Sections

Sunset Parkers worry 7th Ave. bike lane will bring Park Slope yuppies

Slow your roll: Sunset Parkers backpedalled on the city’s plan to install a Seventh Avenue bike lane from 15th to 23rd streets.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

It is a slippery slope from the Slope!

A Sunset Park panel slammed the brakes on the city’s plan to paint a bike lane on Seventh Avenue on Wednesday, with some arguing that it will roll out the red carpet for Park Slope yuppies to invade the neighborhood while failing in its actual goal of filling gaps in the bike-lane grid.

“The people in Park Slope have come to the conclusion that they need a bike lane on Seventh Avenue,” said Community Board 7 member Tom Murphy, who voted against the lane. “It serves no purpose. It was sold as a connection to the bike network but it dead-ends at Green-Wood Cemetery — so one-stop-shopping if you’re worried about safety risks.”

The board ultimately didn’t reject the addition, but also didn’t approve it — 14 members voted against it and seven in favor, but nine people abstained, saying they want more details before casting a ballot.

The unprotected lane will run from Carroll Street in Park Slope down to 20th Street in Sunset Park, after which the road narrows and there will be a “shared” lane to 23rd Street — which puts motorists and cyclists in the mix without physically separating the two.

Community Board 6 approved its part of the lane — to 15th Street — with a 23–8 vote in January, but Community Board 7 members had more concerns about their five-block stretch.

But some see the lane less as a missing link and more as a gateway to gentrification.

“It’s like a gateway for things to come into the neighborhood — things a lot of locals can’t afford, like Citi Bike,” said Sunset Parker Julio Pena,

Others fear the lane, a painted line with no actual barriers between cyclists and motorists, won’t do enough to protect riders winding in and out of the obstacle course that is Seventh Avenue — fears that were also shared by Community Board 6.

“If they’re going to bring a bike lane it has to be a protected bike lane,” said Sunset Parker Marcela Mitaynes, who also voted to abstain. “These avenues are so scary just to drive, you have to weave in and out.”

But a protected bike lane isn’t a viable option because the thoroughfare isn’t wide enough to fit buffers between bicyclists and the open road, according to a Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

The city is reviewing locals’ feedback and may revisit the community board with more details, at which point it will hold another vote.

And the lane still has a fighting chance to get the board’s okay, according to Community Board 7’s district manager. There were a similar number of undecided voters on the Fifth Avenue bike lane back in 2013, but after the transit department returned with more details, many flip-flopped and the lane ultimately passed, he said.

“We had no position after a vote and then voted in favor,” said Jeremy Laufer. “I’m not saying that this will take the exact same path, though. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 1:58 pm, May 12, 2017
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Ken from Greenpoint says:
its Yuppie town all over the place, the city and state should start charging a minimum bike fee for registration, insurance and taxes like bike lane implantation etc. otherwise they are getting away with noting on city and state expanse...
March 24, 2017, 12:14 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
I think we can all agree that this headline was barely relevant clickbait. Narrow streets does not equal crass provincialism.
March 24, 2017, 1:23 pm
Person from Park Slope says:
Racists.

