Promenade bike backlash: Neighbors angry over rule-breaking cyclists

Rule-breaking cyclists shatter the serenity of Brooklyn Heights’s picturesque Promenade, weaving around park-goers and riding all over the borough’s most illustrious sidewalk, according to angry neighbors.

Brooklyn Heights residents say two-wheelers frequently violate the vista’s no-bike policy, ignoring signs posted at entrances so they can cruise down the pedestrian-packed Promenade.

“I’m here everyday and they ride by like nobody’s business,” said longtime Brooklyn Heights resident Rob Rosenstein, who spends his afternoons reading on the Promenade. “There’s no concern for anyone else.”

Rosenstein says he hasn’t seen crashes yet — but he fears accidents are bound to happen as long as cyclists ride on the walkway.

Community Board 2 district manager Rob Perris has received calls about cyclists on the Promenade — and he fears that more bikers will turn to the walkway in the future.

“As bike riding increases in popularity in New York City and there are more places to rent bikes, we are probably going to see more of this,” he said.

Neighborhood cycling expert Tony Scarselli, the owner of Brooklyn Heights Bike Shoppe on Atlantic Avenue, says bikers ride on the Promenade for recreation, not commuting. But even though it’s car-free, it’s not a safe place for two-wheelers, Scarselli said.

“I wouldn’t advise that people ride a bike there,” said Scarselli, who recommended that bicyclists explore the bike-friendly path in Brooklyn Bridge Park instead.

“There’s no reason to ride a bike there — it’s like an oversized terrace for the neighborhood,” he said.

Promenade regulars claim that cyclists pose a danger — but some say they may not be intentionally disregarding the rules.

The signs that warn bikers to stay away — which also outline a number of other prohibited activities such as skateboarding and walking off-leash dogs — aren’t particularly prominent and could be hard to read for cyclists on the move.

“The signs are so small, you can barely see them,” said neighborhood resident John McKaig. “Maybe if they were bigger, people would pay attention.”