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City halts controversial Clinton Ave. bike lane vote

Lane drain: The Department of Transportation's original plan for the bike lane — which it now says it will reconisider.
Brooklyn Paper
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These Clinton Hill residents finally caught a brake.

The city curbed a community vote on a contentious Clinton Avenue bike lane on May 19, after longtime locals claimed they were ignored during the planning process in favor of pedal-pushing neighborhood newcomers. Department of Transportation honchos told the Community Board 2 transportation committee to hold off on the referendum, saying they would instead spend a month conferring with the rebuffed residents and then return with a revised plan, according to a spokeswoman.

“After hearing more from the community at this week’s meetings on the Clinton Avenue proposal, DOT will conduct additional outreach with community leaders and residents,” said a spokeswoman. “We look forward to returning to CB2 next month.”

Hundreds of locals packed an earlier meeting on May 17, where the majority of attendees slammed both the department’s plan to eliminate a lane of traffic and 35 parking spaces on Clinton Avenue between Gates and Flushing avenues and add a two-way bike lane, and its community consultation process for the project.

Critics included Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo (D–Fort Greene) and her predecessor, Public Advocate Letitia James.

Department reps claimed the changes would help ease heavy bike traffic on nearby Vanderbilt Avenue, and that they’d received plenty of support for the idea from residents when they set up street-side booths around the community board’s district and gabbed about it with passersby.

But residents said the city’s outreach effort was biased towards pedestrians and cyclists, and skipped important community institutions for older residents such as churches.

Naysayers also claimed the narrower street and new bike lane would be plagued by traffic jams, impede emergency vehicles, and attract more cyclists, who they claim speed down the street with no consideration for other commuters.

But even critics think locals may come around to the changes if the department shows it is serious about listening to them and taking their concerns on board.

“Never say never, I think the community has to be reasonable,” said Clinton Hill local Schellie Hagan. “Do I want to personally see bike lanes on Clinton Avenue? I don’t personally like them, but they’re here.”

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
How sad that DOT is granting the denizens of Clinton Hill their death wish.
May 23, 2016, 7:48 am
Mike from Park Slope says:
Now's the part where the Mayor tells them to do it anyway.
May 23, 2016, 9:57 am
Wanda from Brooklyn says:
Many of these long term residents are obese because they do no exercise. The idea of anyone keeping in shape angers their fat little bodies. It's all personal with them, and I don't see why the city would consider the personality problems of the constantly upset by everything.
May 23, 2016, 10:15 am
steph from Clinton Hill says:
Wtf
May 23, 2016, 1:42 pm
steph from Clinton Hill says:
More bike lanes now
May 23, 2016, 1:43 pm
Trollerskates from Moving Target says:
How dare the DOT actually listen to the demands of the community. These fools don't know what's good for them. Bike riders are saving the earth, you can't a bunch of local yokels usurp the demands of those who know better.
May 23, 2016, 2:05 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Except for mistaking the whiners with time to yell at community meetings as "the community," Trollerskates is pretty right. Sarcastic or not, can you deny that bikes are better for the environment than cars? Can you deny that the whiners are also local yokels who repeat the same disproven claims against bike lanes as we've heard with every other bike lane?

If someone claims that bike lanes make a street more dangerous, which is a claim based on a factual argument, then yes, someone who "knows better" should refute that lie. Let the whiners make the factually correct argument: "I prefer my streets dangerous because it helps me store my seasonal linens more easily."
May 23, 2016, 2:15 pm
Sheldon from Fort Greene says:
Maybe the residents here don't want more people around shouting "WTF!" and "Fatties!" They might also care about democracy more than bikers who urge the Mayor to override the community board and force bike lanes in. Sounds like the autobahn under another autocrat. I would caution bikers not to lay all their expansion hopes in this Mayor. He's tried to rule by fiat and he's in plenty of trouble because of it. He got caught speeding in a slow zone early in his term but doesn't seem to have learned from that. He's flouted the rules of the political road and look where it's gotten him: Five major investigations for pay to play, influence peddling, coziness with developers. Do bikers approve of his selling the Brooklyn Heights library to a major contributor to build a luxury tower on? Stripping the deed of a nursing home on the LES so it could be sold for a giant profit as another luxury property?
May 23, 2016, 2:17 pm
Sally from Williamsburg says:
The Pulaski Bridge traffic is moving fluidly, even though a lane was turned into a two-way bike path.

