This agency gets the job done — almost!
Department of Transportation employees last week installed much-anticipated bike lanes on a stretch of Ninth Street in Park Slope — except for on the pavement beneath a lone parked car, which they simply painted around in order to finish laying the pedalers’ paths and new parking lanes beside them that separate cyclists from moving traffic.
But the Transportation Department, which last month pulled a similar workaround when it repaved a Downtown street except for a patch beneath a dumpster on the road, could have easily solved the problem instead of creating a new one, said bewildered locals, who blasted officials’ patchwork process.
“The city could certainly have towed the car around the corner to the nearest available spot,” said Eric McClure, chairman of Community Board 6’s Transportation Committee. “It seems kind of ridiculous to leave it there.”
And by completing the parking lane next to the bike lane between Seventh and Eighth avenues without removing the red Subaru Forester, which is still parked in its spot, the agency only made a bad decision worse, according to another resident, who noted that other vehicles now box in the car, preventing cyclists from safely cruising — and officials, or its owner, from easily removing it.
“They couldn’t move it if they wanted to!” said Sloper Robert Levine. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Transportation Department workers on Friday began painting the new Ninth Street lanes between Prospect Park West and Third Avenue as part of a project to make the road safer after a driver hit and killed two kids crossing it at Fifth Avenue in March.
But the Subaru’s owner — whom Gothamist revealed is Women’s Health magazine editor Liz Plosser following its initial report on the car’s problematic parking — claimed in a since-deleted social-media post that officials didn’t provide enough notice of their work on the street where she stowed her ride before leaving town on vacation.
“Just learned that our car is parked atop a brand new bike line, which the city created 48 hours after we left town for a week-long vacation (naturally with no warning, signage),” read the caption of her Instagram post.
Transportation Department spokesman Brian Zumhagen, however, claimed the city posted notices about the job they day before it began — but whether Plosser saw signs or not, the agency should have towed the car in order to complete its work, according to another Brooklynite.
“Even if she had a perfectly good excuse and made an honest mistake, why wouldn’t you tow the car where you had to do the work?” said Stanley Greenberg, a member of cycling-advocacy group Transportation Alternatives who lives in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.
Last month, when this newspaper asked transit officials how they would fix the spot on Boerum Place they didn’t pave because of the dumpster, employee Paul Sharp of the agency’s pavement-management unit said the Transportation Department — which is responsible for issuing permits for such receptacles — would require the dumpster’s owner to pay to finish the job.
But a rep did not answer when asked if officials will similarly charge Plosser to complete the new bike lane, instead only saying workers may remove her car this week if she does not first.
“We’ll work to remove the vehicle if needed this week,” said Alana Morales.
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