Lane change! White stripe erasure leads to commuter chaos

Lane change! White stripe erasure leads to commuter chaos
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

White lines go away.

The result is chaos in Brooklyn streets, where summer repaving has left bicyclists and cars battling for space on the fresh-but-laneless asphalt. The city has repaved several formerly bike-lane-lined thoroughfares, but has left the new blacktop paint-free for most of August, making getting from point A to B a hair-raising proposition, according to some commuters.

“It’s annoying,” said Fort Greene cyclist Stefan Christopher, adding that the lane change showed poor planning on the city’s part.

“It is stupid that they have the crosswalks painted, but not the bike lanes.”

The bicyclist’s concerns were shared by another kind of biker who said the line erasure is a recipe for road rage.

“I do get worried, because cars do not know how to stay in their lanes,” Master Stewart said, mounting his motorcycle at the corner of Myrtle and Flatbush avenues.

Car and bike lanes have been missing for several weeks on streets including along most of Dekalb Avenue, Jay Street, and parts of Willoughby Avenue.

The city’s Department of Transportation said the lines should return in the next two weeks, but that time-table is not fast enough for the bike boosters at Transportation Alternatives.

“Bike lanes are a backbone of many people’s commute and the paint needs to get down faster,” said Caroline Samponaro, senior director of campaigns and organizing.

Car drivers, on the other hand, seem to care less about the lacking lanes, which could explain why two-wheeled commuters are so antsy.

“I don’t pay it any mind,” said Shawn Wills of Bedford-Stuyvesant, stopped at a light on Jay Street. “I just get to where I need to go.”

Last year, Jay Street was voted worst bicycle route in the borough, in part because of its faded lanes. It remains to be seen whether new stripes will make it any less lawless.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

One big fast lane: Chaos reigns on Dekalb Avenue, where bicyclists and motorists fight for space on the open road. The Department of Transportation says that new lane markings are coming soon but bicycle boosters say the redo cannot come fast enough.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini