The ever-expanding network of bike lanes will penetrate deeper into Carroll Gardens and Red Hook later this summer as the city paints fresh routes on Ninth and Columbia streets.
In the biggest news, the Department of Transportation will extend the existing Ninth Street stripe for cyclists from Third Avenue to Hamilton Avenue in July. From there, it will link up with a popular northbound bicycle route on Clinton Street by adding a one-block long lane on congested Hamilton Avenue.
“Improving safety and mobility are key goals, and enhancing this existing bike route helps to do both by connecting our bike network while calming traffic along the corridor,” agency spokeswoman Nicole Garcia said in a statement.
Bike advocates are happy to see the city attempting to tame a piece of unruly Hamilton Avenue, which is alternatively clogged with Battery tunnel- or Brooklyn–Queens Expressway-bound traffic or a drag strip for motorists during off-hours.
“It’s been part of a route that people from Park Slope are taking to get to the Brooklyn Bridge, so they’re going to have to negotiate Hamilton Avenue no matter what,” said Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives. “Cyclists are already there and any street can be made safer if you have the right type of lane.”
On Columbia Street, the new lanes in both directions will run from West Ninth Street to Bay Street and are part of a larger effort to control traffic on the wide boulevard. The city will create more parking spaces by creating diagonal spots instead of parallel parking and also build a median to give pedestrians safe passage while crossing the street.
“It’s a very wide, unregulated street,” said Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6. Hammerman inspected the area with residents of the nearby Red Hook Houses and representatives of the Department of Transportation before all concluded that the lane was appropriate.
“The changes were universally held as a step in the right direction as a way to make it safe for everyone,” he said.
©2009 Community News Group
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