Maybe we shouldn't allow them to come to our neighborhood.
March 24, 2017, 2:02 pm
Person from Brooklyn says:
Everyone in this article is a f-cking moron.
March 24, 2017, 3:56 pm
bkmanhatposeur from Nubrucklyn says:
Idiots. Bike lanes equal safer streets.
March 25, 2017, 1:17 am
Maria Gonzalez says:
You don't get it! Yuppies = white people!
March 25, 2017, 4:17 am
Virilio from Brooklyn says:
You wanna drive… suck on an exhaust pipe.
March 25, 2017, 1:32 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For me, the bringing of yuppies is actually secondary to this, though I'm still against gentrification because of what it does to existing neighborhoods. I'm just getting tired of communities and neighborhoods always having to bend over backwards to place bike lanes for a group that barely uses them to begin with. For the rest of the year they not only go unused a lot, but are seen as a waste of space. Seriously, who rides their bicycles out when there is snow? Even if there are any, they are most likely not a big number. Honestly, I feel that it's better to concentrate more on the infrastructure that is used more rather than less. Meanwhile, seeing the comments made by some of the bike zealots here really does show their true nature of having a nasty attitude towards those that don't share their views. Then again, they only seem to know how to dish criticism, but not know how to take it. Another thing is that as much as they have a right to placing bike lanes, others have a right to opposing it as well, and we do live in a free country here.
March 25, 2017, 4:45 pm
Rodney from L.A. says:
can't we all just get along?
March 26, 2017, 12:22 am
Pamela from Pleasantville says:
Tal Barzali - you claim not to like gentrification but you live in the number one hipster hotspot, Pleasantville. I'm sure you are part of this wave of people who weren't born in Pleasantville moving here and turning it into the hipster carnival Pleasantville is now known as.
March 26, 2017, Noon
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Pamela, assuming this isn't someone just saying that you are from my town, I don't find myself to be a hipster or yuppie by any means. My family isn't that rich either and is very hard working. BTW, I happen to be Israeli-born from the city Haifa, which is one of Israel's most major cities, but that still doesn't define me as a hipster. Nonetheless, I find that all to be besides the point and just another way to downplay me when some of you can't come up with facts. When I looked at the plan for this bike lane, it looks as if one of the sides, the car is almost hugging the double sided line as those that are parked might have some problems getting in or out of parking spaces due to limited room. Also, seeing that 7th Avenue is one lane either way with parking lanes on both sides, I feel that it's a bad idea for bike lanes. Personally, I feel that not every street should have them especially if they aren't that wide. In all honesty, I find bike lanes as a whole to be a waste of money and space considering how little a lot of them get used throughout the city during the year when they should just follow the traffic laws rather than flouting them and acting as victims to them. Even the latest report from the US Census Bureau shows that cyclists are the very bottom of NYC commuters while representing a fraction of a fraction of that. On a side note, I think you are some bike zealot from Transportation Alternatives using a fake name and location to attack me especially when it's so easy to pretend online to be someone you are not.
March 26, 2017, 3:14 pm
Resident from Brooklyn says:
This is a terrible story that does a disservice to the local community, especially the many people who live here who depend on bicycles for their livelihoods.
March 27, 2017, 9:48 am
Brian Van from Gramercy says:
good golly, you would think that Tal Barzilai would at least drop the argument that these are "little used" after seeing 9,000 Brooklyn Paper articles talking about how thousands of cyclists are a "menace". Which one is it, Tal? They don't exist, or they're an ever-present threat?

For what it's worth, it's not a cyclist who killed a woman on the Williamsburg Bridge last week... it was a deranged, distracted motorist assuming he could get away with anything, knowing that many in society would sympathize with hasty driving.
March 27, 2017, 10:09 am
ItsEasyBeingGreen from Sunset Park says:
7th Ave north of the cemetery is not Sunset Park.
March 27, 2017, 10:13 am
VLM from Park Slope says:
I could really give two sh*ts about what Tal Barzilai thinks about a hyperlocal bike lane project when he lives an hour and a half away in Westchester and has no ties to the neighborhood. Find a new hobby, buddy.
March 27, 2017, 10:46 am
Parker from Brooklyn, NY says:
Tom Murphy is really unintelligent. He needs to retire from the community board.
March 27, 2017, 10:52 am
TOM MURPHY from Sunset Park says:
Dear Parker: Retire from the Community Board? I just got on it. I only look old and unintelligent but I'm really quite youthful and cunning. Besides they need me to make a minion.

I support NYC DOT when they have "improvements" that make sense(check the record) but I see through them when they don't.
March 27, 2017, 2:07 pm
TOM MURPHY from Sunset Park says:
Resident-almost forgot you.

