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Lane closure: Fourth Ave. bike path will skip a block for police parking in S’Park

No bike lane here: The planned Fourth Avenue bike lane will skip a block in Sunset Park to accomodate the police department’s parking outside of the 72nd Precinct station house, between 29th and 30th streets.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’re putting the brakes on this bike lane!

Southern Brooklyn cyclists are irate that the Department of Transportation will sacrifice part of its planned Fourth Avenue bike lane to accommodate parking by police outside the 72nd Precinct station house in Sunset Park. The one-block omission — on the Bay Ridge–bound side of the road between 29th and 30th streets — will force bikers to merge into car traffic, putting them at greater risk, according to the Ridgite who first confronted the city about the matter.

“They’re forcing people to go out and ride in traffic with cars,” said John Tomac. “Drivers aren’t going to be expecting to see bikers out in the middle of the road. You have this big ambitious plan for a bike lane that’s going to get hijacked by city employees.”

In January, Tomac e-mailed the transportation agency’s borough commissioner, Keith Bray, to ask how the station house would accommodate the planned five-foot-wide protected bike lane, since police park a mix of squad cars and personal vehicles on a potion of the sidewalk on one side of a guardrail in front of the building, with cars jutting out into what would be the bike lane.

Nearly two months later, Bray returned Tomac’s e-mail on March 12 and told him it was “not feasible” for the bike lane to be separated from traffic by a physical barrier as the plan outlines “due to the need to maintain parking access for NYPD vehicles.” Bray added that the entire block is “effectively a driveway” due to the police parking, and so would consequently receive painted markings to separate the bike lane from traffic instead. The parking problem was first reported by Streetsblog on March 15.

But when this paper followed up with the transportation agency, a rep said it would eliminate the bike lane entirely from the Bay Ridge–bound side of Fourth Avenue between 29th and 30th streets, in order to reserve the street space for police parking.

Another local cycling advocate said the whole purpose of the bike lane is defeated if it isn’t going to protect cyclists from traffic — even if only on one block.

“It’s a bit of a dicey situation when you’re asking cyclists to all of sudden merge into a busy, moving car lane,” said Ridgite Brian Hedden, who is also the chairman of Transportation Alternatives’ Southwest Brooklyn Activist Committee. “The whole point is to protect cyclists from moving traffic, and then you have this one block where you’re forcing them into a more dangerous, vulnerable situation.”

Hedden and Tomac said they were also concerned about the block between 28th and 29th streets, since they claimed police also use it for sidewalk parking, as well as the stretch outside the firehouse between 51st and 52nd streets, where they claimed cars are often double parked.

Hedden said the city needs to consider other solutions, including bringing the police and transportation agencies together to discuss increasing parking options for cops, but added that the real solution may require officers hopping on a subway — or even a bike — and leaving their personal cars at home.

“As far as [police officers’] personal cars, I think there really needs to be more of a good faith effort in terms of using the same transportation options most of us have to use,” he said.

Last month, transit leaders debuted a pilot program allowing cyclists to take advantage of already in place crossing signals that give pedestrians a head start over motorists moving in the same direction at certain intersections — including those at Fourth Avenue and 29th and 30th streets, on either end of the block where the agency will no longer lay a bike lane.

The Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 5:46 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Astonished! from Real World! says:
Selfish cyclist wants policemen to bike or subway from their suburban homes so that overgrown children too cheap to take the subway themselves can have an uninterrupted ride. As for commuter trains and buses they run once an hour, maybe, at the off hours many cops work.
April 3, 6:02 am
Resident from Brooklyn says:
Huge failure on the part of DOT and City Hall here. This isn't Vision Zero at all.
April 3, 8:18 am
Adrian from Ridgewood says:
Can't understand why police officers don't take the subway just like the rest of New Yorkers. If they live in the suburbs, they can drive to the nearest subway stop. Problem solved!
April 3, 8:28 am
Adrian from Ridgewood says:
Can't understand why police officers don't take the subway just like the rest of New Yorkers. If they live in the suburbs, they can drive to the nearest subway stop. Safety obviously is more important than convenience.
April 3, 8:29 am
Barry from Blissville says:
Cops are special snowflakes and they don't subscribe to doing things the way other New Yorkers do. Each officer has two different vehicles in their suburban driveway. They'll never take mass transit. That's for us civilians, not them.
April 3, 8:32 am
ItsNotEasyBeingGreen from UWS says:
This precinct has a huge parking lot and they still park on the surrounding sidewalks. Now they want to block the only decent bike lane proposed for the neighborhood.

