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.
The City installed another bike corral on Fulton Street Tuesday, at the corner of South Oxford in Fort Greene. Looks like it’s getting lots of use already! The corral is right in front of Hungry Ghost Cafe and Stem flower shop. That’s the owner of nearby Gardel’s Garden in front beautifying the greenery with some petunias. Thanks to a reader for the tip and photo.
The city has installed a bike parking corral on Fulton Street between St. James and Cambridge, right in front of Fulton Bike shop. Hopefully there won’t be any of the controversy that surrounded a similar set-up on Franklin Avenue last year!
Come 2015, it’s looking like Citi Bike riders will be able to cruise back and forth between Brooklyn and Western Queens, thanks to the expansion of the bike share program to Astoria. Say goodbye to that annoying subway commute!
Construction on the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway will continue in the fall of 2014 with a two-way bikeway along Flushing Avenue next to the Navy Yard, Streetsblog reported. NYC DOT, the Department of Design and Construction and Parsons are designing the mile-long stretch of bike and pedestrian space, which will link the Manhattan Bridge approach, Dumbo and Farragut Houses to Williamsburg Street West, Kent Avenue and Williamsburg.
The plan is to convert the existing west side bike lane into a two-way bike path with a three-foot wide planted buffer separating cyclists from traffic and a five-foot-wide planted strip between cyclists and pedestrians. Adding the bikeway will shorten pedestrian crossing distances by 20 percent, according to Streetsblog. The west side bike path will be eight feet wide, and the DOT will preserve the painted bike lane on the east side of Flushing, which is five feet wide.
Community Board 2 unanimously approved the project earlier this month, and the Public Design Commission will review the design plan next month. Construction is slated to begin next fall.
Look after the jump to see a diagram of the plans.
Greenpoint cyclists are going to have a much easier time getting to Queens soon, thanks to the City Planning Commission voting yes on Assemblyman Joe Lentol’s proposal to add a dedicated bike lane to the Pulaski bridge. Right now, bikes and pedestrians share an overcrowded sidewalk, above. The city plans to bring the exact design to Community Board 1 before the end of the year, and if they green-light it, construction will start in the spring, according to the Brooklyn Paper.
State Assemblywoman Joan Millman is in the midst of brokering a deal to bring Citi Bike to an unused vacant streetside strip of tarmac in Carroll Gardens, DNAinfo reported. The empty lot at 336 Union Street runs along Smith Street and housed the outdoor Brooklyn Indie Market until 2010. Last week, the three unused kiosks left over from the market and covered in graffiti were removed, said the story. Millman reached out to the owner of the lot, who agreed to the plan, and also proposed it to Citi Bike officials. It would be unusual to locate a station on private land, but the lot appears to be the perfect size and shape for a station, and it wouldn’t take up precious on-street parking spaces. So far, Carroll Gardens doesn’t have a station. Do you think this would be a good spot for one?
BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins today unveiled a new mural and a bike park at 31 Lafayette Avenue, next to the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. The mural was designed by Brooklyn artist KAWS; the bike rack, which spells out the words ”Bold winK” in front of the mural, is the work of David Byrne, formerly of the Talking Heads. Fiedler Marciano Architecture designed the 20-foot-wide-by-24-foot-high temporary wall, which will feature installations by various local artists after KAWS. GMAP
The Brooklyn Community Foundation is hosting Wheels of Change, a forum to discuss cycling’s impact across Brooklyn. Representatives from Transportation Alternatives, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, and Citi Bike will discuss the bike share program, new infrastructure projects, and the challenges facing bicycle advocacy. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, August 14 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Register here!