Yes, many people depend on bicycles for their livelihoods. How many would that be? Last survey I saw for this put it about 2% of households. Workers commuting by motor vehicle to the job from Sunset Park are figured at about 17%. See the planning problem here?

A study published in the 1990's suggested that having access to a privately-owned motor vehicle doubles one's chances of getting a job. It also tripled one's chances of keeping it and earning more. I don't know what it is for pedalcyclists. Can you help us there?
March 27, 2017, 2:22 pm
Stats from Brooklyn says:
Some stats:

http://www.tstc.org/reports/cpsheets/NYCcouncil_factsheet_district%2038.pdf

63% of households in council district 38, which includes a lot of 4th Ave in Sunset Park, don't own a car.

Most of the people commuting to jobs from CD38 take mass transit. They don't drive. Many people who take mass transit might have better commutes if they could ride a bike to a transit station that's a bit of a far walk. You could avoid getting on the R and ride to an express stop, for example, which will certainly be helpful with the R station closures that are about to happen.

Even in council district 43, where 43% of households don't own a car, a majority of people do not drive to work.

http://www.tstc.org/reports/cpsheets/NYCcouncil_factsheet_district%2043.pdf

The community board needs to get with the times.
March 27, 2017, 4:46 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Once again, the bike zealots gang up and attack me just for disagreeing with them. I have a question to ask you guys. Does just about every decision by a community board deciding with anything involving bicycles always have to agree with you? More importantly, why is it that you always want to purge the boards if they don't side with you? The point is that you had your say on this, and those over on the community board had their say. You have to learn that not every street can have a bike lane be it regular or protected especially when not having the space for it. As for the claim that they are used constantly, that is probably some stat that Transportation Alternatives most likely fudged to make it look higher when it's really not. Then again, forget it Jake, it's those bike zealots who live in their own little bubbles.
March 27, 2017, 4:50 pm
Resident from Brooklyn says:
"If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.” - Fred Kent
March 27, 2017, 4:50 pm
J Smith from Sunset Park says:
So that's Tal Barzilai (who lives in some suburb many many miles away) and Tom Murphy against, and nearly everyone else in favor.

Great job, Brooklyn Paper!
March 27, 2017, 4:56 pm
VLM from Park Slope says:
@Tal: I live and would use and would appreciate the safety benefits of this bike lane. You are a buttinski who lives in Westchester and has absolutely no stake in this decision. It's not about right or wrong; it's about saving lives.

And Tom Murphy's of the neighborhood can spare us the BS about Sunset Park. This is a 9-block stretch of 7th Ave. in Park Slope that dead-ends into a cemetery. It has absolutely nothing to do with Sunset Park on the other side of a bunch of dead people.
March 27, 2017, 5:01 pm
Peter from Brooklyn says:
A suburban basement troll (Tal) and an out of touch opinionated crank (Tom).

Community boards of Brooklyn everyone! (clap, clap, clap)

Great way to make life and death decisions! (clap, clap, clap)
March 27, 2017, 5:16 pm
Josh from Manhattan says:
Honestly, I respect Tom Murphy's decision and thoughts, even if I do think agree with them, since he actually lives in the area being addressed . I respect even more those members of the community board who are pushing for more information on what the changes would actually be like because they want to make informed decisions, which lack thereof is the downfall of our society (and it's falling fast).

At this point, I feel like it isn't even worth engaging with Tal anymore. He has nothing to do with the debate from his home in Westchester. I pity him as he obviously has to find some way to feel respected, even if he doesn't realize he doesn't actually get any respect on here. But kudos to him to jeep trying.

Pamela, I will vouch for Tal that he is not a hipster. If you Google his name, you can find a video clip of an interview he gave with the Brooklyn Paper. Very entertaining. Poor guy is definitely NOT a hipster.

