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  • People that have special placards and trucks that make deliveries park pretty much anywhere they choose any time they want. Fire hydrants, no parking zones, turning lanes, whatever.
    Why you think bike lane would make any difference?
    what is point of ticketing….immune anyway.

  • I’m currently developing a compact handlebar-mounted rocket launcher to correct this unfortunate situation.

  • BrooklynButler

    The cops should also look at Jay Street, where 90 percent of the time, a cruiser is blocking the bike lane.

  • Half the placards are expired or bogus.

  • outrageous – but frankly i think everyone has to accept that cars will and must block bike lanes sometimes and CONVERSELY bikers will and must disobey traffic laws sometimes (and pedestrians will jay walk) – righteousness in any direction is kind of futile (for anyone who has spent time as a driver AND biker AND pedestrian)

  • When this happens, I enjoy biking in the exact center of the traffic lane so cars cannot go around me.

  • Biff Champion

    “People that have special placards and trucks that make deliveries park pretty much anywhere they choose any time they want.”

    Among the worst are the Church-issued, homemade get out of jail free cards, such as those issued to the congregation at the Lebanese church on Henry Street by Remsen. And judging by the amount of BMW and Mercedez SUVs that block the bike lanes there almost every Sunday, I think it’s safe to say the drivers could afford to park their vehicles in a lot and not endanger cyclists.

  • Biff, you are being a bit unfair. I am so grateful that folks living outside the area come in to attend services and support the church. If the congregation decided to move their cathedral to New Jersey or Connecticut we would be left with another vacant historic church. In this case, one of the most important churches architecturally in Brooklyn. But they seem to cherish their church, and that is really great.

  • Biff Champion

    Minard, your post has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that these people are illegally blocking the bike land AND causing damage to the sidewalks, which the residents have to pay for.

    It’s great they support their church, but why can’t they park on the streets or in parking lots?? I support museums…should I be allowed to pull right up in front of the MOMA and park by the front door?

  • biff, where is it that they park? the sidewalk? I guess I have not seen that.

  • Biff Champion

    Minard, they park with half of the car in the entire bike lane and the right half up on the sidewalk.

    Here’s an article. The picture shows a particularly aggregious situation whereby the car with the Church placard was a Parks and Rec vehicle that is meant only for official use. It was parked there one Sunday morning with all of the other churchgoers’ cars.

    http://www.tinyurl.com/3db7te9

    Here’s a related article:

    http://gothamist.com/2009/12/01/police_let_parishoners_turn_bike_la.php

  • Biff, yes, I recall that article. That is the Presbyterian Church on Henry near Clark. Also a lovely historic church.
    I would argue that Our Lady of Lebanon is a special case as it is not a major denomination, it is a Maronite Rite RC church and people with roots in Lebanon come from all over to attend services there.
    It is a real problem. There are many churches and other attractions in the Heights but it is a very very crowded neighborhood. Especially during tourist season.

  • Biff Champion

    Minard, I still don’t see what it being “a special case” in terms of its size and congregation has to do with the fact the people are parking in the bike lanes and on sidewalks. There are plenty of lots around in which to park and spots are often available Sunday mornings, not only within BH, but also on Atlantic. Anyway, we can agree to respectfully disagree on this.

  • Lots of people travel long distances to visit the Brooklyn Bridge, Sahadi’s, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and other attractions. They take mass transit or park legally. They don’t get special dispensations because of the activity they’re engaged in. There is no legitimate reason for special dispensations for churches.

  • infinitejester

    ^^^^
    1 or 2 a weekend will suffice, too.

  • I see that churchgoers are getting no slack from this crowd.

  • What is “Cluster$@#%”?

    Anyway, I’ve seen many cyclists on sidewalks lately going full speed or nearly full speed. NOT great!

    But I feel bad for them considering many of our streets have been dug up for repaving recently.

    I saw a young man with a baby seat on the back going down the sidewalk on Lafayette today (against the direction of traffic). I didn’t really appreciate that one (he could have gone to Fulton or Dekalb frankly) and didn’t appreciate the gal who almost hit me on the sidewalk over the weekend.

