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Father and child injured after crashing into wheelchair ramp on busy Downtown street • Brooklyn Paper

Father and child injured after crashing into wheelchair ramp on busy Downtown street

Blockage: It just took one illegally parked car to force a bus to block the bike lane on Jay Street at MetroTech Center Friday afternoon, one day after a cyclist and his 1-year-old daughter were injured when they hit a wheelchair ramp from a bus that couldn’t pull into the bus stop because police cars reportedly blocked the area.
Photo by Kevin Duggan

A cyclist and his toddler suffered minor injuries after colliding with a ramp lowered from a wheelchair-accessible bus on Jay Street Thursday.

The man and his 1-year-old daughter were riding near the bus stop at Myrtle Avenue when they hit the bus’s accessibility ramp at 11:30 a.m., according to a spokeswoman for the police department.

A tipster told this paper that the bus couldn’t pull up to the curb at MetroTech because several police and other city agency vehicles were blocking the red-painted bus zone, which in turn forced the biker to veer out of the bike lane before the incident.

A spokeswoman for police could not confirm those reports.

The city installed protected bike lanes on Jay Street between Willoughby and Tillary streets in 2016, four years after Brooklyn Paper readers voted a previous bike lane there the scariest in the city amid a 2012 poll.

But the Jay Street bike lane’s new protective elements — including on-street parking and large planters separating cyclists from traffic, along with painting the path a bright shade of green — are not a cure all to the heavy traffic along the busy Downtown thoroughfare, and the bad actors that routinely park in the bike lane, the leader of a local civic panel said.

“The most recent improvements by DOT were not a silver bullet and people who park illegally create safety hazards,” said Community Board 2’s district manager Rob Perris.

A highly scientific glance outside Brooklyn Paper’s third story office at the MetroTech Center near Jay Street showed a scene of utter chaos surrounding the bike lanes below, as bus drivers swerved around an illegally-parked car hogging the bus stop on Friday afternoon.

A Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Gastel referred this paper to police, saying that cars parked illegally were a “enforcement issue.”

The Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The agency’s website does not list any future projects on Jay Street, but the agency is reportedly working to close some of the gaps along the bike lane this year, according to Streetsblog.

Gastel did say that the agency continues to monitor the area, while noting that the thoroughfare has gotten more than its fair share of attention from the city already.

“We continue to look at the area as we do with other areas,” he said. “I think Jay Street has received a lot of attention from DOT and I’ll leave it at that.”

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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