Mean Streets

December, 2009

Big bust! Snow ruins topless protest on Bedford Avenue

Mean Streets: For the second time in a week, bicyclists’ attempts to protest the city’s removal of the Bedford Avenue bike lane were foiled by the weather. Comments (8).

Man, you gotta see the crash picture from Red Hook

Mean Streets: That was one pretty serious-looking accident at the troubled corner of Van Brunt Street and Dikeman Street in the heart of Red Hook on Friday afternoon. Comments (3).

Cover up! Bike advocacy group calls for no topless ride on Bedford tomorrow

Mean Streets: At least one group of bicycle activists is not excited by the planned Bedford Avenue topless bike protest through the Hasidic portion of Williamsburg on Saturday night. Comments (17).

It’s a real sign of confusion on Washington Avenue

Mean Streets: It may be the longest, and the most-confusing, bus stop in all of Brooklyn — and it’s running roughshod over Prospect Heights drivers. Comment.

New Bedford bike protest will keep cops abreast

Mean Streets: On Saturday, there will be nudity on Bedford Avenue — to protest the city’s removal of the bike lane, of course! Comments (29).

Mind the ‘GAP’! City may actually fix the northern part of Grand Army Plaza

Mean Streets: The city has lavished its traffic-calming gifts on the southern portion of Grand Army Plaza — but now, the Department of Transportation is poised, Santa-like, to start working on the North pole of Brooklyn’s most muddled roundabout. Comments (5).

Cyclist killed by trucker in Greenpoint!

Mean Streets: Another cyclist has been killed in a collision with a truck driver — this time just a few blocks from where activists were protesting the city’s removal of a popular bike lane on Sunday. Comments (11).

Soggy protest over Bedford Avenue bike lane

Mean Streets: Too much rain — and too many cops — made a repainting of the removed cycle path an impossibility. Comments (2).

Do NOT bring your bike into your office today

Mean Streets: Sure, the “Bikes in Building” law goes into effect today. But that only starts the process! Comments (7).

Join us for one wild ride

Mean Streets: Starting today, The Brooklyn Paper will be following all the rules to ensure that our Metrotech office building follows the “Bike in Building” law. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Comment.

UPDATE: OK, we’ve done our part!

Mean Streets: The first phase of our effort to bring our bikes into our office has been achieved: We’ve written our boss! Comment.

‘Re-cyclers’ will plead not guilty in bike lane repainting

Mean Streets: Exclusive! They may have been caught white-handed, but two people who were arrested this week for repainting the Bedford Avenue bike lane say they’ll go to trial to beat the rap. Comments (1).

Van Brunt project is stalled, but trucks are in gear on Columbia Street

Mean Streets: Columbia Street residents are sick and tired of construction delays on neighboring Van Brunt Street that are causing traffic congestion in their sleepy corner of the world. Comments (1).

Safety first (First Place, that is)!

Mean Streets: Here she is, Smith Street pedestrians — your new crossing guard. Comments (5).

Re-cyclers! Activists repaint Bedford Avenue bike lane

Mean Streets: Call it a bikelash! Comments (11).

From bike lane to bike pain on Bedford

Mean Streets: Williamsburg bicyclists — you win some and then you lose some. Comment.

Muni-meters coming to Park Slope in January

Mean Streets: Park Slope will finally be getting a high-tech facelift on Fifth and Seventh avenues that will free up spots and even allow you to feed the meter with a credit card. Comments (4).

November, 2009

Park Circle looks better than ever — except for drivers!

Mean Streets: Cyclists and pedestrians — and horseback riders — are already hailing the still-unfinished transformation of the perilous traffic circle at the southwest corner of Prospect Park, but some drivers are still getting a hang of the overhauled traffic pattern. Comments (11).

You’ll have a wheely good time at the biking PSA film festival

Mean Streets: Here’s one filmmaking competition that really is on a roll. Comment.

State promises to fix FDR Drive-Brooklyn Bridge ramp

Mean Streets: Possibly the worst thing about living in Brooklyn — the debilitating traffic congestion on the Brooklyn Bridge’s entrance ramp from the southbound FDR Drive — may be getting just a little bit better. Comments (24).

October, 2009

It’s plaza sweet on Schermerhorn Street

Mean Streets: Downtown is turning into a real walker’s wonderland. Comments (4).

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Darn! Alternate-side parking returns to parts of Brooklyn Heights and area

Mean Streets: The holiday is almost over for Downtown, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill and Fort Greene. Comments (4).

Bedford chainsaw massacre! Cops cut bikes in Billyburg last night

Mean Streets: In a city that claims to be bike-friendly — and in a neighborhood long believed to be the borough’s cycling epicenter — cops sawed off bikes that had been locked on Bedford Avenue last night. See the shocking YouTube video now! Comments (6).

September, 2009

More of the Kent Avenue to roll out this weekend

Mean Streets: Phase II of the transformation of Kent Avenue from a two-way truck route into a one-way northbound street with one of the city’s best bike lanes will begin this weekend, following the much-hailed conversion of the southern portion of the thoroughfare. With video … Comments (1).

