Bergen Street’s makeshift bike lane barrier returns

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Bergen Street’s makeshift bike lane barricade is back — and this time cops say they’re the ones who built it.

Police at the 78th Precinct say they placed six metal barriers alongside a painted bike lane between Sixth Avenue and Flatbush Avenue, protecting two-wheelers from automotive traffic on a roadway where cycling activists erected a similar buffer using traffic pylons this summer

“We put them up ourselves because there were people parking there,” said a police source who works out of the station house at the corner.

The officer says the barrier should keep motorists from blocking the way for cyclists.

“A lot of people would pull up, run into the corner bodega real quick and leave their car in the bike lane, so we just threw that barricade up to prevent that from happening,” he said.

The NYPD barriers hit the street nearly four months after vigilante cyclist Ian Dutton cobbled together his own bike lane median on the block using waist-high pylons — a move he made, in part, because police vehicles often block the path.

Dutton tips his hat to the officers who put up the barricades.

“It’s certainly a welcome sign that the leadership of the 78th Precinct has recognized the unsafe conditions that were created by the persistent illegal parking that was occurring on this tiny stretch of Bergen Street,” said the Park Slope resident.

Even though the boys in blue claim they were the ones who propped up the new barricade, cops will continue to park their vehicles in the bike lane when they can’t find spots on the Sixth Avenue side of the precinct, the NYPD source said.

“We are a police station — we pretty much own the street,” he said. “There are times in a pinch where we have to park there. If there are no other spots and we have to drop somebody off [at the precinct] we will park there. It’s that simple.”

Bike booster Eric McClure says he understands that during emergencies cops must be able to park their rides in a jiff — but he hopes a long-term street fix will keep police out of the cycling path.

“I don’t think anybody on a bike begrudges a police officer for parking in a bike lane in an emergency situation,” said McClure. “But I would hope that the precinct working in partnership with the [city] and community members can find a long-term solution to parking so they don’t have to park in the bike lane.”

Cyclists say they feel safer riding beside the new barrier.

“It makes our lane accessible now. Before it just wasn’t,” said active two-wheeling Crown Hights resident Jessica Cruz, who pedals to Boerum Hill daily. “There were always cars parked here and we were just thrown out into the street — cars go pretty fast around here.”

Cyclist Stuart Garber of Prospect Heights says the protected lane makes biking less scary.

“Riding through the city you are always on alert — you always fear that you’re going to get injured in some way,” he said. “The barricades put me at ease.”

Updated 11:14 am, November 23, 2012: Story updated to add a comment from Ian Dutton.
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Reader Feedback

mike from GP says:
Thanks for the barrier, 78 Precinct! But you don't "own the street". Emergencies, sure. All other times, no way.
Nov. 23, 2012, 10:15 am
Bem from Greenpoint says:
did somebody say must of bikers are crazy people???
Nov. 23, 2012, 11:05 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
In return, cyclists should follow the rules or they will have the right to ticket them whenever they try to flout them.
Nov. 23, 2012, 5:55 pm
S from PPW says:
The police do not own the street. The people do.
Nov. 25, 2012, 12:02 pm
S from PPW says:
Amazing, Tal. In response to a story about cops illegally parking in the bike lane (and regular citizens illegally parking there to run into bodegas and delis) you say that cyclists must follow the rules.

Just priceless.
Nov. 25, 2012, 12:06 pm
jooltman from Park Slope says:
I can't believe the big deal being made about this tiny barricade when on the very same (mini) block, police daily drive and park their private vehicles on the sidewalk. Talk about dangerous conditions!
Nov. 25, 2012, 2:33 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sorry S, but cyclists are required to follow the rules by law just as all motorists do. There is no exemptions to this at all no matter how many times you bike zealots like to feel that you are above everyone. I don't just find you said to be priceless, but also ironic at the same when you are complaining about one group that flouts the laws when your own hardly ever does that. For the record, I do follow the rules myself, so I do practice what I preach unlike many of you who never do that, so you just lost that battle.
Nov. 25, 2012, 7:36 pm
Try from Slope says:
Should the cops follow the law and stop parking on the sidewalk?
Nov. 26, 2012, 7:55 am
ty from pps says:
Tal -- I seriously wish you weren't so damn stupid. Yes, that is a personal "attack." (If you call stating facts an attack) Yes, I know "where you're from" that's "below the belt" -- but i bet "where you from" not everyone is as stupid. I still think your mom should take your computer away.
Nov. 26, 2012, 10:05 am
Chris from Bushwick says:
Tal, get off your high horse. You follow the law in your car, so you can complain about cyclists who break the law? Guess what? I follow the law on my bike. I guess that means I can continue to complain about motorists who break the law. And I will continue to complain about morons like you who paint cyclists with a broad stroke and think that we're ALL undeserving of safe bike infrastructure because SOME of us break the law.

