Game of musical planters continues on Jay Street

Out of season: The giant planter was sitting in the middle of the Jay Street bike lane on Friday morning.
Brooklyn Paper
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The plantergate saga continues!

Someone moved one of several large potted shrubs directly into the path of the Jay Street bike lane Downtown Friday, the latest in a recent series of incidents in which the planters, installed by the city to deter illegal parking in the biking route, have been mysteriously relocated.

“There was just a big planter that’s been moving left and right around Jay Street and it was squarely in the center of the bike lane,” said Boerum Hill resident Matthew Wolsky, who encountered it as he biked to work during the morning rush hour.

He successfully navigated around the misplaced planter and continued on his way, but said he was convinced that whoever created the roadblock must have done it on purpose.

“I don’t think it was an accident; it was intentional,” Wolsky said.

The city Department of Transportation put six of the pots in the striped channel between the bus and bike lanes last month, and scofflaws have been relentlessly shuffling them around ever since.

Workers for business booster group the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership have been given the Herculean task of moving the planters back when they’re out of place, and now must rise to the challenge several times a week, according to a spokeswoman.

The shrub-shifting suspect remains unknown, but must be strong or have some help — it takes at least two Downtown Brooklyn Partnership workers to push each greenery holder back into its correct spot.

A transportation department spokeswoman said the agency was planning to notify the Partnership about the latest planter-moving incident and refused to say whether it had yet cooked up a plan to keep the pots in one place.

In other Jay Street news, the city installed a plastic barrier with short posts, or bollards, sprouting out of it — otherwise known as a “Qwick curb” — on Monday in a bid to prevent drivers from parking in the bus lane alongside MetroTech. Wolsky called that move a welcome addition, but conceded that it, too, can be easily defeated by aggressive drivers.

“I think they’re a great idea, it’s some physical protection,” he said. “You often see people driving right over the plastic ones, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.”

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at 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

Laurie says:
Lots of unfounded allegations here - does anyone even know if they were there in the first place?!
April 17, 2017, 10:18 am
Tyler from pps says:
“I think they’re a great idea, it’s some physical protection,” he said. “You often see people driving right over the plastic ones, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.”

Oh -- I see, I guess there would be now way to deal with that situation right? There's no agency with the ability to write tickets or perhaps one that owns a tow truck?

April 17, 2017, 10:35 am
Resident from Brooklyn says:
The cops don't give a sh*t about people who ride bikes, walk, or take the bus.
April 17, 2017, 11:12 am
Tyler from pps says:
I don't give a sh*t if the cops give a sh*t -- they need to do their job.
April 17, 2017, 11:15 am
S from Greenpoint says:
Court Officers are probably the ones who're moving it. They are the ones parking illegally, mostly.
April 17, 2017, 1:09 pm
Dave from Brooklyn says:
Long past overdue for free parking placards to go away
April 17, 2017, 1:12 pm
djx from Harlem formerly Brooklyn says:
This undermines trust in policing/justice system, if someone from the police or court are so flagrantly breaking the law, and others in those institutions are doing nothing about it.

NYPD not stopping it demonstrates either corruption or incompetence. or both.
April 17, 2017, 1:31 pm
ujh from Downtown Brooklyn says:
Given the existence of cameras on the buildings occupied by the courts, NYU, and National Grid, it's most peculiar that the perpetrators (or is it a lone wolf?), have not been identified. Who, if anyone, is reviewing the videos recorded by these cameras, do they end up in the trash, or does the NYPD hierarchy or other law-enforcement agency order them destroyed?
April 17, 2017, 4:18 pm
Blogger Bill from from Boerum Hill says:
ujh makes a good point. Where are the cameras.
Where is the enforcement.

As a biker and car owner who uses both here, we
may one day discover that more bikes mean fewer
cars, not the inverse. Sure, moving the shrubs at
midnight is giving pleasure to a few yahoos--time
for it to stop I guess. Enforcement, please.
April 17, 2017, 6:05 pm
K. from ArKady says:
Look, I sort of feel like the Master of the Obvious here, but if you replace the round bottomed planters with square ones you'll have a lot fewer shenanigans. Just trust me.
April 17, 2017, 9:09 pm
Juan Wasserman says:
Brooklyn Paper should give that bartoonist guy a 6 pack and stick him there on the corner. he could draw us up the bandit!
April 17, 2017, 11:56 pm
Markp from Downtown BK says:
It's almost definitely people who work at the courthouse. They have routinely parked in the crosswalk for at least the last 7 years.
April 17, 2017, 11:57 pm
Brenda from Park Slope says:
So typical, all the conservative commenters here are getting butthurt again! Is there ever even a day where you're not butthurt?
April 18, 2017, 6:42 am
Misty Waters from Brooklyn Heights says:
God, just get rid of them already! Let people park wherever they want!
April 18, 2017, 8:52 am
Uptowner from Brooklyn says:
Definitely NYPD.
April 18, 2017, 10:05 am
Frank from Furter says:
Why is there surprise here? Spaces have been removed. Parking in the bus stop on jay st is a daily occurrence. Now since spaces have also been removed on Brooklyn bridge Blvd aka Adams street not only are the permit parkers parking on the safety zone they are parking on the roadway and blocking traffic lanes. Another story perhaps
April 18, 2017, 10:45 am
Joshua from Bay Ridge says:
No human is illegal, no parking is illegal. Call it undocumented parking, don't be racist bigots!
April 18, 2017, 10:59 am
NN from Boerum Hill says:
For decades now, the NYPD has been completely incompetent at enforcing the most basic traffic and parking laws.

