza, nothing less than a fully protected bike lane will do.

The only thing that’s changed between 2010, when DOT initially proposed the protected bike lane on Plaza Street and today, when they are prepared to present two options to the local community boards, is one frivolous lawsuit.  That’s it.  If the community boards were enthusiastic about the plans two years ago, they need to be reminded of that enthusiasm.  (They also need to be remembered that every single one of NBBL’s doom-and-gloom predictions failed to come true.) Yes, everyone is weary from focusing on the green paint over on Prospect Park West, but no one should let that get in the way of a common-sense plan to make Plaza Street safer.  Some times the only way to get over a controversy is to go directly through it and meet it head on.

Voicing your support for a protected lane is very important, especially if you live in the area.  Here’s the contact info for both boards.

Community Board 8:
1291 St. Marks Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11213

Community Board 6:
250 Baltic Street
Brooklyn ,  New York 11201-6401

Of course, being there in the flesh is better than a letter, so if you can swing it, please come to the joint meeting of CB6 and CB8.  It will be held on April 19th and will take place at the Prospect Park Residence, 1 Prospect Park West, at 6:30 PM.  See you there.

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