Look at that! They even get to keep their parking spots, which you know they don't pay for and use to store their vehicles. City sreet parking is for coming and going, not storage.

The community's input is only valuable, if it's thoughtful, constructive.

I'm surprised they don't want less traffic and think their possessive, dismissive attitude to a citywide quality of life improvement effort, that compromises so little, is appalling.

It isn't as though this is a foolhardy proposal to turn Fulton Street into a pedestrian only mall during a major economic recession.

Cars need to pay more for using NYC's streets.
May 23, 2016, 2:37 pm
Jonah from Bushwick says:
STREETS DON'T BELONG TO A SINGULAR NEIGHBORHOOD.

their trees should be relocated to neighborhoods who care, replaced with parking meters that charge extra to make up for the carbon compromise.
May 23, 2016, 2:45 pm
Mike from Park Slope says:
A small group of complainers stopping road safety improvements is not democracy.

It's proof that the driving public of NYC has lost their f-cking minds. Unfortunately some politicians (i.e Public Advocate James) have to appeal to these wastes of life in order to appear they are following the "communities" wishes.

As "Wanda from Brooklyn" said the "community" are probably just fatties that can't walk or bike without getting tired. That is why they are angry. LOL
May 23, 2016, 2:51 pm
A from Boerum Hill says:
That's too bad. This looked like a good plan.
May 23, 2016, 3:04 pm
Ben from Greenpoint says:
most of the bikers are nutcases and need help big time...
all they complain all day long, let them pay for the city pavement the streets and a minimum insurance and registration fee,
May 23, 2016, 3:50 pm
Juan Hope Franklin from Fort Greene says:
A truly great day in "Black History"!

Our folks should be proud of themselves--

Stay ignorant, Jesus loves ya'll.
May 23, 2016, 4:06 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I still think that Clinton Avenue should have a bike lane. Seeing that the street is mainly one lane going both directions with parking on both sides is a bad idea. According to the article that I did read, most of the opponents are long time residents, so the opposition is home grown. Seriously, not every street can have a bike lane especially not this one. Personally, I feel that bike lanes are not necessary at all when cyclists can ride safely just by following the traffic laws rather than flouting them and acting like victims to them as well. On a side note, I highly doubt that most of the opponents of this bike lane are obese as Wanda claims especially if she has no pictures of them to begin with and is only jumping to conclusions, plus I hope she gets taken for slander on that.
May 23, 2016, 4:28 pm
Bill from Clinton Hill says:
Tim Barzilai: what else to you think
stop posting nonsense comments get a real job will ya ?
May 23, 2016, 5:10 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, I meant to say that Clinton Avenue shouldn't have a bike lane in the first sentence, not should. Bill, if you find my comments to be nonsense, then why are replying to them? It's not like I'm forcing you to read them. One other thing, get my name and you can always copy and paste it rather than guess the spelling. Better yet, give me a good reason why there should be a bike lane there rather than calling for me to censored as so many other bike zealots who can't back their claims tend to do.
May 23, 2016, 5:28 pm
Clinton Hill's Real Community from Reality says:
The fatties (aka "the community") are bitter ignorant people who cannot stand to see bikers exercising while commuting.

I would suggest if "the community" is so unhappy living in the city that they go ahead and re-locate to Florida.

In Florida they'll be able to avoid cyclists entirely and they can shove food into their mouths without even getting out of their cars.
May 23, 2016, 6:16 pm
Dredd Scott from Clinton Hill says:
In fact there are numerous Florida cities with far better and NO BIG DEAL bike lanes than Brooklyn or NYC.

St. Petersburg is one such example and what do you know--

BLACK FOLKS RIDE BICYCLES TOO!!

They do here also, of course, a lot, but it's fantastically idiotic that this could be posited any kind of 'racial' issue.

