City pedals Hamilton Ave bike lane

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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.

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Reader Feedback

henry ford from bay ridge says:
Great idea. Take a congested road "which is alternatively clogged with Battery tunnel- or Brooklyn–Queens Expressway-bound traffic" and take away a lane to be used by a couple of dozen bikers. Only a self absorbed anti car activist could come up with such a stupid idea. Hopefully, there will be universal health care to deal with the spike in asthma cases that will result from increased gridlock in residential areas, because all those evil autos are not going to go away.
June 26, 2009, 12:16 am
Joe from Red Hook says:
Dumbest Idea Ever !
June 26, 2009, 8:40 am
John from Park Slope says:
This is a great idea. Since bike already use that route, this is simply making it safer. There is no place where the plan calls for removing a lane. This isn't anti-car, it's pro-mobility. That means allowing everyone to get around. The main project is on Ninth Street anyway. Slow news day, I guess. Time to drum up controversy where there is none.
June 26, 2009, 9:49 am
kduffy from Carroll Gardens says:
Dear Henry and Joe:

If you lived in the area along 9th street or in its vicinity you would recognize the DANGER the traffic poses to cyclists and more importantly pedestrians. The area is more residential than not and requires drivers to reconsider alternate routes (there are alternate routes.)

You can't grow auto traffic exponentially along increased development without strong infrastructure planning. We don't have any If folks want to put aside their cars to walk and cycle, they should be permitted to do it, especially if the route moves through their residential community.

Finally, there are buses and subways that may not suit everyone's life style, but also provide safe, affordable and accessible alternatives. It's a dense city environment after all.

I applaud DOT and officials for recognizing the safety and concerns of local communities.
June 26, 2009, 3:42 pm
aud from slope says:
There are so many reckless drivers along 9th, there needs to be one, protected, two-way bike lane. When you come back down Henry (parallel to Clinton), there is no way to safely get back to 9th without going into traffic on Smith OR 9th. This is good but could be better!
Oct. 20, 2010, 10:07 am

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