Bike lane backpedal: City reverses on controversial cycling path • Brooklyn Paper

Bike lane backpedal: City reverses on controversial cycling path

She got it done!: Marine Parker Rachel Breslof-Eng is all smiles now that the city has agreed to fix the hated bike lanes along E. 38th Street.
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

They really got into gear!

The city agreed to revise controversial bike lanes it just laid down in Marine Park after community outcry last week. The Department of Transportation installed a “protected” bike lane on E. 38th Street between Avenues U and V, but angry neighbors say it dangerously narrowed the one-way street and forced cars to park too close to traffic. So the Department of Transport bowed to community pressure last Friday and agreed to change the lane — a victory for locals, according to one area resident who started a petition demanding the fix.

“Obviously we’re happy — of course, absolutely thrilled. Just waiting on when they will do it,” said Rachel Breslof-Eng. “We didn’t have a problem with the bike lane, we had a problem with cars being parked in the middle of the street and narrowing the lane of traffic. The entire block is very, very happy.”

The current configuration — where cyclists are given an 8-foot-wide, curb-side path separated from traffic by a row of parking — put parked cars too close to moving ones, and just a day after the lane was installed on Aug. 4, a few drivers had already nicked some idle vehicles and knocked off their mirrors, locals said.

Soon the city will flip-flop the lanes so that cars go back to parking curb-side and the bike lane will be next to traffic, which makes sense because so few cyclists use the street as it is, a local councilman said.

“This is not the Tour de France. You get one bike rider every once in awhile. You don’t need to inconvenience the whole community, because you get a couple bikers,” said Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Marine Park), who lobbied alongside state Sen. Martin Golden (R–Marine Park) for the fix.

The Department of Transportation plans make the change by the end of the month, a spokeswoman said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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