As the poster above suggested, stay ignorant.
May 23, 2016, 6:23 pm
Guest from NYC says:
Public health should always come before nonsensical complaints. There's a lot of benefits coming from that reconfiguration for all road users.
May 23, 2016, 7:06 pm
Cynthia U from Clinton Hill says:
Yes!!!!!! We Clintonors are ecstatic!! now you annoying cyclist, hipsters and land grabbers can KISS IT!!! HAHAHA :)
May 23, 2016, 8:24 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
I think the point is that there have been a lot of very rapid and sudden changes over the past few years without community input which have removed necessary services. There is no master plan for our neighborhood and neighbors are constantly being pushed off the streets and sidewalks for film shoots anyway. So when given a chance to comment, perhaps what was expressed was actually a result of a decade of frustration.
May 23, 2016, 9:30 pm
Fred from Clinton Hill says:
More bike lanes will come, it is just a matter of time. You can only delay progress for so long. Wonderful bike lanes are coming!! Hallelujah
May 23, 2016, 10:07 pm
Alex from Park Slope says:
By "caught a break" do you mean threw a raging temper tantrum consisting of anecdote, falsities, and extreme hyperbole and got their way at the expense of other people's safety and progress for the city? That must be what you meant.
May 23, 2016, 10:37 pm
Keesh'a from Clinton Hill says:
It's high time for NYC to start regulating bikers, making them take a written test and a road test, making them have to pay to be licensed and to be inspected and to carry insurance. And let's think about metered parking for bikes. Bikers pay nothing yet get free parking for their fancy bikes. How would bikers feel if suddenly bike parking were restricted not to interfere with fire trucks and metered for time like cars? As it is everyone is subsidizing the bikers. Let them pay their fair share and follow the rules of traffic they now think are meant for everyone else.
May 23, 2016, 11:06 pm
Mike from Park Slope says:
It's high time for NYC to start regulating DRIVERS, making them retake their written test and a road test, making them have to pay for creating congestion and carnage in our city. And let's think about metered parking for CARS. DRIVERS pay nothing yet get free parking for their fancy CARS. How would DRIVERS feel if suddenly CAR parking were restricted not to interfere with fire trucks and metered for time? As it is everyone is subsidizing the DRIVERS. Let them pay their fair share and follow the rules of traffic they now think are meant for everyone else.
May 24, 2016, 9:32 am
Peter Engel from Downtown Brooklyn says:
Bill from Clinton Hill,

Suggestion regarding this "Tim" Barzillai of Pleasantville, NY from past experience: Just Don't Bother. He isn't worth the spit on a shoeshine. Bklyn Paper loves him for the click bait. In fact, I think he's their BotBoy. Either that or all cyclists/sympathizers/StreetsBlog/TA people are Hezbollah sympathizers. Whatever.
May 24, 2016, 10:59 am
Keesh'a from Clinton Hill says:
Mike from Park Slope, have you run out of your own thoughts? And writing words all caps doesn't strengthen a non-argument. Bile is bile, not argument.
May 24, 2016, 11:28 am
Mike from Park Slope says:
No Keesha. I've just run out of patience for discussing misinformed arguments against bike lanes with morons such as yourself.

One side of this argument has facts and reality on its side.

The other is a bunch of cranks who clearly don't get out much including some random jacka-s from Pleasantville for some reason.
May 24, 2016, 11:47 am
Keesh'a from Clinton Hill says:
Please spell my name right when you call me a moron. Using the kind of baseless attacks you demonstrate, I could call you a racist.
May 24, 2016, 2:29 pm
Mike from Park Slope says:
What does "moron" have to do with race?

Not a baseless attack at all. If you understood the facts of the situation prior to weighing in you might have something more intelligent to share.
May 24, 2016, 2:39 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I find this an irony that bike zealots are calling anyone who opposes bike lanes to be cranks when they are the ones acting as such. Of course the double standard doesn't just stop there. Others tend to call for all laws to be strictly enforced on motorists while their kind gets a free pass on everything not to mention they can always cry foul whenever it's on them such as what's going on over at Streetsblog, a website dedicated to bike zealots. More importantly, they don't seem to like populism when it isn't in their favor such as the community board coming out against this bike lane hence using elitism to try to side step all of this. I hate to break this to some of you, but if you have a right to wanting a bike lane, there are those who have a right to opposing them as well, so it does work both ways. Then again, you bike zealots only like to dish criticism at others when at the same time you can't seem to take it right back at them. One other thing, opposing bike lanes doesn't mean that I'm against progress, I just don't think that cyclists need a special infrastructure when they can just follow the traffic laws, and I do agree with what Keesh'a had to say about bicycles, because this should be done, but the bike zealots will always be crying to foul to that and always like victims to the rule.
May 24, 2016, 5:28 pm
Joe from Clinton Hill says:
DOT admitted in the meetings that this two-way bike lane configuration against a residential curb has never been tried before in NYC. There's a reason for that; it's dangerous for both pedestrians and motorists. Imagine parking in the "floating lane" and trying to get out on the bike lane side with your kid in a stroller. You either door a bicyclist, or your kid gets run over. Imagine using a walker, and being forced to cross two lanes of bike traffic going in opposite directions, plus getting through a lane of parked cars, in order to get to a waiting car to take you to a doctor. This proposal would benefit bikers to the exclusion of all others, and inflict a lot more pollution from idling cars backed up behind any stopped vehicle in the single northbound vehicular lane. It was ill-conceived, its statistics were inaccurate, and it was drafted at the behest of Transportation Alternatives, with no consideration for those who would have to live with its impacts long term, rather than those just riding through. And FWIW, most residents of Clinton Hill commute by public transportation. There are far fewer cars per capita in Clinton Hill than in most neighborhoods in NYC.
May 25, 2016, 12:28 am
Mike from Park Slope says:
Joe,

