Cyclists in Cobble Hill could soon have a little more wiggle room.
Community Board 2’s transportation committee approved a city plan to legalize riding across Court Street from Amity Street to Dean Street — a popular but unlawful move known by some as the “Amity Street wiggle” — with a 7–5 vote at a meeting on Thursday night.
Some members even admitted that they too have been wiggling for years, and have lived to tell the tale.
“I’ve done the jog for 45 years and I’ve never experienced any problems,” said Boerum Hill resident Bill Harris. “I’m perfectly safe in doing it even though it’s not permitted.”
Amity and Dean streets run off Court Street on opposite sides, but are offset by about 45 feet, and making a Downtown-bound left turn into the Carroll Gardens-bound street to bridge the gap is technically illegal — not that it stops many riders, clearly.
In fact, it is so common, some locals formed a group called Friends of the Amity St. Wiggle, which has been advocating legalization for years.
Now the Department of Transportation wants to sanction the move too, adding “no left turns except bicycles” signs and painting markings across Court Street.
But not everyone at the meeting was sold — some argued that many drivers also like to wiggle their way across the shortcut, and they too should be given a green light for the sake of simplicity and equality.
“It might be helpful for cyclists and cars and pedestrians if there’s one way to do this,” said Sidney Meyer. “One way for the cyclists and another for the cars is going to cause confusion.”
But the majority of committee members ultimately decided that making the same maneuver with a 3,000-pound hunk of steel is too dangerous, and actually recommended the city install a pedestrian island on the crosswalk over Amity Street to act as a physical barrier to wiggly motorists.
The transportation department already presented the plan to Community Board 6 last month (Court Street is the border between the two districts), which largely supported the idea but decided to hold off on voting until more locals can weigh in.
The proposal will now move on to the full community board, which is scheduled to meet on Feb. 8.