Jay Street is the scariest bike lane in Brooklyn, our readers say

The Brooklyn Paper
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Jay Street is home to the scariest bike lane in the borough, according to dozens of readers who cast their votes in an online survey at

About 39 percent of readers — 91 out of 237 voters at press time — named the double-parking-plagued Downtown street the most frightening bicycle route in Brooklyn, thanks to jaywalking pedestrians, who help the street live up to its name, and lawless drivers, who regularly block the path.

“The pedestrians are the worst … and there are always cars in the bike lane,” wrote one online commentator named Adam from Park Slope.

An average of 49 vehicles park in the Downtown-to-Manhattan link-up lane between Willoughby and Johnson streets every 60 minutes during morning and evening rush hour, forcing cyclists to swerve around cars and into the chaotic roadway itself, according to a recent study by the bicycle advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.

Cyclists say police do little to stop motorists from making illegal u-turns or blocking the bike route — and often obstruct the bike route themselves with their squad cars.

“The bike lane is faded and what remains is a double parking lane anyway, with the police among the worst offenders,” wrote one Brooklyn Paper commentator who posted under the name DG.

Caroline Samponaro of Transportation Alternatives says the lack of traffic enforcement is the biggest problem on Jay Street.

“It’s disappointing — it’s a matter of police doing their job,” Samponaro said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation did not immediately respond to questions about whether the city plans to make any tweaks to the oft-criticized lane.

Readers also sounded off about other terrifying bike routes in the borough, with the Brooklyn Bridge bike lane earning the title of second scariest after tallying about 22 percent of votes, followed by the cycling path on Bedford Avenue, which racked up 13 percent of votes.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:35 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
Dear Brooklyn Paper,
You are officially full of —— and do not have a single thread of journalistic integrity. You office is at 1 MTC, you are right in front of the intersection and you will not even get your ass downstairs and look at the intersection for 10 minutes. 10 minutes and you will see 10 cyclists running the red light in front of your building. Come on NATALIE O’NEILL. Take up the challenge. You have the nerve to print about all the jay-walking pedestrians. Tell me you haven't seen a cyclist running a red light. Oh, you are a cyclist? Well that explains it all. good luck paying off your college loans. You will never get a real writing job with that bias.
Aug. 8, 2012, 7:43 am
ty from pps says:
But blocking the bike lane and making illegal U-turns is AOK, right swampy?

I'm not denying cyclists are going through red lights ("running" is a loaded and inaccurate term), but your own double standard, Swampy, is just as irritating as anything the most self-righteous cycling advocate could say.

There are lots of cyclists that DO stop at red lights and wait patiently. Guess what?! These cyclists are also forced into the main roadway by cars and police cruisers blocking the bike lane. These cyclists are also at risk of being crushed by the douche nozzles that make sudden, high-speed u-turns without warning.
Aug. 8, 2012, 7:56 am
Spike from Bebop says:
Swamp, for someone that reads the website so much, you should know that there was a poll deciding which one was the worst. They just published the results. Or did you not read the article and pick and choose which parts made you the angriest, like all your arguments?

I can't wait for your reply, because I know you're going to twist my words and then yell angrily about hipsters ruining Brooklyn (because for some reason everyone on a bicycle is now a hipster)
Aug. 8, 2012, 9:29 am
BrianVan from Gramercy says:
SwampYankee: uh, is this your first time here? Natalie is not a cycling apologist. Far from it.

I am repulsed by the suggestion that the DOT ought to possibly reconfigure the lanes. The lanes themselves are totally standard, successful around the city and around the world. It's just a matter of not letting drivers do whatever they want. Apparently, the NYPD has a culture of looking the other way on this, except for the traffic enforcers writing lucrative, toothless tickets. The NYPD needs to stick to the law and start towing cars that park in bike lanes. It's such a SIMPLE concept. We don't need to even discuss it at length here! No amount of brainstorming fixes traffic chaos caused by willful neglect of the law.
Aug. 8, 2012, 9:41 am
Resident from Brooklyn says:
One correction: the NYPD doesn't do "little" to stop motorists from parking in the bike lane and making illegal uturns. They do nothing. Nothing at all.
Aug. 8, 2012, 10:11 am
Taking The Lane from Everywhere says:
Running reds is a matter of personal safety. If you wait for a green light, you're in danger of getting run off the road by drivers making a turn or getting caught between traffic and illegal double parkers.