And don't you dare tell me - as you have before - how I, as a law-abiding cyclist, have a responsibility to encourage other cyclists to follow the law. I don't ask you to do that as a law-abiding motorist. If you scolded a fellow motorist for running a red light or speeding, you'd probably get slugged in the face.
Nov. 26, 2012, 10:13 am
Jared from UWS says:
Tal is from Pleasantville, ie. Suburban Hell.
Nov. 26, 2012, 11:08 am
ty from pps says:
Tal is just bitter because his dad never taught him how to ride a bike. Now he is reminded of this every time he reads any mention of bicycles on the computer in his mom's basement. He's also been hit in the head by too many stray golf balls in his backyard -- that can't help.
Nov. 26, 2012, 11:13 am
Driver from 78th Precinct says:
Tal, Tal, Tal...

If a law-abiding cyclist is riding down Bergen Street and finds the bike lane blocked by motorists breaking the law, what is the solution? Call on all cyclists to observe the law or ask the 78th Precinct to to follow the laws they are sworn to enforce?

Your logic is really astounding!

It is the officers of the 78th Precinct that need to follow the rules.
Nov. 26, 2012, 11:27 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
How nice to see a bunch of bike zealots gang up on me and make personal attacks online that they wouldn't say to someone in real life. Then again, you probably do those things in real life. The only ones that need to get off your high horses are you guys, but I will let you get back on just to kick you off of it again. As much as you don't like believe that cyclists constantly break the law, they do that, and I know that they are encouraged to do so thanks to chief enabling websites such as Streetsblog, who always believes that cyclists are above all others and holier than thou. Many of the concerns of cyclists is because they constantly flout the law. Maybe giving you all fines like that hipster did not that long ago will teach you all a lesson. Overall, everyone MUST follow the laws with no exemptions. Also, all bicycles MUST be subject to licensing, registration, and insurance especially if you keep claiming that bicycles should be treated like vehicles, so then they MUST use the road as vehicles. Why give any more bike lanes when the ones that are already there go unused most of the time? Sounds like a waste of money to me.
Nov. 26, 2012, 2:48 pm
malembi from bk says:
what is this guy some kind of an indian in the tee pee? what a dick.
Nov. 26, 2012, 3:32 pm
Bo from Prospect Heights says:
Dear "Tal,"

Two very specific questions.

1. How is a cyclist who is riding in a bike lane legally "flouting the law" if he finds it blocked by the police?

2. If "everyone MUST follow the laws with no exemptions," does that include the members of the NYPD?

I await your very specific answers.
Nov. 26, 2012, 3:43 pm
Chris from Bushwick says:
Bo, I eagerly await his answers, which will, as usual, be filled with circular logic and rash assumptions.

Tal, we're not ganging up on you. It's time to face the reality that your opinions are just unpopular. Even people who regularly drive cars have attacked you for being an irrational anti-bike zealot. Get over it, and move on to worrying and commenting about things that happen in your own neighborhood.

