Welcome to BRBRbrooklyn! Whether you are pedaling to the shore, the store, your neighbor’s stoop, or back to your own coop, this blog is for you. Bay Ridge Bicycle Routes is an effort raise to awareness within our neighborhood and among civic groups about the activities of bicyclists in Bay Ridge and other nearby communities in southern Brooklyn.

Our neighborhood’s immediate access to the harbor, less congested street traffic, friendly atmosphere, expansive parks and flat terrain (except, of course, for the steep ridge in Bay Ridge!) makes our corner of New York City one of the most fantastic places to ride a bicycle. Whether for transportation, recreation, fun or fitness, cycling is great in Bay Ridge.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bay Ridge Parkway Markings

Bay Ridge Parkway has a new coat of paint.  It is placed at a point wide enough to accommodate a parallel parked car and a bicycle turned sideways (shown bike is 5.5' long).  If there was one more stripe at the edge of the parked car, the street would have a true 5' wide bicycle lane!

For reference, see page 59 of the DOT Street Design Manual - an on-street, standard bicycle lane is 5' wide.

The community has been aching for a bicycle lane here for over 5 years but it's still not being marked.  The only limit is perception, not physical dimension or street geometry.

Bay Ridge Parkway's new stripe with parked car and bicycle

"It's opener, out there, in the wide, open air." says Bay Ridge Parkway, channeling Dr Seuss

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Fall 2015 South Brooklyn Bicycling Status

The continual improvements and expansion of New York's bicycling infrastructure in recent years has made little impact in the neighborhood of Bay Ridge.  However, 2015 brought some significant new bicycle support: bicycles can be loaded onto buses crossing the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and new sharrows have been placed on Marine Avenue and Ft Hamilton Parkway.  Last month, a presentation was made to Community Board 10 for a plan to link Second Avenue and Owl's Head Park with a connecting segment of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway

Wakeman Place is a narrower street and its real world function has it serving as an extension of the off-ramp from the Belt Parkway.  Providing an effective connector is crucial here.

Second Avenue is a very wide street and can easily accommodate the greenway's bicycle and pedestrian path. The currently proposed plans indicate a loss of on-street parking along Second Avenue.  This stems from both the addition of the greenway and providing additional lane markings for through traffic and turning lanes.  Currently, there are no distinct lane markings on Second Avenue and the street acts as if it had one very wide lane each way.  Parking along this stretch of Second Avenue and the nearby side streets have very limited use; the loss of some on-street parking as the plan proposes would be a very small burden to absorb.  DOT can certainly manage to develop a reasonable plan to implement.

View the full DOT presentation here.

As an additional improvement to the greenway, it would be a good idea to provide an on-street bicycle markings extending along Second Avenue to 67th Street, and west on 67th to Owl's Head Park.  For practical daily riding, this is the best and safest route to navigate.  67th Street is a quiet, low traffic road and the intersection with Colonial Road contains an all-way stop.

These improvements are long overdue in the area.  The bicycling network in South Brooklyn is very small, with limited connectivity to other portions of the Borough.  There is one zig-zagged on-street marked pathway leading from the vicinity of Ft Hamilton and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge into central Brooklyn, and none lead east from the harbor.  Sharrows were placed along 5th Avenue in 2013, leading northward to a dedicated, marked lane in the 20's.

It's good to recall that Brooklyn was once envisioned to have a green network of park and pedestrian spaces criscrossing it's neighborhoods.  This plan at Wakeman and Second Avenue is directly adjacent to one of those linear parks, which now only serves as a vehicular connector from the Belt Parkway to Second Avenue and Fourth Avenue.  This article posted at Hey Ridge documents some of that vision.  The Brooklyn Greenway is an opportunity to gain back some of those ideas lost decades ago.

South Brooklyn Bicycle Network, November 2015, Google Maps

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Cross the Verrazano with a Bicycle!

It's finally here - Bicycle racks on MTA buses crossing the Verrazano bridge.  The press release states service will not begin until Sunday, September 6.  We've seen many of the S53 and S93 buses in Bay Ridge already setup with racks on  their front bumpers, though yet to see a bike taking a ride.  We're definitely going to put the racks to good use.  NYC has finally begum to catch up with most every other city in North America.  This is a game changer for cycling in South Brooklyn and Staten Island.

MTA Press Release

Daily New Article

Hey Ridge Article and how-to-use video

Monday, June 8, 2015

Bicycle Rider Icons on Marine Avenue

Painting the bicycle rider icons on a rainy Saturday morning, marking the new shared bicycle route.

Finishing touches on the bicycle route along Marine Avenue, Brooklyn.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Bicycle Sharrows on Marine Avenue

This week, Sharrows began to appear along Marine Avenue between Ft Hamilton Parkway and Oliver Street.  The markers run both northbound and southbound providing connection between the long-existing on street bicycle lane from Oliver + Colonial Road and the well used basketball courts and playground at Ft Hamilton Avenue.

These sharrows might be the first new bicycle pathway markings of any kind to be introduced to the neighborhood since 2009 when a dedicated lane was introduced on 7th Avenue.

Perhaps this is the first installation of a series of upgrades decided upon in 2012?  See our prior post here.

BTW, what's a sharrow? "A shared-lane marking or sharrow[1] is a street marking installed at locations in Australia, Canada, and the United States. This marking is placed in the center of a travel lane to indicate that a cyclist may use the full lane."

Here they are with some of the northbound sharrows in place and the southbound ones are marked and awaiting final painting:

From the basketball courts at Ft Hamilton Ave, looking up Marine Ave to 4th Avenue.

Marine Avenue at 4th Avenue.

Marine Avenue at 3rd Avenue.

Marine Avenue near 98th Street

Marine Avenue at 95th Street and Ridge Boulevard.

Marine Avenue at 93rd Street and Oliver Street, leading to the Colonial Ave Bicycle Lane.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Plumb Beach Connector Repaved

After many years of delays, a short section of the paved bicycle lane at Plumb Beach has finally been repaved.

It was in poor condition until 2011, then Hurricane Irene partially wiped away large sections of the pavement.  In early October 2012, huge mounds of fresh sand were delivered to the area, likely a part of the beach and inlet's stabilization as part of the ongoing Belt Parkway reconstruction work.  But on Oct 29+30, 2012, Hurricane Sandy Sandy moved those sand mounds and parts of the beach dunes across the entirety of Plumb Beach and the highway.  This segment of the pathway became a 1/4 mile long sand pit.

It has now been replaced, along with  some adjacent dune and beach grass stabilization.  Welcome to the new 2015 Plumb Beach!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Verrazano 50th

In case you missed it, the Verrazano Bridge turned 50 years old this week and received a subtle request to provide bicycle and pedestrian access across its span.  Brilliant.

The activists, Right of Way. organized the airplane and banner flying across the sky during the formal ceremony.

More news:

New York Post

Daily News

Pix11 video (minute 1:30)