Take the lane, get in front, be safe...let Swampy cry about the rest.
Aug. 8, 2012, 10:13 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
The truth is, I have a fetish for smelling bicycle seats. I get so frustrated when I see them whizzing by and I can't stop to smell the roses. Every time I see a Zooey or Meghan whimsically breeze by on a fixie I get a little hot and bothered. I can't control myself. So, that's why I think that it's best for everyone if we just ban bikes in general. What can I say? I'm a freak.
Aug. 8, 2012, 10:30 am
Adamben from Bedstuy says:
Protected. BIke lanes is the only solution. You're welcome.
Aug. 8, 2012, 10:39 am
Keith from Greempoint says:
did somebody mention must bikers are nut cases?!!!
Aug. 8, 2012, 11:13 am
Kiev from Greenmpoint says:
Did someone mention hat drivers are murderers?!!!!
Aug. 8, 2012, 12:45 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Everyone, give SwampYankee a break. He's grown too fat suckling at the public teat (ie. he works for the city) to ride a bicycle. And he really, really wants to. That's why he sounds so bitter and so anti-bicycle--it's his way of expressing his frustration.
Aug. 8, 2012, 12:46 pm
Internet from Handle says:
Hat drivers are the worst.
Aug. 8, 2012, 1:15 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
If you asked me, every bike lane is dangerous. They only give a false sense of safety. Even if they weren't being blocked, they would still go unused for the most part. Most cyclists see them as decorations, and if they are used, they are treated as some get out of laws free card. By that, I am referring how they use them to disobey all traffic laws that they are supposed to follow. I find it such an irony that a group of bicycle activists (or bike zealots as I call them) keep claiming that they want everyone to treat bicycles as actual vehicles, but don't want the same responsibilities as all other vehicles have. Another irony is them telling other users of vehicles to follow and be subject to all traffic laws when they themselves don't follow them just like out of the famous novel Animal Farm by George Orwell, where only certain animals were exempt while others were subject to laws. Then again, forget it Jake, it's those extremists over at Streetsblog.
Aug. 8, 2012, 1:20 pm
Patrick from Fort Greene says:
Jay Street is a picnic compared with DeKalb. I can see and anticipate drivers, even in my bike lane, on Jay Street but trying to see, anticipate and keep balance over the attrocious pavement on DeKalb - especially for inexperienced cyclists - is near impossible.

Additionally, all you cyclist haters have to get over the double standard cyclists have about traffic laws. The simple fact is that traffic laws are written for 2 ton cars with hundreds of horsepower. They are NOT written to address cyclist behavior. Cyclist laws should be an enlightened approach dealing with the fact that we are more akin to pedestrians than we are to cars. Until the laws are rewritten to apply to our situation properly you bet your ass I'll be running red lights and doing whatever else I can to protect myself from life threatening driver and zombie pedestrian behavior as well as momentum killing car signals and signs that pedestrians also willfully ignore. Stay out of my bike lane and lift your eyes off the screen when I holler and we'll all get along fine.
Aug. 8, 2012, 1:51 pm
Twyla from BH says:
Meanwhile, the NYPD does nothing about this. They park in the bike lane!
Aug. 8, 2012, 2:32 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Patrick, until such laws come around, cyclists are required to follow the traffic laws as all other vehicles do. That is NOT an option. Also, they should be required to be licensed, registered, and insured especially if they want to use the road like all other who do pay already. Acting as if your kind is above the laws is the reason why you guys make so many enemies rather than allies, so no wonder why many denounce Streetsblog as being nothing more than a chief enabler for such cyclists. Is it really that hard for cyclists to actually follow the rules, or do you guys just make it look hard? The more you break the laws, the more there will be a push to actually ban bicycles from using the roads when many are seeing them as a menace. While I do agree with reckless drivers, which I call out a lot on my behalf, it doesn't give cyclists an excuse to have a blank check to do whatever they want on the roads. Remember, that two wrongs don't make a right.
Aug. 8, 2012, 3:46 pm
simon from greenpoint says:
on a bike you gotta look out for yourself - no one gives a —— about you and if you get knocked-down and killed no matter what happened your killer will walk away with a slap on the wrist and maybe even a hundred-dollar fine.

