More Holdups for the Greenpoint Avenue Bike Lane


Plans for new bike lanes near the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge have been in the works for awhile, but now they’re being held up because Community Board 1 isn’t thrilled about the loss of parking they’ll involve. The current Greenpoint Avenue bike lane begins at West Street and stops just short of the bridge. The DOT plans to continue the lane onto the bridge, creating two bike lanes and a buffer zone on the bridge itself. (Streetsblog’s got an image of the proposal.) The bike lanes planned for the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge itself are a done deal, says Karen Nieves of CB1′s Transportation Committee, but the lanes leading to and from the bridge are the ones that the community has problems with.
Click through to get the specifics on the plans, including the controversial loss of 50 parking spaces near the bridge…
The DOT proposed these changes for Greenpoint Avenue:

1) Take away parking from the north and south sides of the street and create a buffered bike lane against the curb.
2) Create left turn only lanes for Monitor, North Henry, and Humboldt.
3) Create a left turn lane for McGuinness and change dedicated bike lane to shares from Provost to McGuinness.
4) Create loading zone for beverage distributors.

The proposal takes away 50 parking spots on Greenpoint Avenue between Kingsland Avenue and Humboldt Street. The DOT told CB1 there was an insufficient amount of space to create a turning, travel and bike lane. CB1 asked if the DOT could carry the plan up to Monitor Street, two blocks away from the bridge. The DOT wanted to extend the lane to Humboldt since the turning volumes are also high on that particular block. CB1 voted against the parking loss included within the proposal. They did agree with the DOT, however, to change the dedicated bike lanes from Provost to McGuinness into a shared lane. It was not confirmed that the DOT will return to the board with a new plan, but Nieves noted that “the project is back on hold.” A committee member pointed out that the DOT does not need board approval to install the bike lanes, and the “DOT is known to do what they want.”

30 Comment

  • dittoburg

    This is so darn stoopid. The bike lanes need to be put on the PULASKI bridge, not this bridge that barely sees 10 cyclists a day, let alone a pedestrian. The cyclists can ride on the sidewalk here without harm to themselves or anyone else. Makes the DOT look like soviet-era central planning.

  • Wow, look at all of the open parking spaces on the right side of that picture. It doesn’t seem like anyone would miss them.

    The DOT works with communities, as it has with CB6 since 2007 and with the Times Square Alliance and all surrounding community boards. Pedestrian islands in Boro Park were taken out at the request of the community, and we all know what happened to a certain bike lane in Williamsburg. It is false to say that the DOT is known to do what they want.

  • dittoburg

    Yea, parking is a non-issue here unless you are sight-seeing at the sewage works. The workers park inside.

    Neverthless, if the funds are there they should go to the Pulaski. Earler this year I got an email response from the DOT telling me that there were no funds available at this point for the Pulaski bridge bike lane. Now I know why, cos their spending it on the bike lane to nowhere. Not that I should be getting pissy about this since I don’t pay city taxes anymore, but jeeze.

  • dittoburg

    Yea, parking is a non-issue here unless you are sight-seeing at the sewage works. The workers park inside.

    Neverthless, if the funds are there they should go to the Pulaski. Earler this year I got an email response from the DOT telling me that there were no funds available at this point for the Pulaski bridge bike lane. Now I know why, cos their spending it on the bike lane to nowhere. Not that I should be getting pissy about this since I don’t pay city taxes anymore, but jeeze.

  • Ditmas, you are right that the DOT took out the pedestrian island in Boro Park, but they did it only after many repeated requests from the community and Marcia Kramer’s repeated news pieces on this safety hazard. It should never have been installed in the first place since that section of Ft Hamilton Parkway was only slightly wider than what is needed to accommodate two lanes of traffic and two parking lanes. Considering that this street receives much heavy traffic from large trucks and buses, extra wide traffic lanes are needed to avoid accidents.

    The DOT definitely does whatever it wants. That’s part of Sadik-Khan’s imperial attitude toward the city. She’ll do exactly as she wishes until people successfully sue the DOT. (Think she might have gotten some of that attitude from her billionaire boss?)

  • Ditmas, you are right that the DOT took out the pedestrian island in Boro Park, but they did it only after many repeated requests from the community and Marcia Kramer’s repeated news pieces on this safety hazard. It should never have been installed in the first place since that section of Ft Hamilton Parkway was only slightly wider than what is needed to accommodate two lanes of traffic and two parking lanes. Considering that this street receives much heavy traffic from large trucks and buses, extra wide traffic lanes are needed to avoid accidents.

    The DOT definitely does whatever it wants. That’s part of Sadik-Khan’s imperial attitude toward the city. She’ll do exactly as she wishes until people successfully sue the DOT. (Think she might have gotten some of that attitude from her billionaire boss?)

