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Bike lane for DeKalb

A biker maneuvers on crowded DeKalb Avenue.
The Brooklyn Paper / Noelle D’Arrigo

The city will turn a stretch of DeKalb Avenue in Fort Greene into a safe haven for cyclists, sacrificing parking in an effort to calm the hectic throughway.

The 2.6-mile bike lane, separated from traffic with three feet of painted markings, will connect Bushwick to Fort Greene, running down DeKalb Avenue to the foot of Fort Greene Park at Cumberland Street.

In order to construct the five-foot wide bike lane, the city will eliminate 60 parking spots and restrict parking on another 130 spots along DeKalb Avenue.

The new plans call for one lane for cars, one bike lane, one full-time parking lane, and a lane that allows parking at all times except for rush hours — weekdays 7–10 am and 4–7 pm.

“This project isn’t just for cyclists,” said Noah Budnick, deputy director of Transportation Alternatives, the cycling advocacy group. “It’s also going to make things better for the thousands of people who take the bus as well as anyone who walks up DeKalb. Narrower streets have slower speeds, and that’s safer for everyone, drivers included.”

Limiting DeKalb to a single lane of traffic throughout much of the day will prevent dangerous speeding and erratic lane changes on some of the avenue’s longer blocks, Transportation officials said.

The painted bike lane will not only alert drivers for cyclists, but also create space between cyclists and parked cars, protecting bikers from collisions with car doors.

“It’s a great idea,” said Michelle Etwaroo of the Pratt Area Community Council. “It will cut down on the number of cars, period — and that’s something we all need for our health.”

Even small businesses — which often complain about reductions in parking spaces — are excited about project.

“It might actually help business,” said Alex Orozco, manager of Madiba Restaurant, which is between Carlton Avenue and Adelphi Street. “In the summertime when the weather is nice, people can bring their bikes to [Fort Greene Park] then come here.”

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