that's the reality of riding a bike in this city - and you have to run red lights that's the only way to stay ahead of cars - you don't wanna be stuck down the side of the traffic it's deadly.

my own motto is this - 'don't ever assume anyone has seen you'
Aug. 8, 2012, 4:50 pm
simon from greenpoint says:
by the way all this talk about bikes should follow the traffic laws else we're making it bad for other cyclists - i don't care - it's about survival out there it's not about setting an example.

i couldn't care less about cyclists - they got their own problems out there.. i see people on bikes swanning around like they think they are in Amsterdam (where cars actually look out for them) acting like the traffic should make way for them.. wake up! - people in cars are in a little hermetically-sealed box - happy and ignorant of the world around them..

they hit something and it's a paint-job - you get hit and you'll be doing some braking on asphalt with your face and skull - trying to get them to see how it feels to be on a bike is like trying to reason with a republican..

i'm not here to make friends! ;)
Aug. 8, 2012, 4:57 pm
ty from pps says:
Oh My F*cking Christ!

Tal -- Now you're speaking for "most cyclists," you piece of crap?! Shut up and go clean your room before you mom gets home. Uggh! You are seriously one of the most ignorant, dimwitted people allowed to use a computer.

Yes -- Personal attack. You've proven over and over and over again that rational thoughts are wasted on you.
Aug. 8, 2012, 5:35 pm
Skellatosis from Bk says:
Boohoo. How many of these cyclist don't follow the law either by running the red light and hitting pedestrians crossing. Eff them and the aholes double parked. Also eff the nypd for doing nothing and letting all these aholes get away with it all day everyday. Fat pos traffic cops do NOTHING but stand there and let cars block the crosswalk at Flatbush and myrtle. So sick of everyone thinking the rules do not apply to them.
Aug. 8, 2012, 8:23 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, I have been nice and respectful to so many before any have ever been to me. You don't hear me using personal attacks and insults. As a matter of fact, what you are saying about me, probably describes yourself. At least I have a life outside the internet unlike you. It's you who does NOT want to have an intelligent conversation and resort to personal attacks instead. If anyone here is trolling, it's you, not me. Where I come from, a troll is the one who uses constant personal attacks on whoever disagrees with them, and that happens to be you. I hope that the next mayor of NYC will actually crack down on all those bike zealots and make them follow all the laws. For the record, I follow more traffic laws than all of your kind does combined. Also, you went over the limit to how many swear or curse words you can use at me, which happens to be zero.
Aug. 8, 2012, 9:57 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- You MUST BE KIDDING!! You are irrational. You deflect everything. If anyone corrects the many many many FALSE things you spew, you either ignore it or try to justify why your baseless and ignorant remarks are valuable. WILLFUL IGNORANCE. The way you actively avoid learning is amazing. You call everyone a "zealot" if they say anything you disagree with. You love double standards.

Also, you may *think* you're being "nice and respectful," but you're NOT. The fact that you can't see this is sad.