    I also absolutely detest the behavior of a man who barrels through the redlight at Seven Corners most mornings. He’s often in a professional biker regalia (like it’s the Tour de France—maybe he’s a messenger?) and invariably shoots through the redlight coming down Fulton. He and one of his sidekicks have nearly hit me a number of times as I step out onto the crosswalk when I have the right of way.

    It’s very startling, you’re heart is in your throat and then you get really angry watching him continue to fly down Fulton. My daughter’s friends (all women) have been ticketed for going through redlights on very quiet streets on weekend mornings when there is no traffic in any direction. They’re easy prey and learn the hard way since the fines are shockingly high and double on the second occurrence!

  • I think that both the Henry Street situation and the Adams Street scenario reflect the fact that SOME of the bike lane planning was poorly executed. I would offer that planners should have taken into account how commercial buildings without loading docks or access to local parking would received deliveries as well as current usage patterns for street parking before the bike lanes were placed.

    Instead you have businesses that encourage the delivery men to park in the bike lanes because there is no alternative local parking or loading and unloading zone for them to use and churches that continue to double park because no local street parking alternatives exist. At the same time, bikers are understandably upset with the lack of respect for lanes which they are entitled access to.

    This is neither the fault of the bikers, nor of the businesses or delivery people but it is clear evidence of a lack of thought that went into the placement of some of these lanes. It almost seems as if some lane placements were chosen to create friction between bikers and drivers where none had existed in the past.

  • Biff Champion

    BrooklynGreene, I don’t have an issue with anything you said. Cyclists should also not be able to flagrantly disobey the rules of the road.

    I have nothing against churchgoers, Minard. I guess what really gets me about the church parking situation is that there is a double annoying whammy…blocked bike lanes AND the sidewalks being blocked and damaged by the cars.

    Zinka, EXACTLY!

  • Hey Minard,

    There’s this thing called the subway.

  • Isn’t that available parking on the other side? Something must have been up. Admittedly I don’t ride here. It’s a much better place to die than it is to bike. That path is often marked with piles of flowers left for the dead. Anyone know where the city keeps stats on pedestrian accidents? This would be an interesting street to look at. I’m not sure this design has worked much better than the previous. Seems like people have complained for several years on all sides.

  • GKW,

    It’s not righteousness to expect the police to do their job.

    NYC isn’t some special place where the the law has any less meaning than any other large city in the country. How about LA? The cops ticket drivers there. Chicago? Ditto. Miami? Yep. San Francisco? Definitely. NYC? Nope, it’s OK to ignore traffic laws and drive like a maniac here. I regularly see drivers run red lights and stop signs, ignore marked lane markings (including bike lanes), drive INSANELY FAST on narrow city streets – and do the cops do anything about it? Of course not.

    It also makes no sense that this is the case when the administration is claiming the city is broke and cutting essential services like education, while simultaneously sponsoring nonessential projects and neglecting a major source of revenue which would have the added benefit of improving public safety, traffic flow, and pollution.

  • morralkan

    Come on! Is the vehicular traffic on the Brooklyn Heights side streets soooooooo heavy on Sunday mornings that you take your life in your hands by riding in one of the traffic lanes at this time? Is this the only Heights street available to ride on?

  • Morralkan -
    Yes, I’d say the Adams and Jay street rush hour traffic is pretty hairy.

    I’ve gotten a ticket on this street for not riding in the bike lane (I got it at the intersection of Tillary). Another bicyclist actually came up to intervene – pointing at the cars parked in the bike lane (how can you ride in a lane that is blocked?).

    I have read the laws, and told the officer that, yes, if a bike lane is provided, I am supposed to ride in it. However, the law states that if the bike lane is blocked or unsafe, I am allowed to ride in the street.

    Her response: Take it up with the city.

    Which, of course, is not worth the trouble so I just paid the ticket.

    I’m guessing there’s a quota the police are trying to hit.