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Gorilla Coffee bike parking

Rack-y road! Parking spot becomes bike slots in Slope

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Replacing a parking spot with bike racks is a different kind of fair trade for the owners of a famous Park Slope coffeehouse.

The city has removed one automotive parking space in front of Gorilla Coffee to make room for four on-street bike racks in front of the shop.

“Coffee and bikes go hand and hand in this neighborho­od,” said Darleen Scherer, owner of the brew house on Fifth Avenue and Park Place. “It kind of happened organically.”

Civic leaders say the project — the second-of-its-kind in Brooklyn — de-clutters a stretch of sidewalk that is a hub for two-wheelers parking thanks to its location in front of the cafe and near the high-end bike shop R&A Cycles.

The plan calls for adding a new parking space for cars directly across the street by legalizing parking at a previously off-limits spot, said Community Board 6 district manager Craig Hammerman.

“It’s a good solution — and there’s no net loss of parking,” he said.

The new O-shaped racks, which are protected from wayward vehicles by a planter, come on the heels of a similar project in Carroll Gardens in which the city removed car parking to install a bike corral intended to improve visibility and make the road safer.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation said the parking spot across from the Gorilla Coffee bike corral allows “no standing anytime,” but workers will be able to turn it into a legit parking space because the crosswalk on Fifth Avenue is diagonal — meaning there’s enough room for cars to park without impeding pedestrians.

The new parking spot will go in by the end of the month, she said.

Park Slope business owners like the idea — as long as on-street bike racks don’t start popping up all over Park Slope, said Irene LoRe of the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District.

“We don’t want this to happen everywhere but this is a good corner for it,” she said. “Cars and bikes are the lifeblood of the neighborho­od.”

Scherer says she agreed to clean the area near the bike racks, which street sweeping vehicles can’t reach.

“We’ve always been a bike-friendly shop — and I think it will make people happy,” she said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

Updated 8:24 am, May 23, 2012: Updated to include more info about the new parking space across the street from Gorilla.
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Reader Feedback

First from yours says:
First suckers.. let the all the genius comments begin!
May 21, 2012, 10:09 am
ty from pps says:
“It’s a good solution — and there’s no net loss of parking,” he said.

Why do I suspect that won't be good enough for the usual "they're trying to destroy Brooklyn with bikes" crowd?
May 21, 2012, 10:15 am
ty from pps says:
By the way, Natalie, I can't imagine why the DOT won't return your call...
May 21, 2012, 10:18 am
boof from brooklyn says:
Looks to me like parking has been increased -- by four spots!
May 21, 2012, 11:28 am
Mustache Pete from Windsor Terrace says:
As always, curious to hear what Tal has to say. Then again, he's been quiet of late. Or, maybe reading this sent Tal into a fit of apoplexy; the parents finally realized it was time to turn the poor boy over to psychiatrists.
May 21, 2012, 12:27 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off all, I don't know this Or person by any means, and he is no relations with me in any way or form, so enough with that, Mustache Pete. Nevertheless, a bike rack can be easily placed on the sidewalk without taking up that much space. However, they should be regular racks, not those that can only fit one or two and can make it hard when one walks onto the curb almost tripping over them. I find this idea as meaningless as the special folding up of tables and seats for the restaurants over in lower Manhattan, which also take up parking spaces. In the end, NYC just isn't Europe and has clearly shown that in the past and present. Didn't this country fight a war to get away from that culture?
May 21, 2012, 2:19 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Did you know that "OR" is a conjunction... you really need to take your meds.

Nevertheless, the rest of your comment is just the right level of crazy.
May 21, 2012, 2:23 pm
Malembi from BK says:
What an ass hole.
May 21, 2012, 4:23 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The bottom line is that he doesn't own the street, that is public property. That owner will have to get an approval from the DOT or he can't do this. However, he does own his own property, so he can just place a rack right by the entrance whenever he wants to. If you asked me, the regular bike racks are better compared to the new ones, and can fit much more bicycles, and yes, I know what they look like. I would support the coffee house for doing that, but not on the street.
May 21, 2012, 6:53 pm
ty from pps says:
TAL! What the hell are you talking about?!?! The coffee shop didn't install this bike corral. It was the DOT. These are being installed around the city.

(1) Increase sight lines at corners for turning traffic.
(2) makes more room for bikes -- guess what? you can't just add another bike rack on the sidewalk. Have you been on 5th Avenue in Park Slope? Oh, no. Just talking out of your ass again.
(3) Did I mention the DOT installs these? Not the business owner?

Oh, and Tal, SHUT UP. Take a moment to think before you click "submit."
May 21, 2012, 7:43 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Maybe after you stop drinking that Haterade that seems to make act so hostile. For the record, I have been to this part of Park Slope several times especially when it came to going to events of the AY, which were held in that area. Still, I find these installations of bike corrals to be meaningless. Also, your attacks on either me or Natalie on that really show your true hostilities here.
May 21, 2012, 9:28 pm
ty from pps says:
"Still, I find these installations of bike corrals to be meaningless."