Ride with us on the Kent Avenue bike lane!

Mean Streets: A portion of Kent Avenue in Williamsburg has finally been transformed into the city’s best bike lane — so naturally, our biking editor was on hand to check it out. It’s a wild ride — especially when the protected, two-way lane abruptly ends at Broadway. With video … Comments (15).

Another parking holiday!

Mean Streets: Live in Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Fort Greene or Clinton Hill? Find out where you can park for free for a few weeks! Comment.

August, 2009

Pulaski Bridge to go under the knife

Mean Streets: You might want to avoid the Pulaski Bridge starting on Monday when the Greenpoint-to-Long Island City span gets a make-over. Comments (1).

One dimensional! Kent Avenue will no longer go both ways by the end of this week

Mean Streets: Kent Avenue was set to become a one-way street with a protected two-way bike lane by the end of this week, marking the official end of a botched roadway redesign that pitted cyclists against motorists in a fight for hegemony over the key link between Greenpoint and Downtown. Comments (25).

July, 2009

City sidewalk, busy sidewalk! Street pedestrian walkway is now a car lane!

Mean Streets: Critics are calling it “Ratner Road,” but it was city workers who turned a Pacific Street sidewalk into a lane of car traffic. Comments (2).

City’s plan could be magificent ‘seven’

Mean Streets: The city is hoping to fix Fort Greene’s famous “Seven Corners” intersection. Comment.

Fifth Avenue fatality shows that this road needs to be safer

Mean Streets: Everyone on Fifth Avenue agrees that the struggle among cars, trucks, buses, bikes and pedestrians is ridiculous — but over the weekend, it again turned deadly. Comments (22).

A ‘round’ of applause for city’s Park Circle plan

Mean Streets: The traffic circle at the southeast corner of Prospect Park is such a mess that the neighborhood group most known for its disapproval of the Department of Transportation has joined forces with the hated agency in support of a plan to lessen traffic, ease pedestrian crossing, and improve safety for bicyclists and horses. Comments (3).

June, 2009

City pedals Hamilton Ave bike lane

Mean Streets: The ever-expanding network of bike lanes will penetrate deeper into Carroll Gardens and Red Hook later this summer as the city paints fresh routes on Ninth and Columbia streets. Comments (5).

Road awakening at Ikea

Mean Streets: Fewer people are driving to the one-year-old Ikea in Red Hook than the Swedish superstore expected, but big box traffic is exacerbating backups at a historically pesky intersection, a new study finds. Comments (1).

Could this be the new face of Flatbush Avenue?

Mean Streets: Flatbush Avenue would become a walkable, livable, shoppable boulevard — no, really! — under a new plan being put forward by a local business group that is frustrated by the dour, traffic-choked strip between Grand Army Plaza and Atlantic Avenue. Comments (17).

City plan for BQE fix is less clean and less green

Mean Streets: A city search to fix the polluted and ugly trench portion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway through Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens is no longer as ambitious as it once was. Comments (3).

‘Fifth’ dimension: Slope merchants want to eliminate bike lane

Mean Streets: Some say Fifth Avenue isn’t wide enough for the both of them: cars and bikes. Comments (15).

Heights spine is Monta-go Street

Mean Streets: Brooklyn Heights residents: grab your walking shoes! For three Sundays in September, pedestrians will take over Montague Street. Comment.

Burgers: City ‘Kent’ get it right

Mean Streets: The city unveiled its latest Kent Avenue bike lane plan — this time seeking to bring peace to warring bicyclists, motorists and business owners — but Williamsburg’s inland residents claim the new proposal only makes matters worse. Comments (33).

May, 2009

Burgers: City ‘Kent’ get it right

Mean Streets: The city unveiled its latest Kent Avenue bike lane plan — this time seeking to bring peace to warring bicyclists, motorists and business owners — but Williamsburg’s inland residents claim the new proposal only makes matters worse. Comments (29).

Vander-rific! Avenue to be closed to cars in June

Mean Streets: Vanderbilt Avenue will become the latest stretch of mean street to become a pedestrian plaza this June, closing to automotive traffic every Sunday. Comment.

CB6 hails, but then puts speed bump on Prospect Park bike lane

Mean Streets: A Park Slope group voted on Wednesday to support a revolutionary proposal for a two-way bike lane on the park-side of Prospect Park West that would be protected from traffic by a row of parked cars — but demanded that the city delay the project and separate the bikers from the parked cars with a raised median instead of the less-protective painted buffer. Comments (14).

A ‘Fetish’ for bikes!

Mean Streets: Talk about your easy riders! Comment.

Crash course on the avenue of death and destruction

Mean Streets: The so-called Avenue of Death and Destruction is still living up to at least part of its name. Comments (2).

Park Smart? More like Park Dumb as high-cost meter cards aren’t even for sale!

