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Southern Brooklyn community board members tell mayor where to park his bike plan

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The mayor needs to stay in his lane!

Southern Brooklyn community boards slammed Mayor Bill de Blasio for asserting his right to overrule their recommendations in the name of street safety when it comes to his recently-announced, sweeping bike lane expansion

De Blasio said that, while he would take community boards’s input into consideration, he would “just give the order” to install new bike lanes if he feels that the civic panels were obstructing city efforts to save lives — but one Manhattan Beach community board honcho said the city has ignored the boards plenty of times in the past, leaving locals with an already severe shortage of parking spaces as a result.

“In the past, they have unilaterally decided to remove parking in southern Brooklyn,” said Theresa Scavo, chairwoman of Community Board 15, which includes Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, and Brighton Beach.

And a longtime member of nearby Community Board 18 — which stretches along Jamaica Bay from Marine Park to Canarsie — urged the mayor to not act rashly and bring his sprawling bike lane proposal before the community to get their advice.

“I think de Blasio should take a deep breath and look at the bigger picture,” said Marine Parker Bob Tracy. “It seems to me that it is an irrational decision. I think this is something that should be brought to community boards so we can make a plan together to make safer streets for bicyclists — that is our concern” he said.

The mayor’s plan will add 80 miles of protected bike lanes to the city streets by the time hizzoner leaves office in 2021, and will result in the loss of parking spots “in the thousands,” according to Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, referring to the cost to drivers following the completion of a city-wide network of protected bike lanes in 2030.

Rather than protect bikers from cars, Tracy argued that the mayor’s proposed network of protected bike lanes would put pedestrians in the crosshairs of cyclists, despite the astronomically low number of bike-caused fatalities — four deaths since 2014, according to a Gothamist report — as compared to the 113 New Yorkers killed by drivers on city streets this year, police statistics show.

“Protected lanes are going to make it harder for cars. Pedestrians are now going to get hit by bikers in the bike lanes!” he said.

Meanwhile the plan garnered support from a member of brownstone Brooklyn’s Community Board 6 — which represents Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook, Boerum Hill and Gowanus — who said that the mayor should press his mandate to save lives, even if it means axing parking spots and overruling community boards.

“Considering that five cyclists have been killed in the last three weeks, I think this is a worthy trade-off,” said Eric McClure, the co-chair of the board’s transportation committee and the director of the safe streets advocacy group StreetsPAC.