Or, just keep making a fool of yourself here. It's actually quite entertaining!
Nov. 26, 2012, 5:39 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
I think Tal want cyclists to follow laws that don't exist.
Nov. 27, 2012, 6:54 am
Tal is a turd from unpleasantville from Jerusalem says:
Hey Tal,

Lech tizdayen ya manyak ibn sharmuta!
Nov. 27, 2012, 11:14 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off, I do have a life unlike some of you who don't seem to have one yourselves. To answer Bo, I do want even the police to follow the laws just as much as they should enforce it. However, bike lanes are not a get out of jail free card for cyclists in allowing for them to ignore all traffic signs and lights as well as going the the wrong way on a one way street. You guys can try to deny that laws requiring for cyclists to follow the rules don't exist and they do, which explains that cyclists who got fined $1,555 for running several red lights when he was already told by the cop to pull over and he didn't listen the first time. Also, I don't see why bicycles shouldn't be licensed, registered, and insured, especially when you keep on rambling over on places such as Streetsblog that bicycles should be treated as vehicles, but don't want to pay like them to use the road like all others. Overall, I have nothing against bicycles or those who like to ride them, just those who bolster their egos with them is what I hate. As much as you guys have the right to call out motorists that flout the laws, I have the right to call out cyclists that do exactly the same, and I am not alone on that. If you really don't like what I say, then just simply don't respond like a mature adult rather than attack like a little kid who doesn't get their way. In reality, I don't hate the person, just the idea is what I am really judging here. On a side note, it would be interesting who created that alter ego.
Nov. 27, 2012, 5:29 pm
Chris from Bushwick says:
Tal, you do realize that since all city streets are maintained by the NYCDOT, which is funded from income, sales, and property taxes, all of which cyclists pay.

I'm not phrasing that as a question, because commenters here have repeated this to you time and time again, and yet you continue to repeat the myth that cyclists don't pay to use the road. You either have problems with reading comprehension, memory loss, or you're a pathological liar.
Nov. 27, 2012, 6:52 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Chris, all other motorists pay for the roads through numerous fees, taxes, and tolls, which is something that cyclists don't pay for when it comes to roads in the state and federal level. Right now, some of the money spent for bike lanes could have gone to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which are much more important. The truth is that I can respect another one's view long before they respect mine. You don't hear me using name calling or other personal attacks as you and your fellow bike zealots are doing at me, which is uncalled for. On whatever side I take, so many like yourself seem to demand for censorship on me just because you personally don't like what I have to say, which shows how little you can take criticism especially when placed between a rock and hard place. Overall, there are many things that I don't like, but I don't make personal attacks nor do I demand those that don't agree with me to be censored. Sometimes, I am like Gulliver who just can't be kept down no matter how tight the ropes are, because I will always brake free of them.
Nov. 27, 2012, 8:54 pm
ty from pps says:
WOW -- Tal. You are a freaking crazy person. I have no other reaction to those two dimwitted, nutjob comments.
Nov. 27, 2012, 11:27 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

Do you know that the "numerous fees, taxes, and tolls" that motorists pay do not nearly cover the costs of the roads they use. This infrastructure is paid for by everyone who pays taxes, not just the car owner.

Anyway, I own a car and most of the time that I decide to use my bike to get from point A to point B I leave my car parked, because it is faster to ride. When I do that I am not adding to the gridlock that is Brooklyn.

You would know that if you would actually live here.
Nov. 28, 2012, 5:57 am
S from PPW says:
I bike and own a car, so therefore I pay taxes entitling me to safe bike lanes free from police cars.
Nov. 28, 2012, 7:44 am
ty from pps says:
There's not point. Tal is not intelligent enough to understand all of these basic thoughts. He also doesn't understand that just because he has an opinion doesn't mean his opinion is magically (a) valid, (b) intelligent, or (c) in any way connected to reality.