The city should create a new agency to handle traffic enforcement and and take that responsibility away from the NYPD. This new agency could be funded by the additional revenue the city would get by ticketing for sidewalk parking, speeding and other kinds of dangerous driving.
April 18, 2017, 12:52 pm
Frank from Furter says:
It's not incompetence. It's intentional. Traffic used to have a separate department. To enforce speeding or reckless driving you need to be a peace officer. Most traffic agents are not peace officers. Only a few of the traffic agents are peace officers. The police department supervises the traffic agents. The police doesn't want traffic agents ticketing permit holders. They want the department that employs the permit holders to discipline them if necessary. In Manhattan's civic area the PD creAted a special enforcement unit. That works fairly well.
April 18, 2017, 1:13 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
I'm glad that there is nothing more important to worry about than a misplaced plant.
April 18, 2017, 2:51 pm
Zoe from Windsor Terrace says:
Have a large dog evacuate its bowels on the hood of each illegally parked car.
April 18, 2017, 3:46 pm
TOM from Sunset Park says:
Man plans, God laughs.
April 18, 2017, 6:06 pm
CK from None of your business says:
The fat Court Officer that stands on the corner moved them..
April 18, 2017, 8:36 pm
Liberal Larry from Midland says:
Maybe the bicycles should obey the traffic lights also. Red means stop. I'm guessing the same people who ride skateboards at age 40 and ride to work on a Citibike are still butt hurt that Clinton lost.
April 18, 2017, 9:08 pm
John Smith from Crown Heights says:
I also agree the beard wearing hipsters don't obey the traffic lights. The Bike lane is the worst thing to happen to Jay Street. I think the NYPD should ticket the bicycles who run right thru red lights more often.
April 18, 2017, 9:13 pm
Joe Bloe from Bensonhurst says:
The NYPD has better things to do than to conduct an all out investigation involving cameras, stakeout etc. over moving a stupid plant. If bicyclists come across a large planter in the bicycle lane please use your brakes and you won't get hurt.
April 19, 2017, 1:11 pm
Tyler from pps says:
There is no need to investigate anything... Simply tow away the illegally parked cars.

There's no "placard" for illegal parking.

Behavior punished. City coffers get some cash. Done!
April 19, 2017, 1:27 pm
Tyler from pps says:
By the way -- all these really stupid comments about cyclists running red lights, etc. Uggh.

That's a moving violation, folks! Nothing to do with illegal parking that blocks travel lanes, hampers bus movement, and endangers pedestrians.

Should we take auto driving lanes and all parking until motorists stop running red lights, aggressively move through crosswalks full of people and speed? Hmmm...

Or ya know, understand the difference between a moving violation and stationary vehicles causing problems.
April 19, 2017, 1:57 pm
Linda says:
Tyler - a moving violation is much more serious than a parking violation. It's just the bicycle lobby giving money to our corrupt mayor that makes the city ignore them putting lives at risk!
In fact, if they didn't need a special lane for bicycles (because they're too erratic for regular traffic), this would all be parking! Bikes caused this "problem" and it's the least of the many problems they cause!
Tyler must certainly be childless and not fond of people because he doesn't care about people who BIKE ON TOP OF INNOCENT CHILDREN.
April 20, 2017, 7:55 am
Tyler from pps says:
"In fact, if they didn't need a special lane for bicycles (because they're too erratic for regular traffic)"

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh the delusional irony.

And yes, Linda, moving violations are "much more serious than a parking violation." Thanks for the underscoring my point that they are in fact DIFFERENT. And "but bicycles run red lights" has NOTHING to do with idiot drivers who are causing problems with their illegal parking.

By the way Linda -- In, say, the last 5 years... How many "erratic cyclists" and how many automobile drivers have ACTUALLY run over innocent children?! You should avoid saying such stupid things.
April 20, 2017, 10:05 am
Linda says:
Tyler - my daughter was killed when a bicycle ran her over. The doctors said the impact from the wheels nearly split her in half. When we burried her, the corpse still stunck from the reckless bikers sweat and Commes de Garcons fragrance. You think this is a joke? You're laughing when an innocent child dies? You are an awful person.
April 20, 2017, 2:48 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Tyler, Linda's point is that it doesn't make bicycles less dangerous, while mine is that two wrongs don't make a right when it comes to following traffic laws.
April 20, 2017, 5:17 pm
Peter from Brooklyn says:
Bicycles are equally as dangerous as long as one excludes:

1) Any form of logical thought

2) All the data that shows they are not as dangerous

3) General common sense

4) Any form of logical thought

5) General common sense
April 20, 2017, 5:49 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sorry Peter, but that claim almost reminds me of the anti-Israel fanatics claiming that Hamas isn't that much of a terrorist group just because they don't kill as much as the Israel Defense Force does.
April 20, 2017, 6:33 pm
Peter from Brooklyn says:
Yes Tal. Cyclists are terrorists.

As I said as long as one suspends any form of logical thought, reality and common sense your theory is valid.
April 20, 2017, 7:35 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Peter, I suggest you look at statements posted by anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian supporters like the ones on the NY Times, and you will know what I am talking about. I can even go to say that bike zealots such as yourself are like the Boycott Divestment Sanctions in that you almost refuse to hear from the pro-car side just like how they refuse to hear anyone from the pro-Israel side and only seem to support freedom of expression when it happens to be from them only. Then again, your kind misses the point a lot just like how the rogue cyclists tend to miss a lot of traffic lights and signs they are supposed to obey, but ride through instead. My point is that if you don't practice what you preach, you have no moral legitimacy to your claim. On a side note, I have said things like this on places where the NY Times allow for commenting and was thanked for saying these analogies and claims. One other thing, there is a call for cyclists to follow the traffic laws whether or not you bike zealots tend to believe that or not.
April 21, 2017, 3:17 pm

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