The countdown to the Red Hook Criterium has literally begun: A timer on the event’s site lets visitors know exactly how many days, hours and minutes are left before the race kicks off this Saturday. The grueling and competitive track bike crit will draw entrants who run the gamut from professional road racers to bike messengers, all of whom will test their handling skills and fitness levels on fixed gear track bicycles.
“It’s the most exciting cycling event I’ve witnessed,” four-time champion Neil Bezdek told us. “It cuts across cycling subcultures by attracting all types of athletes and transcends cycling culture by appealing to a mainstream audience.” (more…)
The Brooklyn Bike Jumble is back. The only flea market devoted exclusively to bikes in New York City, it’s where bike aficionados can get their summer gear fix.
New and used bikes, parts and accessories, clothing, collectibles, artwork and more will be available at bargain prices from a collection of east coast vendors. There is also a not-for-profit component: Bike organizations the Bicycle Messenger Foundation, Times Up! and WE Bike will be there to meet cyclists. (more…)
The Department of Transportation recently revived plans to install bike lanes on the J.J. Byrne Memorial Bridge, which links Greenpoint Avenue in Greenpoint and Sunnyside, Queens. Streetsblog reported on the proposal, which would cut two Brooklyn-bound lanes of traffic down to one in order to paint buffered bike lanes on either side. Currently, cyclists either have to weave through pedestrians on the sidewalk or bike alongside cars while crossing the bridge.
The DOT first tried to install bike lanes on the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge in 2010, but Community Board 1 shot down the proposal because it eliminated too many parking spaces. Queens Community Board 2 heard the presentation last week, and Brooklyn CB 1′s transportation committee will consider the proposal on March 17.
Construction on the Pulaski Bridge bike lanes has been pushed back once again. Streetsblog reported that the protected bike lanes, originally scheduled to finish this year, likely won’t open until the end of 2015. Last week, we reported construction would wrap in the spring.
Then the DOT gave a presentation [PDF] on the project and said the contractor will start work in April and continue through October or November. Pedestrians and bikers currently share the crowded walking paths, but the DOT plans to convert one lane of Brooklyn-bound traffic to a two-way bike lane.
Officials blamed the delays on the engineering of the 60-year-old drawbridge, which can’t support an additional concrete barrier, and the fact that funding for the bike lanes is tied to work on 10 other bridge projects that needed approval first. The cost of the improvements has also increased from $3,460,000 to $4,200,000.
At least the DOT has finalized a design, which will include textured rumble strips at both entrances to the bridge reminding cyclists to slow down.
The Department of Transportation plans to “launch” the long-awaited Pulaski Bridge bike lane project at a community meeting tomorrow. The DOT will present its plans at 6 pm at MoMA P.S. 1 at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City.
Last we heard about the Pulaski bike lanes, construction was delayed until sometime next year. But last month, the DOT announced that it had found a contractor and work would wrap by spring 2015. When it’s finished, there will be a two-way bike lane and a dedicated pedestrian lane. To create the bike lane, the agency will cut three lanes of Brooklyn-bound traffic to two lanes.
As real estate firm REQX Ventures and gym chain Equinox prepare to take over troubled Citi Bike, the bike share program has announced a big expansion into Brooklyn and Queens, adding 6,000 bikes and 375 stations by 2017. Next year, stations will come to Greenpoint, north and east Williamsburg and eastern Bed Stuy, according to this map released by Citi Bike earlier this afternoon. After that initial expansion, stations will be added in Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Red Hook, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens.
Citi Bike also confirmed the price of a yearly membership will rise from $95 to $149, but hasn’t revealed when. Riders can still get a $95 membership for now.
After two years of planning, it looks like the Pulaski Bridge bike lane promised for this year will be delayed until sometime next year at least, Streetsblog reported.
A year ago, the city approved DOT’s plan to convert one lane of Brooklyn-bound car traffic on the Pulaski Bridge into a bikes-only path with separate lanes for Queens- and Brooklyn-bound bikes. Construction was supposed to start in the spring and wrap late this year (at the latest). But construction has not yet begun, and the city is still reviewing the final bid from the contractor. A spokesman for Assembly member Joe Lentol, who has been lobbying for the bike path since 2012, told Streetsblog that it’s “unlikely” work will start by the end of December.
Pedestrians and cyclists currently share the narrow path, with traffic going both ways in the same lane, creating hazardous conditions for everyone. Reconfiguring the traffic lanes is also expected to calm car traffic on McGuiness Boulevard by slowing down drivers as they come off the bridge.
As soon as the contractor gets the green light from the city, the DOT will announce a new construction timetable. Incidentally, the state is contributing $2,500,000 to the project with federal funds, and the city is contributing $625,000.
After a cyclist struck and killed a pedestrian in Central Park, the 78th Precinct is rolling out ways to get cyclists in Prospect Park to slow down and stop for pedestrians at lights. Park Slope Stoop attended the precinct’s local community council meeting last night, where the cops said they’re going to set up portable stop signs and pedestrian-activated signals manned by officers during the day starting Saturday, October 4.
When cyclists stop at the signs, officers will remind them to stop for pedestrians at the signals and give out a flyer noting the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit. Eventually, Captain Frank diGiacomo said, if cyclists don’t stop for pedestrians, cops will pull out their radar guns and start giving out tickets.
“A summons blitz is just going to piss off a bunch of people, so education first,” he said. “But we’ll go there if we have to.”
Brooklyn’s current cycling enthusiasm is not new. Today’s bicycle riders are continuing in the grand traditions of biking from the turn of the 20th century, when this two-wheeled adventure was at a peak that has yet to be matched. The bicycle was that period’s great equalizer. There were bicycles available for sale or trade for almost every income group, and the roads belonged to all. A poor laborer could find himself waiting to cross the street with one of the richest people in town. Men and women could ride together, and for the first time in memory, a modern single woman could ride the streets by herself, unaccompanied by chaperone or male companion. This relatively simple steel framed contraption on wheels was a major catalyst for change in American society, and after the bike craze of the fin de siecle, nothing would be the same again. (more…)
Community Board 8′s Transportation Committee voted last night to install four new bike corrals in front of bars and restaurants on Vanderbilt and Washington avenues in Prospect Heights. The corrals will bring bike parking to three bars on Vanderbilt: Bar Chuko on the corner of Pacific Street, Milk Bar at Prospect Place (pictured) and Branded at Bergen Street.
Bar Corvo is also slated for a bike corral on the corner of Washington Avenue and Lincoln Place. The whole board still has to vote before it’s a done deal, but approval is likely.
Biking is the Brooklyn way. It’s the fastest way to get to work if you work, say, in Dumbo and live in Fort Greene, said the New York Times. The Navy Yard is also easier to reach on a bike.
Biking can also mean lower housing costs, if you rent or buy in a transit-starved area such as Red Hook. And of course, it’s handy to meet up with friends who are not that far away as the bird flies, but would take an hour or more to reach on the bus. Do you use a bike to get around Brooklyn or are you considering it this summer? Where do you store your bike when you’re not using it?
Get a free bike helmet today and bike around Brooklyn’s historic landmarks this weekend with Brooklyn Public Library’s Bike the Branches event. BPL is hosting a helmet fitting and giving away free helmets today at the Central Branch at 10 Grand Army Plaza from 4 to 6:30 pm.
And on Saturday, kids and adults can bike to all 60 of BPL’s neighborhood libraries and participate in various special events. African dancing and folk tales at Clarendon Library in Flatbush, puppet-making for children at the Brower Park branch in Crown Heights, and a Slavic Soul party in Sheepshead Bay are just a few on the long list of events taking place all over Brooklyn.