    • I don’t really have a bone in the specific issue in Boro Park, except to say that they were also installed only after presenting to the CB12 (and getting apparently no response) and after getting sign off from both Maimonides and the FDNY (but without checking in with the volunteer ambulance service often used in this neighborhood).

      That’s hardly a city agency doing whatever it wants.

      • If they got no response at all from the community board, then perhaps they should have thought that their communication had not reached the correct parties and tried again. Nonetheless, if any of the idiots at DOT had actually LOOKED at the type of traffic that exists along this route and the width of the road, they would have realized that there was NO NEED for a pedestrian island on such a narrow street. For almost all of its length, Ft Hamilton Pkwy is a parkway in name only. They also could have anticipated the problems that resulted.
        Nonetheless, they went ahead and put in the islands because they are part of the DOT mindset that pedestrian islands and extended sidewalks should be all over the city. Even in my neighborhood (Kingston Ave between Empire and Eastern Pkwy), they have installed extended sidewalks on a number of the corners. Kingston Ave is simply not wide enough to require them. But I guess Sadik Khan’s DOT believes that they must spend all that Obama stimulus money they got and I guess she’s enough of an egomaniac that she wants to leave her physical legacy all over NYC. She considers herself some sort of modern day Robert Moses, even though she doesn’t have a hundredth of his brainpower or vision.

  • morralkan apparently wants a Brooklyn where everyone drives everywhere. No thanks!

    • Considering that I do not drive and never even learned how to drive, and that I ride my bike all over Brooklyn and into parts of Queens, Zinka, you are grossly off-base. Your comments reveal your hipster prejudices. Do you really think that extended sidewalks are needed on relatively narrow streets in the middle of a residential neighborhood? Or that large trucks, buses, and fire engines are going to magically disappear from city streets? Are your groceries airlifted to your house?
      My point is that that piece of trash, Sadik-Khan, is intent on putting HER stamp on the city. If she loves Amsterdam so much, she should settle there. New York is one of the most visited cities in the world. I doubt everyone is flooding here to sit at tables in Herald Square or to ride bicycles along First Avenue.

    • Considering that I do not drive and never even learned how to drive, and that I ride my bike all over Brooklyn and into parts of Queens, Zinka, you are grossly off-base. Your comments reveal your hipster prejudices. Do you really think that extended sidewalks are needed on relatively narrow streets in the middle of a residential neighborhood? Or that large trucks, buses, and fire engines are going to magically disappear from city streets? Are your groceries airlifted to your house?
      My point is that that piece of trash, Sadik-Khan, is intent on putting HER stamp on the city. If she loves Amsterdam so much, she should settle there. New York is one of the most visited cities in the world. I doubt everyone is flooding here to sit at tables in Herald Square or to ride bicycles along First Avenue.

  • morralkan apparently wants a Brooklyn where everyone drives everywhere. No thanks!

  • Trucks don’t cause congestion. Cars cause congestion. Your little vignette about expanded sidewalks didn’t provide any actual details, so I’m not sure how you expect me to respond to it. Referring to a dedicated public servant who has dramatically improved our city as a “piece of trash” shows you as utterly classless. Plazas are phenomenally successful and full of people at all hours, so your last point is mystifying. We’re not Amsterdam, so we can’t have nice things in our city? Delighting in crappy streetscapes is dumb.

    • Trucks don’t cause congestion, Zinka? In what fairy tale land do you live? As to the expanded sidewalks, I told you exactly where they are. It’s only five blocks along Kingston Ave. How much more specificity do you need?)
      Have you visited those pedestrian plazas in mid-winter or on rainy days? LOTS of use they get there! Same thing with those bike lanes along 1st and 2nd Avenues. I see them several times a week and, once the weather cools, they’re like ghost lanes.
      As to the comparison with Amsterdam, I would submit that we have many more nice things than it does. That’s why we are one of the world’s premiere travel destinations, despite the extremely high hotel prices.
      Finally, when it comes to Sadik-Khan, she’s not a dedicated public servant; she’s merely dedicated to having her own way and publicizing herself. The city will be far better off when she and Emperor Moneybags are out of office and the next mayor undoes all of their mistakes. Take a look at what she did Boro Park and to the intersection of Empire Blvd and Flatbush. It’s more unsafe with her collection of “islands” there, especially if you are riding a bicycle. (something it appears you do). These two examples,and many others in the city, will cost big bucks to undo. We don’t need public servants like JSK.

  • This is an industrial area. Cars and trucks need viable access through here as it is already massively congested. Businesses rely on this corridor to get to LIE This should not be a bicycle bridge at all. Anyone who argues against this doesn’t do business in the area and isn’t gainfully employed around here. Maybe you blog. Put the bike lane on the Pulaski. There’s room for everyone on there.

