Beach bodies battle over bike lane

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Bike lanes along Oriental Boulevard are in the crosshairs of two famously combative Manhattan Beach civic groups and — guess what? — they can’t agree on how to get rid of the routes.

In the latest battle between the Manhattan Beach Community Group and its rival and off-shoot, the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association, the president of one group says it’s time to sue the city, while his adversaries say doing so would hurt the cause.

“We plan on suing the city,” said Community Group president Ira Zalcman, who added that an an anti-bike lane suit filed Monday against the city by a Downtown group is his motivation. “I read about that lawsuit and I hope to use the same grounds as they did.”

But Neighborhood Association leader Edmund Dweck says that suing is not the way to go, even though he agrees that the bike lane needs to be moved.

“We’ve already made too much progress on traffic safety issues with the city to go after them with a lawsuit,” Neighborhood Association leader Edmund Dweck said.

That’s easy for him to say: Dweck’s group has been in discussion with the city about traffic concerns in the area, while Zalcman’s has been shut out.

At a meeting with the city last month, the Neighborhood Association made nice with the Department of Transportation, persuading officials to place a speed bump on Oxford Street between Shore and Oriental boulevards this spring. In addition, the city promised to prohibit cars from parking in areas closest to intersections along Oriental Boulevard so that drivers can see better.

Dweck also said the city did right by the community when it recently removed the dreaded Oriental Boulevard planters and installed three stop signs at both the Shore and Oriental boulevard entrances to Kingsborough Community College.

But those Neighborhood Association victories did little to appease Zalcman, who’s called them “crumbs.”

Jim Walden, the lawyer representing the Downtown group in its suit over the Prospect Park West bike lane, said that he wasn’t aware of the Oriental Boulevard lane, but that the grounds for his suit could apply to other cycle routes.

“They’re welcome to take a look at a copy of our suit,” Walden said.

Manhattan Beach residents have long said that they never wanted the Oriental Boulevard bike lane, which the city painted in 2009. It is one of several Southern Brooklyn cycle routes under fire by locals, who say that they are dangerous in communities where the majority of people drive.

Bike lane backlash also extends to Southern Brooklyn lawmakers, as Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Canarsie) is pushing for legislation that would require the city to hold community board hearings in every neighborhood they plan to paint the lanes.

Despite the opposition, the city maintains that bike lanes are beneficial, as they reducing speeding.

The Department of Transportation did not return a request for comment by The Courier’s deadline.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Hey there, Brooklyn Daily reader!

Yes, you’re in the right place — Brooklyn Paper is the new online home of

So bookmark this page, and remember check it throughout the day for the latest stories from your neighborhood — and across this great borough of ours.