Mean Streets: Drivers, neighbors and merchants who are forking over handfuls of quarters to pay the newly increased parking meter rates during peak hours on Fifth and Seventh avenues say the city’s so-called “Park Smart” project isn’t living up to its name — because debit cards that render change obsolete aren’t being sold in the neighborhood yet! Comments (5).

Dragnet! Cops nab bikers in red-light sting

Mean Streets: Police cracked down on rule-breaking bicyclists in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill last Friday, issuing tickets for running red lights and then slapping offenders with additional summonses for minor infractions, including one bicyclist who didn’t have a bell. Comments (41).

BQE fix ramps up — tomorrow night!

Mean Streets: A decades-long project to repair a ready-to-collapse section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway finally begins tomorrow night. Comments (4).

He’s arrested for riding on sidewalk!

Mean Streets: Is this Clinton Hill biker an unrepentant menace or a cautious father protecting his child from maniac drivers? Comments (37).

‘Alternate’ reality: Fort Greene and Clinton Hill drivers get their parking holiday

Mean Streets: Fort Greene and Clinton Hill will get reduced street cleaning — and with it less of the alternate-side-of-the-street shuffle for drivers — after the city completes a six- to eight-week suspension of alternate-side parking regulations that begins on Monday. Comments (4).

Windsor Terrace board still fuming over Park car restrictions

Mean Streets: Critics of new restrictions on drivers in Prospect Park mouthed off at city officials on Monday night, lambasting a plan that would make the park safer for cyclists and other park users. Comments (9).

What’s the meter? Parking fees tripled in Slope on Monday!

Mean Streets: Parking meters tripled in price in the heart of Park Slope on Monday, revving the motors of some drivers, but pleasing local businesses and transportation experts, who have long complained that low-cost street parking discourages turnover and clogs roadways. Comments (4).

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

Mean Streets: This could be the proposal that has Kent Avenue cyclists and motorists seeing wheel to wheel. Comments (38).

April, 2009

One dead in Manhattan Av crash

Mean Streets: A car thief heisted a minivan and slammed into a Greenpoint woman, taking the 37-year-old’s life before crashing into a row of parked cars on Monday on Manhattan Avenue. Comments (1).

City rolls out two-way bike lane on Prospect Park West

Mean Streets: The wheels are in motion for a revolutionary, two-way bike lane along Prospect Park West that would not only aid cyclists but, supporters say, would also calm the southbound speedway. Comments (26).

Cars will be stuck in ‘Park’ under city plan

Mean Streets: A city plan to bar cars from driving out of Prospect Park at two key exits has excited cyclists and walkers — and infuriated a neighborhood group that has long clashed with the city over automotive traffic in the landmarked greenspace. Comments (7).

These cars have boxed her in!

Mean Streets: Motorists who park their cars on the sidewalks of Bay Ridge are driving Jean Ryan mad. Comments (13).

March, 2009

Eighth Ave and Prospect Park West should go both ways

Mean Streets: The people have spoken — and they want two-way streets to fix the mess of Grand Army Plaza and the dangerous “speedways” of Eighth Avenue and Prospect Park West. Comments (8).

Screwed DUMBO driver speaks!

Mean Streets: A law-abiding DUMBO driver whose car was ticketed on Monday after the city installed new parking signs says the $115 citation is “unfair.” Comments (6).

City goes full ‘Circle’

Mean Streets: The city is dreaming up solutions to the traffic nightmare at Park Circle, the hair-raising roundabout for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and horseback riders at the southwestern entrance to Prospect Park. Comments (2).

February, 2009

Toro — bike lane advocate — back as CB1 committee chair!

Mean Streets: Williamsburg and Greenpoint are back on a roll. Comments (14).

Pedestrian run down on Eighth Avenue!

Mean Streets: An SUV plowed into a pedestrian on Eighth Avenue during the morning rush on Monday, sending the 57-year-old man high into the air, witnesses said. Comments (9).

Lights, camera, accidents

Mean Streets: A string of traffic lights has turned a Dyker Heights drag into a demolition derby, according to neighbors who are calling on the city to remove the signals. Comments (3).

January, 2009

Raging bull! Toro’s firing from CB1 panel is explained

Mean Streets: Get this: the chairwoman of a key North Brooklyn transportation panel was booted from her position because she attempted to correct a factual inaccuracy in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (of all places). Comments (3).

Run down! CB1 Committee Chair booted over bikes?

Mean Streets: Fasten your seatbelts, Williamsburg — next week’s community board meeting is going to be a “showdown” over the stunning Christmas Eve dismissal of the chairwoman of the transportation committee, who was deposed because of her vocal support for a pair of controversial Kent Avenue bike lanes. Comments (2).

Bike opponents seek ‘Detour’ on Kent Ave

Mean Streets: Opponents of a pair of controversial bike lanes on Kent Avenue have been using school buses to block the street in an act of automotive disobedience — and now they’re publicizing their plans with a billboard blaming the resulting traffic jams on cyclists. Comments (11).