Tal - What does that even mean?! AAARGH! You are infuriatingly stupid.
May 21, 2012, 9:43 pm
brookboy from park slope says:
Geez, Ty, get a grip. If the best you can do when trying to argue a point is to attack the other side personally, you show yourself to be an unworthy opponent.

Whether I agree with Tal or not, he at least presents his arguments cogently and avoids personal attacks. You seem to think that being invited to make a comment entitles you to be rude and discourteous.

Whether you agree with Tal or not, you could learn how to conduct yourself from his example.

Just sayin'...
May 22, 2012, 12:50 pm
ty from pps says:
Brookboy... "he at least presents his arguments cogently"

No. I respectfully disagree.

"you could learn how to conduct yourself from his example"

By calling everyone "zealots" and dismissing their postition and then crying about personal attacks? You should get a grip, Brookboy.
May 22, 2012, 12:59 pm
Kevin from Flatbush says:
Tal is right about one thing.
The old, inverted U, or inverted W racks are much better than the new O ones. But most people couldn't lock to them correctly.
May 22, 2012, 1:02 pm
Kevin from Flatbush says:
Tal is right about one thing.
The old, inverted U, or inverted W racks are much better than the new O ones. But most people couldn't lock to them correctly.
May 22, 2012, 1:02 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Bike racks are long overdue.

A parking spot is a parking spot.

Now for some responsibility in return from the bike riders.
May 22, 2012, 1:28 pm
ty from pps says:
Or -- totally agree! A parking spot is a parking spot!

Now there is a parking spot for 8 bikes (8 people) instead of a parking spot for 1 car (usually 1 person). Viva la Parking Spot!
May 22, 2012, 1:53 pm
Mike says:
OMG, I can't believe Or is endorsing something that makes life nicer for cyclists. Times are changing!
May 22, 2012, 2:30 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
I would prefer curb-side space be converted into a protected bike lane instead of bike parking. Riding the bike "lane" on 5th Avenue is hairy, and there's at least one white ghost bike stationed along it to testify how hairy it is. General mobility in the city would greatly improve if NYC had a network of protected lanes as extensive as Beijing's or Amsterdam's. And both of those are very old, very crowded cities so naysayers can't claim New York is too crowded to afford the space.

Also, for those who claim they base their objections to bike lanes and bikes in general to their failure to obey lights and such, in Beijing and Amsterdam's networks the signals are obeyed because the bike system makes sense.
May 22, 2012, 2:47 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
But Scott, all of those bikers in Bejing would be in cars if they could.

The parking for bikes is long overdue in this city, but the bikers still play by their own rules.

On protected bike lanes on the West side of Manhattan by the river they STILL run the lights.
May 22, 2012, 3:37 pm
ty from pps says:
Or -- It's a chicken-and-egg thing. I lived in Europe for two years... guess what, in bike-loving Belgium there were lots of folks that were trying to skirt the rules. Umm, ya know, just like cars EVERYWHERE.

If there is REASONABLE and APPROPRIATE enforcement of traffic laws -- enforcement that is proportional to the risk and actually reflects the law (i.e., the police would actually have to *learn* the law) you would see a reduction in infractions.

Do you think the folks in Copenhagen and Amsterdam dutifully line up at stop lights because they want to? No, it's because it has DEVELOPED into behavioral norms -- and folks that fall outside the normative behavior get tickets.

You don't make a shift in transportation culture by crazy "crack downs" and police that block the bike lanes themselves?? Two wrongs don't make a right, but come on.... If the police don't even recognize cyclists as having a right to use the road, why should you expect cyclists not to act a bit like "outlaws"
May 22, 2012, 4:05 pm
ty from pps says:
Or -- Everyone in NYC would be in cars "if they could" -- but they can't. We can't even sustain the level of traffic we have now.
May 22, 2012, 4:06 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
"Do you think the folks in Copenhagen and Amsterdam dutifully line up at stop lights because they want to? No, it's because it has DEVELOPED into behavioral norms"

Which is why it is vital NOW to enforce the rules to the hilt so that the over grown children flipping you off as they ride on the sidewalk, without lights, with headphones over both ears, through the lights, so that the culture of biking will self-police, and require no draconian methods to have an orderly bike culture.

Instead we have the entitled, saving the earth, who believe that drivers should be held in contempt.

You also have a city government that thinks that parking lots should charge you $10. to park your bike with them instead of locked on a public rack.

Police yourselves or face the consequences - no whining!
May 22, 2012, 4:54 pm
boof from brooklyn says:
Or, I am shocked to find that I agree with you completely.

We should take away all parking for motor vehicles until they stop speeding, running red lights, and refusing to yield in crosswalks.
May 22, 2012, 4:58 pm
trans alt from my bike says:
ty from pps writes:

"Everyone in NYC would be in cars "if they could" -- but they can't. We can't even sustain the level of traffic we have now."

Spoken by someone with a car. Glass houses and all that...
May 22, 2012, 5:01 pm
ty from pps says:
trans alt -- I do have a car. Where do I drive it? What neighborhood do I live in?