For the record, your self-righteousness is so f*cking irritating it's unreal. "I follow more traffic laws than all of your kind does combined." Hey Tal, Go stick a large c*ck up your stupid stupid @ss.
Aug. 8, 2012, 10:34 pm
mike from GP says:
ty, seriously. Tal is a troll. Ignore him.
Aug. 8, 2012, 10:55 pm
Whatever from Greenpoint says:
It's time to let Tal just copy/paste the post he always does and just ignore it so he has no reason for his stupid follow-ups. I know he talks in extremes so you feel compelled to respond, which of course he ignores what you say and replies instead with "just tell me why bicyclists don't follow rules, blah blah" again writing with such assumptions and grouping all cyclists into one group. All drivers and cyclist (which I'm both in this city) know there is no difference between douchebag drivers or cyclists, they are just a**holes and abundant in this city. The difference is douchebag drivers kill with the simplest mistake, douchebag cyclists just tend to look like a jerks. But Tal over and over again thinks cyclists are worse just so people will repond and give him something to do for the day there are articles about this subject. It's sad really if you think about it, what else does have to live for? So just ignore him from now on and maybe he will go outside and play.
Aug. 9, 2012, 10:53 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I take it some of you have never taken philosophy. Sometimes what is right and wrong or even good or bad can change definitions depending on who is viewing it. Maybe you guys think that having bicycles above the law is good, but others see it as being bad. Try taking a walk in their shoes like mine and you will understand why such a view has been taken. Some of the things you say at me can be easily brought back at you. Honestly, I don't think that all cyclists are bad, but the ones who are commenting here tend to rush to the defense of all those rogue cyclists or just try to sweep them under the rug. Also, I don't have anything against those that choose to ride a bicycle, and I do believe that it should be a choice just like how I have to drive a car, which I am not forcing anyone here to do at all. The truth is that many gave cyclists the benefit of the doubt decades ago and this dates all the way back to when Koch was mayor. He only reneged on bike lanes after hearing the outcries from those concerned about cyclists flouting the law, and that's what lead to the ban in the main parts of midtown Manhattan just because of that. Seriously, if you really do believe that rogue cyclists like Critical Mass are so bad, then call them out rather than be silent, plus I will take your side on that. On a side note, I do have an actual job, but I can see that this Whatever person doesn't seeing that he commented in the middle of a work day.
Aug. 9, 2012, 3:04 pm
Tal 9000 from says:
...said Tal Barzilai at 4:04 PM, well before most people end their work days.
Aug. 9, 2012, 8:43 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
I don't mind Tal that much. He's like your crazy cousin Larry, fat, drooling cousin Larry who has to wear special pants and gets mad when his mom forgets to pick up more Lucky Charms at the market. He used to have a bike named Rosebud (it had training wheels) that was taken from him because he kept riding it on the expressway, and he vowed that day if he couldn't have a bike, then no. one. could! Ev-ar!

So he gibbers and rants on this board, and has, fortunately for him and his self esteem, found a vector that riles normal people up. But he's essentially harmless.
Aug. 10, 2012, 9:36 am
ty from pps says:
I'm just concerned for Tal. What happens when his mom and dad die (or get tired of him and move to Florida)? He'll be all alone in his basement. Who will buy his lucky charms and remind him to bathe?
Aug. 10, 2012, 10:48 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
As usual, Scott and ty make comments during the middle of a work day as if they have no jobs or lives. What you guys said about me was very insulting, and I expect an immediate apology for that or you will be held for slander. Nevertheless, there were some interesting editorials and letters in both the NY Times and Daily News that stated the truth on how so many cyclists tend to act. I am glad that there are those who know the true story. Also, there have been reports that cyclists in Central Park have been known for going at excessive speeds and even hitting a lot of pedestrians while fleeing those scenes. What happened to following the rules? I guess it doesn't apply to to the bike zealots. Anyway, here are the links I am talking about.
Aug. 10, 2012, 4:05 pm
nancy from coney says:
now children your all cranky someone has missed their nap time

has anyone tried 2 walk down a sidewalk when you have bikers knockingyou over ridinglike nuts

