Ridge community leaders: We want to choose where bike lanes will go

Bike enthusiast Bob Cassara can't wait for the Tour de Brooklyn to start.
Photo by Noah Devereaux

A civic advisory panel that’s been idling on bike lanes for Bay Ridge is now giving them the green light — but only on its own terms.

Community Board 10 upheld its Traffic and Transportation Committee’s plan to accommodate cyclists on one side of Fort Hamilton Parkway between 84th and 101st streets, and along Sixth, 11th, and Marine avenues. The group also wants to see bike lanes on 72nd Street from Shore Road to Sixth Avenue, and create one-way pedal paths on 68th Street from Sixth Avenue to Shore Road — bucking a city plan to install routes on more crammed thoroughfares such as Bay Ridge Parkway and 92nd Street.

“There will be more bike lanes in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, no matter what,” said Committee Chairman Brian Kieran. “We’re not just saying ‘don’t put it here, don’t put it there,’ we’re putting forward our own suggestions.”

The board, which blocked a city attempt last year to place the lanes on Bay Ridge Parkway, voted 40–2, but hit a pothole when a member argued that there are too few cyclists in the area to justify inconveniencing motorists.

“There is absolutely no way they can take parking lanes and driving lanes away to satisfy one-half of one percent of all traffic,” said Allen Bortnick who voted “present” to indicate that he was in the room when the proposal was being discussed, but that he didn’t support it.

The vote of confidence was a victory — and then some — for bike enthusiasts.

“A year or two ago, no one would’ve imagined this community board would be talking about such a long list of places where we’d like to see bike lanes,” said Bob Hudock, noting the board’s plan sets aside more miles of roadway for two-wheeled traffic than the city’s does.

Bike advocate John Murphy also welcomed the change of heart.

“It’s great, it’s about time these things come to Bay Ridge,” he said.

The city is free to crumple up and toss away CB10’s bike map. The board’s role in city government is only advisory and the new bike routes are only suggestions, officials said.

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