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Speeding along: City accelerates installation of some Fourth Avenue bike lanes following locals’ complaints • Brooklyn Paper

Speeding along: City accelerates installation of some Fourth Avenue bike lanes following locals’ complaints

Coming sooner: The city’s new timeline for installing bike lanes on Fourth Avenue between 65th Street and Atlantic Avenue accelerates the in-house lane-painting process by two years.
Department of Transportation

Work on these lanes is shifting into high gear!

Transportation officials will install bike lanes on Fourth Avenue in Park Slope years sooner than originally planned after neighborhood transit gurus and the local councilman demanded they accelerate the job last month.

The city wants to install the pedalers’ paths as part of a larger makeover of a Bay Ridge–to–Slope stretch of the road — from 65th Street to Atlantic Avenue in both directions — and Department of Transportation reps said workers can complete the so-called “sticks-to-stripes” job of narrowing Fourth Avenue’s current four driving lanes and two parking lanes to make way for a pair dedicated to cyclists with simple in-house materials — namely, paint.

But agency reps told locals on Dec. 21 that they could not install bike lanes on Fourth Avenue between Eighth Street and Atlantic Avenue until 2021 — years after they planned to create them between 65th Street and Eighth Street — leading residents and Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) to insist they find more paint and get the job done faster, according to a civic honcho.

“We were disappointed that the proposal didn’t include all of Fourth Avenue and we made our feelings clear, as did Councilman Lander,” said Eric McClure, chairman of Community Board 6’s Transportation Committee. “It was apparently enough to get them to rethink their timeline.”

The job’s 2021 end date would leave Fourth Avenue bikers pedaling through Park Slope with an unfinished lane that spit them out into traffic near Eighth Street, a treacherous scenario that could be avoided relatively cheaply, according to Lander.

“The bike lane will be more effective for everyone if it goes the whole way. There are obviously safety issues,” he said.

And the day after the pol and locals voiced their concerns, transit officials revealed the in-house job of painting the lanes all the way to Atlantic Avenue will now end in 2019, according to an agency PowerPoint presentation dated Dec. 22. Transportation department honchos told Lander the 2021 deadline was the result of an “internal miscommunication,” the councilman said.

Workers will begin construction on other capital improvements — including installing pedestrian islands, protective planters, and other sidewalk amenities — to Fourth Avenue between Eighth Street and Atlantic Avenue in 2021, after they finish similar upgrades to the road between 65th and Eighth streets, which will now begin next spring, as opposed to this fall, according to a transit agency rep.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Not happening: The original timeline transit officials presented to locals left Fourth Avenue between Eighth Street and Atlantic Avenue without a bike lane until 2021, prompting many to decry that scenario as dangerous, which resulted in agency officials’ new deadlines.
Department of Transportation

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