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The state of the Smith Street bike lane

August 14, 2012

Carroll Gardens Patch asks, “Is the Smith St. Bike Lane Being Neglected?”

Cyclists in and around Carroll Gardens, Red Hook and Cobble Hill have raised an eyebrow and public concerns regarding the state of the Smith Street bike lane of late.

The above photo was Tweeted by Seersucker co-owner and Carroll Gardens resident Kerry Diamond in an attempt to call Councilman Brad Lander and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s attention to the lane’s dilapidated state.

Councilman Lander responded with the suggestion that anyone with a complaint regarding the lane file it formally through 311 so that the proper authorities will be taken to task.

Smith Street is one of the more heavily trafficked bike routes in Brooklyn.  If I had to bet I’d say that a traffic count would probably show at least a 30% mode share for bikes on Smith during the morning rush.

  1. J.D. permalink
    August 14, 2012 3:13 pm

    I guess it all comes down to your point of reference, your expectations. There was recent voting of Jay Street as most dangerous, yet I rode through there twice yesterday (to and from the lower east side) and I don’t see what the problem is. Compared to Neptune Avenue’s intersection with Cropsey, it was a “traffic garden”. But then, I worked in downtown Brooklyn for 25+ years. Pavement is rough on Smith? What about the often used Plumb Beach path, wiped out by storm damage to gravel, sand and held in place by sandbags since 2009, and no one does anything. One end of the borough expects flower pots, the other gets squat.

  2. Dave 'Paco' Abraham permalink
    August 15, 2012 1:50 pm

    30% mode share on Smith? Perhaps…. Observationally it seems heaviest from the Dean/Bergen couplet over to Jay street. Farther south, not as much… though still certainly active.

  3. August 15, 2012 2:47 pm

    Definitely not farther south, but I’m routinely seeing 12 – 15 cyclists bunched at the light at Atlantic each weekday morning these days, even with the sticky humidity.

    I could make the argument that from Dean or Bergen and even, say, Union Street the city should remove the parking on the right-hand side of the road and install a shared Parisian-style bus/bike lane. There’d be more space for the growing number of cyclists who are frequently squeezed by cars in the bike lane, plus more space for the bus to run without having to pull in and out of traffic.

  4. August 17, 2012 10:08 pm

    I rode home with my kids on Smith Street twice this week, each of them on their own bikes. They rode in the street – we do “triangle formation” but it is one of those roads I feel safe on with my kids because cars stop at the lights. There was also no honking either trip when we took the whole road due to construction. Smith Street passes my bike lane test as to whether I will bike on it with my kids. Plaza Street does not.

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