My glass house is fine. How's yours.
May 22, 2012, 5:16 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Boof, your reading comprehension is problematic.

"We should take away all parking for motor vehicles until they stop speeding, running red lights, and refusing to yield in crosswalks."

Drivers of those cars are subject to tickets for those violations, loss of license, and increase of insurance.

Bikers? There goes one now, saving the earth and flipping you off.
May 22, 2012, 7:20 pm
ty from pps says:
Or -- Cyclists are subject to the SAME tickets... the SAME tickets that driver DON'T receive either.

I'm not defending cyclists breaking traffic laws, but it's seriously disingenuous if you suggest traffic laws are enforced for cars. The ONLY traffic violation I don't see regularly broken is not turning right on red (which I'm still amazed... of ALL traffic laws, why is that actually respected??)

10, 15, 20, 30 mph over the speed limit; running red lights; ignoring stop signs; no signalling; dangerous lane changes; incessant honking; crazy U-turns; double-parking; stopping in bicycle lanes; driving in bus lanes (this is enforced sometimes); parking in crazy places; driving past stopped school buses; etc. etc.

In a couple weeks, I'll see all of this... no enforcement.

Again, this is in NO WAY a defense of cyclists.... but...
May 22, 2012, 10:07 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Ty, go back and read the part establishing the culture now.

Understand that you will reap the reward for years. AND you might get support for bikers if they behaved.
May 23, 2012, 7:23 am
boof from brooklyn says:
Or,

Hahahahaha.
May 23, 2012, 10:37 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
Or, no, all those people in Beijing and Amsterdam would not be in cars if they could, because they are by far the least efficient way to get around. In Beijing something like only 5-10% of the population has cars, but despite four massive ring roads traffic is already at a standstill all day long (except for 3-4am). Meanwhile, the other 90-95% of the population who get around on bicycles do so without traffic jams or any impediment to modern living, all while staying fit. In Amsterdam, people certainly have enough money to afford cars, but they choose not to because it doesn't make sense. So your presumption that every human would prefer a car in every case are not born out by solid, empirical facts that exist in the real world, right now.

There are use-cases for cars in NYC. I own a car. There are times when I prefer it over my bike. There are many more times I wish I could bike, often with my kids in the bike trailer, but don't feel safe because there is no protected bike lane I could use to get me from where I live to where I want to go.

And that's widely true throughout the city--the transportation mix is badly skewed toward cars with the result that everyone's mobility is reduced. Remember, more protected bike lanes means more people choosing to bike than drive, which means less traffic for those who still have to drive.
May 23, 2012, 2:06 pm
jay from pslope says:
Umm Scott, have you been to Beijing in the last five years? I have and it totally sucks. You can not walk ANYWHERE without having to constantly jump out of the way of a bicycle, they ride on the side walks EVERYWHERE, and in some cases three wide like its friggin Daytona NASCAR, and then they also come at you from behind as well. Lots of people get hit. It is not safe.
You literally can NOT walk down a sidewalk without almost being hit by a bicycle at any given moment. I would never go for that here. It is a NIGHTMARE.
And I am pretty sure you have not been to Beijing because waaaay more than 5-10% of the population has cars now. (and please don't try to tell me you were there during the Olympics, that was totally different from how things are normally)
May 23, 2012, 5:10 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off, if one bothers to look up what a zealot is, the word is defined as being a fanatical person, which some of you tend to act like. I have nothing against bicycles, and I have never called for them to be off the road, I just find their need for special lanes and parking spaces to be unnecessary and a waste of money that could be put to better use such as those public schools in Brooklyn that are being threatened to close due to the lack of funding. Nevertheless, a regular bike rack can be placed along the wall of that coffee shop, and it wouldn't just fit several bicycles compared to the ones by the curb that can only do one or two, but won't even take up that much space. On a side note, my family recently went to Beijing and most likely saw cyclists behaving in a such a way as jay already stated. Just because bicycles don't give off emissions, doesn't mean that those riding them have a blank check to flout the traffic laws. Practice what you preach first before going to others.
May 23, 2012, 5:45 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal --

"my family recently went to Beijing and most likely saw cyclists behaving in a such a way as jay already stated."

Most likely saw? Can't you ask them... why didn't they invite you along? You can't even resist inventing "facts" about stuff you could *actually* know. "Hey Aba, you know when you went to Beijing without me, did you see many bicycles? What was your experience?"

Try that.
May 23, 2012, 9:22 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Unfortunately, I was too busy at my job to come with them. They did take pictures and told me what it was like there. From that, it was pretty much answered there. Nevertheless, it shows that NYC isn't alone in the world when it comes to places where cyclists tend to flout the laws. BTW, many bike lanes were recently removed from the main parts of Beijing in the claim that they weren't used a lot and a waste of money, so that could become the case here.
May 23, 2012, 9:47 pm
Mike says:
You couldn't get vacation from your job sorting recyclables at the transfer station? That's too bad. Maybe next year you can join your family in Amsterdam and see a place where half the people get around on bikes, driving is severely limited, and no chaos ensues.
May 24, 2012, 11:32 am

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