  • Call me when you’re interested in facts and reason, not name-calling, baiting screeds.

    • ZInka, YOU are the one who avoids facts (unless presenting your opinions as facts counts in your mind) and resorts to ad hominem attacks. That’s the sign of a small mind and yours is truly miniscule. (I hope I did not use too many big words for you.)

  • Parking is more important than making sure people don’t get squished by gigantic trucks, got it. CB1, I’ll be looking forward to voting against whomever puts parking over my and my neighbors’ safety.

    @greenpoinj, I’d say anyone who argues that a bike lane doesn’t belong on that street does so from the perspective of someone who doesn’t have to live here and get around safely without a car. Thanks for that perspective! There’s no reason a bike lane would make this route inaccessible to trucks, the idea is to keep trucks from squishing bikes that are already _legally_ using this street and bridge like everyone else who doesn’t necessarily work in one of the industrial buildings but still needs to go back and forth between greenpoint and queens. The bike lane is to keep short-sighted people like you from running people over, to force you to give them some space, as it’s clear you don’t think they deserve it. The world doesn’t owe you anything, either, buddy, so make some room.

    One last thing—as someone who drives and owns a car and lives in Greenpoint, I’ve been wishing they would just stripe the damn bike lane over the bridge already, because it would make it less confusing. Right now you can barely see any paint marking the lanes, and drives and cyclists are all over the place, making the avoidance of a disaster particularly tricky.

    • What? Few things in our neighborhood look more like soviet decay than how the greenpoint ave bridge already looks.

      However, I am all in favor of dedicating one travel lane on each side of the Pulaski bridge to bikes, there’s absolutely no reason for it to be a six lane highway when the roadway on either side is only four lanes, meanwhile bikes and peds are squeezed together in a way that’s clearly dangerous.

    • What? Few things in our neighborhood look more like soviet decay than how the greenpoint ave bridge already looks.

      However, I am all in favor of dedicating one travel lane on each side of the Pulaski bridge to bikes, there’s absolutely no reason for it to be a six lane highway when the roadway on either side is only four lanes, meanwhile bikes and peds are squeezed together in a way that’s clearly dangerous.

  • So mean you are (in addition to wrong on the issues). Most people who were bullies in middle school grew out of it. Too bad you evidently didn’t.

    • It’s really amusing how YOU, who only use ad hominem attacks and never give any facts, accuse ME of being mean. Or perhaps you mean that it is unfair of me, a man, to be impolite to you, a poor, defenseless, little woman?
      It’s unfortunate that your special ed teachers convinced you that you are brilliant. Perhaps, in the context of the dodos with whom you associate, you are. In the real world, however, you enter intellectual battles totally unarmed.

    • It’s really amusing how YOU, who only use ad hominem attacks and never give any facts, accuse ME of being mean. Or perhaps you mean that it is unfair of me, a man, to be impolite to you, a poor, defenseless, little woman?
      It’s unfortunate that your special ed teachers convinced you that you are brilliant. Perhaps, in the context of the dodos with whom you associate, you are. In the real world, however, you enter intellectual battles totally unarmed.

  • I ride this bridge, TWICE A DAY, nearly every day, to commute between Sunnyside and Bushwick. With the Newtown Creek dissecting the Burroughs it’s the only way through for a long ways. A ton of people bike over this bridge as well, mostly immigrant workers commuting between Queens’ neighborhoods Sunnyside, Woodside, Elmhurst, and Corona, and the city. It is RIDICULOUSLY unsafe on this bridge; I’m scared $#*tless every time. It needs a bike lane and a buffer lane and should be dropped to a 2-lane bridge. No brainer. And Greenpoint Ave should be bike lane from Kent Ave all the way to Queens Boulevard, at least! Bike lanes to/from nowhere are as logical as walls in the middle of roads.

  • Hang on a sec, calling someone a special ed graduate, or of miniscule mind, isn’t mean? What a strange world you seem to live in! Bully on…

    • Zinka, you started it, but now you are complaining. I said nothing about you in my original post, but you attacked me an my concerns in your post, not giving any facts at all. You bully me personally for my disparagement of JSK; someone would think you were her lover. You’re like the boy who kills his parents and then pleads for mercy from the court because he’s an orphan.

      You’ve never supplied any facts, only your opinions. And, you’ve never responded directly to the specific facts I presented. That’s why I question your intelligence. Of course I was being mean to you. Apparently that’s the only level of argument which you can understand. But … YOU STARTED IT.

  • Count me as a cyclists that makes frequent use of that bridge. Its the worst part of my commute.

  • You honestly don’t see a difference between what I posted (about your ideas) and what you posted (about me as a person)? Online arguments don’t have to be uncivil, unless people drag them down to that level — and in this case you’re the only one who did. Please think about that, and try to show more respect in the future.