I'm glad his mom gets to keep an eye on him in the basement. He probably shouldn't be left alone. Hopefully his parents have set some money aside so he can live in a special group home when they die.
Nov. 28, 2012, 10:11 am
ty from pps says:
Oh, yes... And the $80 per year or whatever it is that I pay in fees for my car/license is certainly paying for the roads! Obviously.
Nov. 28, 2012, 11:18 am
Chris from Bushwick says:
Tal, we're personally attacking you because your rambling, incoherent arguments sound like those of a crazy, irrational person. The sooner you realize that yourself, the sooner you'll be able to seek out help for your affliction.
Nov. 28, 2012, 11:25 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sorry Chris, but you just gave another straw man argument here. It's not just on bicycles vs cars, but also on how to debate. Just because I happen to disagree, doesn't mean that I am trying to stop anyone from liking it. Whenever you call me an anti-bike zealot, I can easily say where you are an anti-car zealot from your statement. BTW, there are numerous fees and taxes that motorists such as myself pay for only, and they are not subsidized at all, not to mention that they go up in costs almost constantly. Another thing is that it's us motorists that provide the most funding for your transit to have the fares so low rather than raise them, so a thanks should be in order for that. As for those bike lanes, I am not condoning the cops for blocking it, but at the same time you guys need to practice what you preach or you will just be seen as having a double standard for that. The personal attacks is exactly what I expect from bike zealots such as yourselves, which does show that you are nothing but Peter Pans to this in that you never want to grow up. Statements like that, don't help you on a debate, and if you were to participate in a real debate, you would automatically be disqualified for saying such words. I can never understand why you can't just talk without making an attack on the person. For the record, I never said my opinions are magically valid, they are nothing more than an opinion that I am entitled to just as much as your entitled to yours. On a side note, seeing that some of you post on a weekday morning probably shows that you don't have a job. In reality, bike lanes really are opposed, it's just not said here, but it is over in the major NYC newspapers a lot. One other thing, don't link something over from Streetsblog, because they have a history of not just fudging data to be in their favor that could have been funded or paid by Mark Gorton himself, plus they have a complete bias against anyone chooses motor vehicles against anything else, which is why I question their findings a lot.
Nov. 28, 2012, 2:22 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- You are soooooo badly misinformed. Actually, no. At least a dozen people try to educate you on a regular basis, but you have never ever modified even one of your FALSE and, frankly, stupid "opinions."

Most of them are invalid and based on nothing but your own inventions in your dim little head. Yes, you have a "right" to your opinion... but I/we also have the right to call you out on being ignorant and saying stupid things.

I do enjoy your paranoid ramblings though. I would be interested to know what sorts of anti-psychotic medications you take. You know you're supposed to take them at the same time every day. It helps keep you more balanced.
Nov. 28, 2012, 3:37 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, I will tell you when you start taking chill pills, stop drinking Haterade, and start taking anger management classes, because you really need them after seeing how you comment here.
Nov. 28, 2012, 4:55 pm
ty from pps says:
Hey Tal -- I'll take your advice once you have figured out how to apply that same capacity of self-reflection to your own dumba$$ comments.
Nov. 28, 2012, 5:18 pm
Chris from Bushwick says:
Tal, you're a rambling, delusional psychopath. Just shut up and go away.
Nov. 30, 2012, 10:50 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

It is kinda funny that you have an issue with the quantity of times anyone posts here.

Especially since Pleasantville, NY is about 40 miles form Bergen St.

But it is more than just the miles. You have demonstrated that your knowledge of the issues you comment on only come from the tabloids.

Go away.
Dec. 2, 2012, 6:09 pm
whatever from greenpoint says:
Wow, I haven't come to Brooklynpaper in about two months mostly because it's just a website for Tal to copy/paste the same post everyday. First Tal saying something stupid, then turning it into a cyclic argument about arguing. - Nope nothing new here so I guess I'll not come back to this website for awhile.

Either Tal is the most ingenious internet troll I've ever seen, or he's just a really lonely lonely guy. Either way, pretty sad.

If you all want to make him stop, just never respond to any of his comments. I've noticed on other articles where his posts are ignored, he will keep just posting and posting more inflaming comments to get someone to bite. For example here where his first post didn't get the reaction he wanted so he felt compelled to try another approach: - I'm actually surprised he didn't make a third post to try and blame it on cyclists in order to elicit a reaction.

So hats off to you Tal! Your consistent diatribe is most compulsive in a wannabe maniacal put your homemade tinfoil Professor Chaos hat on in your mothers basement while typing your pitiful manifesto on this website.
Dec. 3, 2012, 10:27 am
Other Michael from Park Spope says:
But messin' with Tal is more fun than playing video games.
Dec. 4, 2012, 6:31 pm

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