1) Are you aware of a road called Prospect Park West a few minutes away from Clinton Hill? That's a residential street that has a protected lane.

2) Regarding your concerns about parking in the "floating lanes" - it's a simple as looking both ways before crossing the street or before opening your door. Hopefully that isn't too much effort for you.

3) Regarding pollution from idling cars. If double parked cars were ticketed - eventually that would stop. Not related to the proposal at all.

4) Source of the inaccuracy of the statistics? It was done as a traffic study by traffic engineers. Are you a traffic engineer? Or are you just pulling BS out of your...

5) "most residents of Clinton Hill commute by public transportation". No s-it, that's why the vote doesn't represent the "community" . To that same end that is why it benefits more than bikers.

The "failure" here by the DOT isn't the proposal. It's failure to get through to a mis-informed moronic group who just happen to be louder than most.
May 25, 2016, 8:36 am
Horace from Clinton Hill says:
Mike, you live in Park Slope. Why are you agitating so much to change a street in another neighborhood? Why do you disrespect the residents who are speaking out in the proper forum for their community? Certainly people will have differences over a proposal for significant change. You're certainly free to your opinion. Others are also free to come to other conclusions. They aren't morons just because they don't agree with you. You deserve respect. Please give respect to others.
May 25, 2016, 10:58 am
Mike from Park Slope says:
Horace,

Even though you live in in the neighborhood that doesn't make you part of the community.

You and the others who blocked the proposal wish ill and harm on your fellow residents including some who are your direct neighbors. Keeping the road as a speedway causes people to be killed, the fact that you don't understand that might not make you a moron but you are certainly ignorant.

So no you and those that oppose this do not deserve respect. Respect is earned and in this case being respected would mean AT LEAST understanding the proposal and it's reasons before weighing in with uniformed comments.
May 25, 2016, 11:33 am
Joe from Clinton Hill says:
Mike, the protected bike lane on PPW is NOT up against a residential block. It's up against the park. There's no comparison with respect to access by the disabled, elderly, and those living on the east side of Clinton Avenue.

And before you make statements like "you live in the neighborhood but that doesn't make you part of the community," you should know that most of those protesting have lived in Clinton Hill for over twenty years and participated in many community efforts over that time, working with their neighbors to make the area safer for everyone - NOT just bikers. A three foot space for opening a car door and getting out won't protect anyone from bikes zipping by in the east side protected lanes, and from getting hit by vehicles in the single vehicular lane on the west - especially not if you're unloading children or packages, or moving slowly with a walker or cane.

Pollution from idling cars is absolutely an issue, especially for those with respiratory issues living on Clinton. The protesters produced photos and actual measurements disproving those put forth by DOT. No vehicles could pass a stopped truck in the single north bound vehicular lane, so one stopped UPS truck would back up traffic back to Gates, while the bikers whizzed merrily by, unaffected by the gathering cloud. Bikers want the right of way at the expense of asthmatics? Who made that OK?

Your point 5, above is nonsensical. Most locals use public transportation - while TA is trying to demonize drivers and cars. Some local residents also have to have cars, as they require them for work, or transportation if they're too old, disabled, or frail to bike. There actually are some people who are, you know, though I'm sure you'd prefer that they all move to Florida. TA's insistence on exclusive benefits for bikes at the expense of seniors and the disabled is starting to sound like Nazi Germany. And unfortunately for you, so far TA and DOT haven't managed to kill off that protesting population; and it shows no indication of moving to Florida. The "misinformed moronic group," as you call it, objected to being discriminated against in favor of bikers; and to a proposal that would have benefited nobody but bikers, per the agenda of Transportation Alternatives.

