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This, ladies and gentlemen, is Brooklyn’s scariest bike lane • Brooklyn Paper

This, ladies and gentlemen, is Brooklyn’s scariest bike lane

Cyclists on the Jay Street bike lane must contend with drivers who use the lane to double-park.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Jay Street is home to the scariest bike lane in the borough, according to dozens of readers who cast their votes in an online survey at BrooklynPaper.com.

About 39 percent of readers — 91 out of 237 voters at press time — named the double-parking-plagued Downtown street the most frightening bicycle route in Brooklyn, thanks to jaywalking pedestrians, who help the street live up to its name, and lawless drivers, who regularly block the path.

“The pedestrians are the worst … and there are always cars in the bike lane,” wrote one online commentator named Adam from Park Slope.

An average of 49 vehicles park in the Downtown-to-Manhattan link-up lane between Willoughby and Johnson streets every 60 minutes during morning and evening rush hour, forcing cyclists to swerve around cars and into the chaotic roadway itself, according to a recent study by the bicycle advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.

Cyclists say police do little to stop motorists from making illegal u-turns or blocking the bike route — and often obstruct the bike route themselves with their squad cars.

“The bike lane is faded and what remains is a double parking lane anyway, with the police among the worst offenders,” wrote one Brooklyn Paper commentator who posted under the name DG.

Caroline Samponaro of Transportation Alternatives says the lack of traffic enforcement is the biggest problem on Jay Street.

“It’s disappointing — it’s a matter of police doing their job,” Samponaro said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation did not immediately respond to questions about whether the city plans to make any tweaks to the oft-criticized lane.

Readers also sounded off about other terrifying bike routes in the borough, with the Brooklyn Bridge bike lane earning the title of second scariest after tallying about 22 percent of votes, followed by the cycling path on Bedford Avenue, which racked up 13 percent of votes.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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