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Here’s some wheely good news: Kent Ave bike lane fix in the works - Brooklyn Paper

Here’s some wheely good news: Kent Ave bike lane fix in the works

Opposition to the bike lanes has come primarily from South Williamsburg’s Satmar community, where neighborhood leaders threatened to obstruct traffic if the city doesn’t remove the cycling paths.
The Brooklyn Paper / Ben Muessig

This could be the proposal that has Kent Avenue cyclists and motorists seeing wheel to wheel.

In an attempt to make peace among cyclists, who support a pair of controversial Kent Avenue bike paths, and drivers and business owners who oppose the lanes because of their impact on parking, the city is forging a truce that could turn Kent Avenue into a one-way street lined on two sides of parking and loading zones — as well as a protected two-directional bike lane, sources told The Brooklyn Paper.

Insiders who attended meetings between the Department of Transportation and factions of South Williamsburg’s Satmar community said the one-way, one-lane Kent Avenue would run northbound between Clymer and North 14th streets.

Such a plan would allow the city to convert the hotly contested no-parking and no standing zones on either side of the road into legal parking lanes — one of which would serve as a buffer for a protected two-directional bike lane on the waterfront side of the roadway.

Insiders said that the city was touting the proposal as a way to give cyclists a permanent spot on the roadway, reduce speeding on the thoroughfare by restricting traffic to a single lane, and recover about 75 percent of the curb space that was once used for parking and loading.

A Department of Transportation spokesman said the agency is meeting with Williamsburg groups to discuss the radical plan — an outreach that comes on the heels of wild rumors all week that the city’s plan would remove bike lanes from nearby Bedford Avenue.

Sources told The Brooklyn Paper that those lanes will remain untouched.

The Kent Avenue proposal shares similarities with a proposed buffered bike lane on Prospect Park West bike lane unveiled two weeks ago — and has already received support from some neighborhood activists who opposed the original bike lanes.

“After six long months, we are coming to a conclusion that benefits everyone,” said Kent Avenue resident Leo Moskowitz. “We’ll give them the bike lanes, but we’ll get some parking, too.”

Biking boosters said they are behind the city’s preliminary proposal for Kent Avenue, which has long been slated to host a pair of walking and biking paths stretching from Greenpoint to Sunset Park called the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.

“There is definitely a lot [in the plan] that is exciting and novel — as long as the design prioritizes safety,” said Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, a cycling and pedestrian advocacy group that supported the original lanes.

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