What gets me with painted bike lanes is that there is zero impact on the streets and cars. Not a single parking space is lost, but it gives a slight increase in safety because cars and bicycles have delineated locations that are completely permeable. The cost of a painted bike lane is probably akin to the cost of repairing potholes along the same stretch. And while a protected lane will bring other cyclists from the surrounding streets and concentrate them, a painted lane will not increase the number on its own, but will nominally increase the safety of the riders already using it. But then, there are the detractors who just think anything for a bike is a bad idea. My favorites are the ones who say they are not against bikes, they just think the bikes shouldn't be here...
March 27, 2017, 8 pm
Pooter from Sunset Park says:
Josh - "make an informed decision"??? It's just a lane for bicycles! I mean really. What information? They have two wheels and crazy Mexican car service drivers will hit them unless they have their own lane.
March 27, 2017, 9:11 pm
Joe from Greenpoint says:
I've driven in some painful places:
Seattle, Florence, Istanbul, Port Au Prince, Boston, Mexico City and NYC.

NYC is lucky to have room for any bikes lanes at all, and the bikers should be happy with it.
As long as the city does not aggressively charge drivers who have the horrific experience of running over one of the brave souls (and likely these days they will have a baby strapped onto them somewhere as well) then it should be Kosher.
March 27, 2017, 10:19 pm
Joe from Greenpoint says:
I guess when you need to go somewhere you could always ride you bike to the airport, with you luggage, in February.
March 27, 2017, 10:21 pm
Robert Green from Chelsea says:
It's ridiculous how between the hours of 11 PM and 8 AM every night these car lanes are completely empty. they take up space. and when it snows really hard no one drives or uses their snowed in parked cars.

someone should do something.
March 28, 2017, 9:07 am
Peter from Brooklyn says:
NYC is luck to have room for "car lanes" at all and the motorists should be happy with it.

As long as the city doesn't charge the cyclist who puts a lock through Joe from Greenpoint's windshield then it should be kosher.
March 28, 2017, 9:39 am
Driver from Brooklyn says:
Right, Joe from Greenpoint. Because we need to have cars for the occasional trip to the airport. If only a person could live without owning a car, making local trips by foot or by bike, and then calling some sort of "car service" for times when they need to get to places that are less accessible. Oh well, I guess we're damned to an eternity of making our cars traffic sewers. There are no solutions here in the greatest city in the world.
March 28, 2017, 10:01 am
Chris from Bushwick says:
"I support NYC DOT when they have 'improvements' that make sense(check the record) but I see through them when they don't."

So, what part of this project do you "see through," Tom Murphy? The part where they don't remove a single parking space? The part where it utilizes unused space on a street too wide to support more than two lanes of car traffic? The part where it delineates uses of the road so bike and car traffic don't have to mix? The part where narrowing car lanes calms traffic, making the street safer for everyone?

I'm genuinely curious. Because it seems like you either didn't read through the proposal, the DOT left out some details, or you slept through the DOT's presentation.
March 28, 2017, 1:44 pm
Josh from Manhattan says:
Chris,

Isn't it obvious that makes sense means make sense to motorists? Wait, scratch that. A painted bike lane should make sense to motorists - then they would know where most bikes should be. Um, so a project that makes sense would be one that benefits the community. Wait, bike lanes benefit the cyclists of the neighborhood. And to the drivers as above. And to pedestrians crossing the street, because they too would know where to expect a bicycle to be. Hmm, so I guess we can conclude that a project that makes sense is any one that does not help cyclists in any way, no matter what it is.

And to clarify what I said above, my respect for his opinion is due to the fact that he lives in the city, rather than, say, Westchester.