The never-before-done two-way bike lane against a residential curb would have made guinea pigs of thousands of local residents, and is in direct contravention of national NACTO standards for the location of two-way bike lanes. DOT didn't even look at those guidelines; it just called its initiative "innovative" because nobody has been stupid enough to do it before in NYC. The influence of lobbyists in NYC is nothing short of amazing.

And yes, those opposing DOT on this initiative understand the proposal, analyzed it at length, and got precious few answers to its questions from DOT at the meetings. They understand its reasons: TA is a lobbying group that spends a lot of money pushing legislation through the City Council and getting favorable treatment and access from and to DOT - for bikers. The comments were not uninformed. They were extremely knowledgeable, and based on research that DOT never bothered to do, addressing failures in the proposal that DOT did not simply think unimportant - it never thought about them at all. But those failures are very important to those living in Clinton Hill, and they made themselves heard.
May 25, 2016, 2:35 pm
Mike from Park Slope says:
Joe,

First off LOL. Thanks for repeating all the same NIMBY talking points.

You do have a new one though that fascinated me. Now you dumbas-es are comparing road safety advocates to Nazi Germany? So there's an equivalency in your mind between people who don't want to get run down by cars and the group that tried to exterminate an entire religion?

Tell me more how they are related. I'm genuinely curious to hear more of your bats-it insane rant.
May 25, 2016, 5:19 pm
Joe from Clinton Hill says:
https://www.ushmm.org/outreach/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007683

Welcome to history, Mike. The Nazis wanted to exterminate a lot more than an entire religion.

And guess what? Some people don't want to get run down by bikes, either.
May 25, 2016, 5:52 pm
Mike from Park Slope says:
LMFAO.

You are bats-it insane dude.
May 25, 2016, 6:22 pm
Horace from Clinton Hill says:
Thank you for letting people here in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill know that we don't deserve respect because we don't agree with you. QED.
May 26, 2016, 2:16 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I find this an irony that car zealots are calling anyone who wants bike lanes to be cranks when they are the ones acting as such. Of course the double standard doesn't just stop there. Others tend to call for all laws to be strictly enforced on cyclists while their kind gets a free pass on everything not to mention they can always cry foul whenever it's on them such as what's going on over at nypost, a website dedicated to car zealots. More importantly, they don't seem to like populism when it isn't in their favor such as the community board coming out for this bike lane hence using elitism to try to side step all of this. I hate to break this to some of you, but if you have a right to not wanting a bike lane, there are those who have a right to opposing them as well, so it does work both ways, kinda like me with sex. Then again, you car zealots only like to dish criticism at others when at the same time you can't seem to take it right back at them. One other thing, being pro bike lanes doesn't mean that I'm for progress, I just don't think that cars deserve a special infrastructure when they can't even just follow the basic traffic laws, and I do agree with what Trump said, Mexican's are rapists.
May 26, 2016, 4:28 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, your impersonations of me really needs to stop. They are not making you look good and shows how low you tend to go to get your point across. Also, making that comment by using my name to make me look bad is actually making you and your group look bad. In reality, not every street needs a bike lane especially if it will give a negative impact to everyone else even though I don't think there should be bike lanes at all when they can just follow the traffic laws instead. Overall, your behavior shows the true colors of you bike zealots. On a side note, I'm a Hillary Clinton supporter, not a Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders supporter.
May 26, 2016, 5:07 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, I never kissed a girl except for mother but I'm not sure if it counts when it's in the butt. I will now go drive to the corner McDonalds to buy a supersize meal and gorge on it in the parking lot. I will someday probably die from beetus and my rotting corpse will be discovered by mother, bless her heart.
May 27, 2016, 8:44 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike you really need to stop with the impersonations of me, plus please don't hit anyone who opposes this bike lane with your bike like, because if you do that to me, I will have you locked away for assault.
May 28, 2016, 4:11 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Also, please stop telling everyone about my fetish with making sex with piles of dog feces. It's my business (and the dogs, I like it fresh) and no one else.
June 2, 2016, 9:02 am

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