Trees a crowd!
Illegal parking along Jay Street has become so rampant that the city is now using big tree-filled planters to block drivers from stashing their rides in illicit locations — the only natural way to stop the Downtown street from going to pot, according to one regular commuter.
“I think the planters, the physical barriers, are the only things that are going to keep cars from parking,” said Prospect Heights cyclist Paul Vogel, who rides along the stretch to work each weekday.
The Department of Transportation put in six of the planters between the bike and bus lane in the Manhattan Bridge-bound channel from Willoughby Street to MetroTech last Friday, according to a spokeswoman.
The agency specifically installed the shrubbery to weed out motorists who leave their cars in the space — despite striped marking making it clear the spot is out-of-bounds — so coach drivers have room to turn into the bus bay outside the office complex, she said.
Other forbidden parts of the street have bendy plastic poles called “bollards” to warn drivers away, but they don’t physically stop them, while the sturdy botanical barriers are the arboreal deal, said Vogel.
“The planters are way better than those things the city put in — people drive all over them,” he said.
The city finally installed a long-awaited parking-protected bike lane along the street last summer after years of complaints from cyclists about the treacherous stretch, where riders previously had to share with vehicles.
Pedal-pushers applauded the improvements, but groused that police still weren’t stopping scofflaw drivers who kept parking in dedicated bike and bus spaces — often cops themselves parking outside the courts.
Now the shrubs seem to be doing what the authorities could or would not, according to bike boosters.
“The planters seem so far to be preventing people from parking in the bike lane,” said Luke Ohlson, who is the Brooklyn organizer for pro-bike group Transportation Alternatives. “It seems like a success.”
Still, the hedges have their downsides too, Vogel noted — people are prone to use them as trash cans, and someone has to maintain the trees, or they get pretty gnarly.
And it is only a matter of time before a driver does some unsolicited pruning, he predicts.
“People will crash into them, I guarantee you someone will drive into them,” he said.
©2017 Community News Group
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.