Pooter- informed decision like, is this really the best we can do? See Marcela Mitaynes' comment in the article.
March 28, 2017, 2:04 pm
Local from Brooklyn says:
Tom Murphy hates bikes. Period. He drives to random community board meetings, even in places he doesn't live or work, to rail against street designs that stop people from getting killed. Why? Because of traffic and parking. Not worth engaging with a dinosaur.
March 28, 2017, 2:44 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
How about some of you bike zealots explain why you feel that having a bicycle means that your needs outweigh everyone else's? For the most part, I just find any bike lanes to be a waste of space considering how little they are used throughout the years compared to the motor vehicles that use the roads constantly. In other words, the money used to fix potholes are important. Another thing is that what is that you bike zealots have against following traffic laws let alone agreeing to having you bicycles registered, insured, or licensed? Could it be that you don't like being part of the system or that it means that you can now be tracked when you hit someone when you used to be able to get away with it? One a side note, I'm not in favor of motorists who hit someone, but when a cyclist or pedestrian is known for flouting the laws, they are placing themselves into harm's way, which is something that Streetsblog entries will try to ignore if that's ever the case, because it will prove responsibility on their side as well. One other thing, I highly doubt you can get Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to remove Tom Murphy no matter how much he disagrees with your side hence no purging here.
March 28, 2017, 4:48 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
How about some of you bike zealots explain why you feel that having a bicycle means that your needs outweigh everyone else's? For the most part, I just find any bike lanes to be a waste of space considering how little they are used throughout the years compared to the motor vehicles that use the roads constantly. In other words, the money used to fix potholes are important. Another thing is that what is that you bike zealots have against following traffic laws let alone agreeing to having you bicycles registered, insured, or licensed? Could it be that you don't like being part of the system or that it means that you can now be tracked when you hit someone when you used to be able to get away with it? One a side note, I'm not in favor of motorists who hit someone, but when a cyclist or pedestrian is known for flouting the laws, they are placing themselves into harm's way, which is something that Streetsblog entries will try to ignore if that's ever the case, because it will prove responsibility on their side as well. One other thing, I highly doubt you can get Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to remove Tom Murphy no matter how much he disagrees with your side hence no purging here.
March 28, 2017, 4:48 pm
VLM from Park Slope says:
Tal: You are a pathetic person. I feel sorry for you. Go find something else to do with your life.
March 28, 2017, 5:53 pm
Chris from Bushwick says:
Tal, please seek psychiatric help. You've been afflicted with this mental illness for over a decade now. It's sad.
March 29, 2017, 5 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I guess some just know how to dish criticism, but can't seem to know how to take it. I wouldn't be surprised if the community board members and those that attend them regularly oppose placing bike lanes. Meanwhile, I feel those that support them to be nothing more than a flash mob just trying to be the majority. Even if car ownership in that area isn't big, I doubt bicycle ownership is either. Then again, you bike zealots just don't like it when others don't agree with you. On a side note, cut the personal attacks and impersonations, because it just shows your true nature of always feeling bent out of shape when anyone doesn't take your side.
March 29, 2017, 5:46 pm
Joe from Park Slope says:
Tal,

This is a few blocks of bike lane in a city that you don't like in nor have likely ever visited.

Your "feelings" here are completely utterly irrelevant and as the other posters implied kind of pathetic and sad.
March 29, 2017, 6 pm
Joe from Park Slope says:
Meant to say Live in not like in (bad typo) on my part.
March 29, 2017, 6:01 pm
Josh from Manhattan says:
Tal, being a little hypocritical here? You can dish the criticism, but donot seem to be able to take it. And personal attacks? Anyone who disagree's with you is immediately labeled a bike zealot and a Transportations Alternative member or Streetsblog something-or-other. So if your argument is that anyone who thinks a bike lane is a good idea must be a bike zealot and a Transportation Alternatives member, etc, then the same fits for someone to say that since your arguments lack actual common sense, then you must be a complete idiot. And since you spend so much time commenting on local issues of a place you don't live, you have no life. And whether I agree with those statements or not, I am not making those statements right now. I am just pointing out the rationale behind what others have said, and how it matches with your own actions. But I have a feeling you might have some trouble understanding that last part. A good rule of thumb in life: before criticizing another, look in the mirror and see how it first applies to you.
March 29, 2017, 8:39 pm
Chris from Bushwick says:
Tal, I'm not bent out of shape at all. I truly feel sorry for you that your hobby is to spend all this time babbling mindlessly about bike lanes in a place 40 miles from where you live.