has anyone ever tried to drive a car when these waky bike riders come flying into your car unexpectingly and cause you to swerve i have if i drove the way some of these bikers id get a ticket but they get away with it
boohoo about your bike lanes you guys never use them and they are taking away driving space it was2 long ago that there were no bike lanes and you rode with the flow of traffic in the same direction as traffic i see no need for bike lanes
Aug. 11, 2012, 7:55 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
It's not necessary to insult you, Tal, because you're a self-parody. Or a bot. That could be, because you never say anything different or come up with an original idea. I could write a script to sample your past posts and spit them out randomly every time a Brooklyn Paper article with the keyword "bike" appeared and nobody would know the difference.
Aug. 11, 2012, 9:35 am
ty from pps says:
Look -- It's Tal's aunty Nancy!
Aug. 11, 2012, 12:03 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, I don't know this nancy person. Also, I find it very insulting that you guys even think this and think that I made that name when in fact I wasn't even at my computer all day yesterday. BTW, I actually have a life unlike some of you, so maybe you guys are the ones that need to get out there like I did yesterday when I went to a Mets game after work. Another thing, you really should have read that letter on the Daily News saying how Bloomberg acts as if there is no money to help with public housing renovations, but plenty to make bike lanes. That letter spoke the truth as usual.
Aug. 12, 2012, 1:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I guess that all the pedestrians and bikers will be pleased at this, but us taxpaying motorists are at the breaking point. Before the usaul hamasing remarks against me come out from the streetsblogger zealouts and impersonateurs, remember that I have already made my statement on this a while ago. It's not that I have anything against others that want to disagree with me, it was those who have actually attacked for taking a different side from them. It was more like they were like fanatics and extermists rather than just some simple bandwagoner and yesmen in that they were looking for those who weren't on their side and acted as if they were pointing a gun at me to either agree with me or die. Some of them didn't like it when I used facts to disproove them on their statements. Most of them had responded with either some blanket statement that was already mentioned by either the politicians or developers, while others just got very defensive or tried to dodge the question. They felt as if my questions on their attitude was a humilation and hurting their acts of fanaticisim on projects, bikelanes or otherwise, so they demanded a ban all b/c they couldn't answer it as quickly as I could. Some of them were against bringing up some projects or other issues up for a debate, b/c they were afraid that they would have nothing to rebuttle with other than what they started with. As for the statement on me bieng stupid, I take great issue with personal attacks, which I consider to be a hit way below the belt, and even below the likes of you, Ty. I am tired of the lazy arrogant bikers getting away with so many tax breaks making those drivers some struggling with a lower income pay more. I haven't got enough money to live on my own, so I live in my mothers' basement consequently. Therefore, your reference of using that on me is wrong on all levels.

On a side note, and going back to my points about philosophy, peple that don't seem to like those such as myself who can disproove their statements with actual facts where they are just throwing talking points that I can easily refute. These are people who believe that it's the weapon that makes them stronger when in fact that isn't always true. Eventually, they will come to a point where even their own weapons can't save them. The truth is that it's not the weapons that makes the person stronger, it's the one who uses them. An example of someone who had to learn it the hard way was King Phillip II, who was the king of Spain, when having the Spanish Armada against England's Queen Elizabeth I in 1588. Before then, Spain was said to have the most powerfull navy at the time especially when they have sailed to numerous corners of the globe in conquering lands. Many of thought that trying to fight the armada was asking for a tombstone b/c of how powerfull they were. However, the fleet was not prepared for the English Channel, and their ships were too big for a body of water with such a low depth for them. Although the English fleet had smaller ships, it was easier to get by and with the cannon, they didn't even have to board the enemy fleet but just fire from their own. Some of those who helped fight for England in that battle included explorers such as Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Franciss Drake managing the fleets. As Elizabeth walked out on the cliffs of Dover, she saw the armada on fire in the humiliating defeat on Spain. It showed that even the greatest had their demise. How it relates to my point is that some just can't seem to take it when someone can find a way to poke holes in their statements by finding facts and other stats that disproove theirs' when they don't even come up with anything to back them except for repititions. Also, the reference of the Spanish Armada is to show that even the greatest can just be human at sometimes in that nobody is invincible and there will always be a clink somewhere in that armor.
Aug. 15, 2012, 11:34 am
Iwanna Smackyoo from Upper East Side says:
Oh lord..excessive high browed ramblings, 'oh the irony', Brooklyn turning into a playground for trust fund babies who are boorish and trashy and lack class, obnoxious look alikes on fixed gear bikes knocking into people....ugh...Everybody is soo sick of hipsters...why aren't they leaving Brooklyn already? So lame..
Aug. 22, 2012, 11:11 am
m from bed stuy says:
same problem on dekalb -- NYPD cars double-park in the bike lane across from Pratt on the daily.
Sept. 13, 2013, 9:46 am

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