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Heavy pedal! Bike lane eyed for industrial Metropolitan Avenue

Heavy pedal! Bike lane eyed for industrial Metropolitan Avenue
Speed zone: Speeding trucks, car, and bicycles often come into conflict on this dangerous stretch of Metropolitan Avenue.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

A hairy road in industrial Williamsburg could be getting more bike-friendly.

The city is asking locals for input on how best to extend the bike-way along Grand Street onto four blocks of Metropolitan Avenue, a fast-moving truck route that saw four people hurt in crashes and a cyclist killed by a hit-and-run driver between August 2011 and 2014, according to police data compiled by the website NYC Crashmapper. The need for bicycle markings on the street is dire, a road-minded member of the neighborhood’s community board said.

“It is important that we do something as soon as possible to make this road safer,” said Community Board 1’s transportation committee chairwoman Karen Nieves.

The lane would run along Metropolitan Avenue from the bike lanes at Grand Street to the Queens border at Onderdonk Avenue.

The board plans to invite cyclists and local business owners to come up with a plan for a bike route, which could be as unsubstantial as shared-road arrows in the car lane or as solid as a separated bike lane. The board has a feeling bike riders and the proprietors of the factories and warehouses whose 18-wheelers and box trucks ply the route won’t see eye to eye on a prescription for safety, Nieves said.

“We need to figure out where the conflicts are,” she said.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
Sign of the crime: Police tape marks the spot where a hit-and-run driver killed cyclist Terence Connor in 2012.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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