— Additional reporting by Chandler Kidd, Aidan Graham, and Rose Adams

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Posted 12:00 am, July 29, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Mathemaician from Brooklyn says:
The number of cars on the streets is astronomically higher than the number of bikes -- you cannot compare pedestrian fatalities one to one. Basic statistics. Furthermore, why do only immediate deaths count? Knock an older person down, break their hip, pelvis, collarbone, basically kill them, just not right away.
July 29, 2019, 5:14 am
Taksa from Carroll Gardens says:
Those dang NIMBYs and their precious parking spots again. The City needs to start issuing costly permits to park on the streets. Bikes come first!
July 29, 2019, 5:27 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Well, nobody voted for these creeps. The mayor has legitimacy. The creeps don't.
July 29, 2019, 7:52 am
Richie from Bklyn hgts says:
Too many lanes already. Not enough parking. Drivers are careless just as cyclists are. Everybody texting looking down not paying attention. Enough with the bike lanes & bike stations. Im against it bottom line.
July 29, 2019, 9:52 am
Susan Rosenfeld from Sheepshead bay says:
Richie, You are right that both drivers and cyclists are careless, but you do not seem to be aware that thousands of your fellow Brooklynites use bicycles to get to and from their jobs and for daily errands and necessities. These people are tired of getting hurt by drivers not paying attention and some not caring.
July 29, 2019, 9:59 am
Historian from Marine Park says:
The DOT is not maintaining the existing roads and bike lanes in southern Brooklyn. Garbage, puddles, glass, screws, etc. accumulate on the "protected" bike paths. Most roads in southern Brooklyn are already designed wide enough for bicycles and automobiles to safely share the road. The real problem is you have reckless cyclists and motorists, and that will not change because Kaiser Wilhelm orders more bike lanes.
July 29, 2019, 11:51 am
Leftover Larry from Sheepshead Bay says:
Ahhhh, South Brooklyn... also known as North Staten Island.
July 29, 2019, 11:55 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
More morbidly obese nimbys complaining. What else is new?
July 29, 2019, 11:59 am
Peter Kaufman from Brooklyn Heights says:
In Brooklyn - from Jan. 1 to May 29 of this year: 1181 crashes Reported to NYPD: 10 incidents where a pedestrian was injured by a bicyclist (none killed) 1055 where a pedestrian was killed or injured by a driver. 1082 persons injured 12 killed
July 29, 2019, 12:05 pm
Ben from Bedstuy says:
Good bike lanes also calm traffic, which leads to both less cyclist deaths AND less pedestrian deaths.
July 29, 2019, 12:30 pm
ddartley from Stuyvesant Town says:
Preserving cheap parking spots should be formally excluded from the business of community boards. Cheap parking spots are incompatible with the notion of community anyway.
July 29, 2019, 1:26 pm
Bob from Queens says:
So sick of these NIMBYs getting mic'd up about parking spots. Power to BdB for stickin' it to them.
July 29, 2019, 2:23 pm
Larry Cagen from Queens says:
Enough with all the bike lanes Dangerous to the pedestrian
July 29, 2019, 3:41 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
How is a bike lane dangerous to pedestrians? Congrats Larry, your post has won the coveted "stupidest comment of the day" award.
July 29, 2019, 3:56 pm
Some old white guy from Marine park says:
I remember when it was just kids riding bikes. Now we have all these adults who are not from here originally telling us we need more bike lanes? Go scratch!
July 29, 2019, 4:21 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Oh wait, in my stupor, I forgot that the bike lanes force pedestrians to have to walk past an extra lane of oncoming traffic from bikes who don't yield to pedestrians. Sorry Larry.
July 29, 2019, 4:53 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
And the stupid pedestrians can't be bothered to look before walking into traffic.
July 29, 2019, 5:06 pm
TOM from Sunset Park says:
So another biker was killed on 3rd Avenue in Sunset Park today. R.I.P. That's 18 for NYC so far this year. One-in-six of them were here on 3rd Avenue in Sunset Park. DOT will be installing protected bike lanes on 4th Avenue to complement the shared bike lanes on 5th Avenue also in Sunset Park. Nothing planned so far for 3rd Avenue. Does any of this make sense? If I were still commuting by bike I'd avoid 3rd Avenue now. When I did commute by bike to Manhattan I preferred 3rd Avenue. Of course there were no bike lanes back then and you had to rely on your own senses to survive I got knocked off my bike several times but never saw the inside of an ER. I went slow, stayed away from trucks and traffic and worried all the time. My mother didn't raise any foolish children. God, I miss it. Unfortunately, I'll have to attend another funeral.
July 29, 2019, 5:07 pm
Vinh from Midwood says:
Nobody uses the God dam bike Lanes at night totally worthless way to waste taxpayers money.. yes parking is important because cars and trucks is what brings in the money not stupid bicycles. I've been biking my whole life as a kid... If they kept it like back then in and out of the sidewalk it wouldn't be such a problem. Nobody in South Brooklyn even rides bikes to work. We pay taxes when we register our cars and license. Tax the bikers for bike Lanes I bet you they won't be happy to do that
July 30, 2019, 5:05 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Drivers should be careful about bringing up what gets used at night. I see a lot of private cars just sitting on public property not being used at night.
July 30, 2019, 7:35 am
Susan Rosenfeld from Sheepshead Bay says:
Vinh, Though I live in Sheepshead Bay I am in Midwood many times at night shopping and visiting relatives. I see many persons using bikes to get around with a light on the bike. They just need to get home as everyone else does. I have neighbors in my South Brooklyn neighborhood who bike to work in other Brooklyn neighborhoods every day. They are hardworking tax payers just like you. My closest neighbor bikes to his job in the offices of Maimonides Medical Center every workday.
July 30, 2019, 12:08 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I won't be surprised if the bike zealots over on places such as Streetsblog and Transportation Alternatives will be going stark raving mad on this. Maybe they should understand that sometimes populism trumps elitism. Perhaps they were against expanding the bike lanes because they see no reason to cater to a group that hardly ever uses them in the first place. Other reasons could be that such cyclists have a history of flouting the traffic laws, while the rest just feel that not every street needs to have a bike lane. I can still remember a recent letter on the Daily News calling out TA for who the really are and trying to even sidestep certain community boards just to get their way, which has been found to be true. Even a more recent letter on that said paper said that a cyclist had quit the group because of their nature. Overall, it's about time that such cyclists start waking up to reality and realize that the world doesn't revolve around them.
July 30, 2019, 1:34 pm
Adam from Sunset Park says:
With another fatality this week in my neighborhood due to a driver illegally opening their car door, we’re reminded that cyclists are as vulnerable as pedestrians to the two-ton killing machines zipping around in higher and higher numbers, boosted by Uber and Lyft. Just like pedestrians need sidewalks, cyclists must be protected by being separated from car traffic, at all cost. If that means encroaching on car space, so be it. The era of building cities around roads is over. South Brooklyn residents should advocate for better public transportation, not more parking. The lives of cyclists and pedestrians supersede the demands for parking space and the muddy politics of Community Boards. Mayor, push this plan through and get the NYPD in line to start enforcing the law.
July 30, 2019, 6:24 pm
Leif Ericsson 33rd from Manh, Bkl, QNS says:
More bike lanes, YES, thank you! Helps prevent motorists from KILLING cyclists. That bicycle network looks like a great start -To a better and more beautiful New York City!
July 31, 2019, 2:35 pm
Leif Ericsson 33rd from Manh, Bkl, QNS says:
I forgot to add THIS: : I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT MAP WITH ALL THE GREEN LINES CONNECTING THE CITY. THAT IS A BEAUTIFUL THING!! One day our children can ride in the city safely, safe from dangerous vehicles with improperly trained drivers.
July 31, 2019, 2:40 pm

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