This lane is not going to get more people to cycle if it is not continuous. Not many people will ride if they have to do it in 4th Avenue traffic.
April 3, 8:35 am
Vision Zero from Zero Vision says:
Wow! what a bunch of crybaby's complaining that cyclists are irate. The bike lanes were put in FOR BICYCLES, NOT AUTOMOBILES. You should see how whiny motorists get when a cyclist takes the lane, which is legal. This story doesn't even affect motorists yet they are the most vocal & self entitled complainers.
April 3, 9:16 am
Mike from Slope says:
Cops can park around the corner on 29th. This really shouldn't be this hard.
April 3, 9:32 am
the REAL Vision Zero from Zero Vision says:
^^^Prime example^^^
lil henry ford from Bay Ridge making an idiotic comment using my name. And his comment makes no sense, shows what a dullard he truly is. And this also proves what a chump he is, been doing it all morning. Grow up and grow a pair you chump.
April 3, 10:09 am
Tyler from pps says:
I assume this station has a bunch of EMTs right? Since this will be a place on 4th Avenue where cyclists will have to suddenly merge into faster traffic.

(No risk of an cyclists using the sidewalk anywhere near the police station... since *no one* can use the sidewalks filled with cars.)
April 3, 10:12 am
Frank from Bay Ridge says:
These bicycle activists are derange. The should get a life.
April 3, 10:15 am
Frank from Bay Ridge says:
Sorry for misspell. I meant to say they should get a life.
April 3, 10:18 am
Frank from Bay Ridge says:
i takeing time frome Mensa meetings two cumplane comments hair.
April 3, 10:39 am
AMH from NYC says:
It is not feasible to maintain parking access for NYPD vehicles due to the need for the bike lane to be separated from traffic by a physical barrier.

They already have to protect the building with a physical barrier to keep from driving right into it. Just move that guardrail out far enough to protect the bike lane.
April 3, 11:18 am
the REAL Vision Zero from Zero Vision says:
Hi Frank, lil henry ford from Bay Ridge has been chasing me all morning and impersonating me with really lame comments. He is a sad lil guy who was never hugged as a child and must have a napoleon complex. It’s best to ignore him.
April 3, 11:34 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Dude, I have a job and a life. I really have no time to engage in your sad fantasies. You really should lay off whatever it is that you are on. Your delusions aren’t that entertaining for the rest of us.
April 3, 12:02 pm
NN from Boerum Hill says:
That police station has a huge parking lot, and street spots on 29th and 30th. Why do they need to take over the sidewalk and bike lane on 4th Avenue too?
April 3, 12:19 pm
from Zero Vision from Zero Vision says:
I knew you'd be back, I play you like the chump you are. Always got something to say but can't back it up. You haven't even commented on this story at all. You are here for my amusement, you are my bich hanging off my beltloop. Talk soon
April 3, 1:14 pm
Vision Zero from Zero Vision says:
Ha! here you go again, that's a good bich. What is there really to say about this “story”? Then why the fukk are you here? Shut your mouth watch yo self.
April 3, 1:29 pm
Tyler from pps says:
"Cops are gonna park where they want to, as they should"

That's just stupid.
April 3, 1:50 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
If anyone in city government were to criticize the cops, they would have low morale. And then they would turn their backs toward that person. And for some reason, we have to be especially tender toward the feelings of our precious police officers to make sure their morale is always very good, regardless of whether they do a good job or an important job. Always coddle the cops.
April 3, 2:12 pm
Vision Zero from Zero Vision says:
Tyler from pps gets it, cops are here to uphold the law, not be above it.
April 3, 2:23 pm
Astonished! from Real World! says:
I had no idea so many cops take their blue and white patrol cars home and drive them back to work. I always thought they parked their patrol cars like that so they could get out onto Fourth Avenue quickly in case of an emergency. Who knew those were their personal transports?!?!
April 3, 2:39 pm
Vision Zero from Zero Vision says:
I had no idea cops were above the law!
April 3, 2:56 pm
Tyler from pps says:
Henry -
You mean like the Knapp Commission in the 70s?

Do we really need to get to that level of police corruption again before we recognize and do something about cops being above the law? Small corruption is still corruption.

Ticket fixing (big scandal, remember?) is no different than putting an NYPD vest on your dashboard when you park on the sidewalk or in front of a fire hydrant.
April 3, 3:54 pm
Tyler from pps says:
Call me crazy.... but I'd actually like cops to be ethically *better* than the average person. Isn't that the point?
April 3, 3:54 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
Without disrespect, if the police wont move their vechicles, move the station house. The idea police convenience is more important than safety is unreasonable and frankly absurd. Maybe just get rid of the station house and enlarge the forces at other stations. Seems like the wrong place for a police station anyhow, if the vechicles are stretching out into the street, ehich is illegal anyway.
April 3, 4:03 pm
Vision Zero from Zero Vision says:
Tyler,
Don't waste you time on this idiot. This is the same type of dolt who argues against gun control with "German citizens were disarmed by their government in the late 1930s...", yet they are OK with police acting above the law. The police are NOT above the law.
April 3, 4:09 pm
New York is dunzo. from Bay Ridge says:
Terrible article by a newbie new yorker/ libtard writer.
April 3, 8:40 pm
TOM from Sunset Park says:
Wisdom & understanding. Just what I live for.
April 3, 9:26 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Hey I poke out my head!
April 4, 6:38 am
Mike from WIlliamsburg says:
Wow imagine a cop had to take the train or the subway like one of us regular joes, or park a block away from work. Tyranny!
April 7, 9:53 am

Comments closed.

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