Please, seek the help of a mental health professional. Your life can be more than this.
March 30, 2017, 3:45 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Josh, how was I being hypocritical? I read what the bike zealots say over on Streetsblog, so I know what their nature is. Being a nerdy leftist like Al Gore, I don't come up with arbitrary claims, so I just tell it like it is even if others don't approve of it. For the record, I couldn't care less if anyone wanted to disagree with me, just those that attack me I am against. Also, being against placing bike lanes doesn't mean that I am against safety, I just don't see them as promoting such seeing that there are cyclists who have the tendency to not follow the traffic laws, which has been found to be a fact. Sometimes, I feel that you need to understand the causes of the opposition to placing such infrastructure rather than the effects, which will most likely explain why the community board members opposed it so much. One other thing, I suggest you look up the word zealot or even zeal, and then you will know why I used that word, though I guess being a nerdy leftist means to you that I will be using words that just don't show up in your vocabulary. On a side note, I do follow a lot of rules when I drive, so I do practice what I preach, so I expect the same from the cyclists. To quote Confucius, "Respect is something one must earn, not demand."
March 30, 2017, 5:57 pm
George from Brooklyn says:
Tal, in what world is the ridiculous BS you spew out here not arbitrary claims? Are you high, mental or just really dumb?

Regardless like others have said maybe consider finding something better to do than spew your mis-informed nonsense on the internet.

p.s you do realize that this crap you post comes up when you Google your name? Good luck getting a job with that.
March 30, 2017, 9:53 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
George, do you have issues with those who don't agree with you, because I don't? Just reading that only further strengthens my claim that bike zealots have the tendency to feel bent out of shape when hearing from the other side. How exactly is that being misinformed when you just proved it to me yourself? More importantly, you have to understand that you had your say on this, so now let others have theirs'. In other words, if your group has the right to place bike lanes, then others have the right to being against them be it myself, others, or even community board members. Perhaps, there was something they saw that made them go against it, that your group didn't see. On a side note, most employers don't Google someone's name let alone look at their social networks even though I don't use one, because that is seen as an invasion of privacy.
March 31, 2017, 3:23 pm
George from Brooklyn says:
RE: Most employers don't Google someones name.

LMFAO

You really are an unemployed 30-40 something living in your parent's basement aren't you? Good luck ever getting a job you mis-informed dbag.
March 31, 2017, 4:48 pm
Benny from Bark Grope says:
"Gentrification! Waaahhhhh! Yuppies! Waaahhhh! Bikes! Waaaaahhhh!" Jesus, what a bunch of whiny a-holes.
March 31, 2017, 9:02 pm
Benny from Bark Grope says:
"Gentrification! Waaahhhhh! Yuppies! Waaahhhh! Bikes! Waaaaahhhh!" Jesus, what a bunch of whiny a-holes.
March 31, 2017, 9:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
George, how about discussing the issue rather than making personal attacks? When I see you doing this, my guess is that I put you in your place, and your only response is being a wacko attacko as Michael Moore would say it. Then again, I guess bike zealots do have a history of acting childish, not to mention acting like cyber stalkers, which I should get the police involved in. Just reading your latest comment really makes me want to question your age. Until your kind answers my questions about what they have against community board members and other groups or individuals being against placing bike lanes, I will consider your kind to be such. In a real debate, personal attacks wouldn't be allowed. One other thing, I don't call for those who don't agree with me to be censored, so knock it off with saying who can be here and who can't.
April 1, 2017, 3:37 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

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.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!