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.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bay Ridge Bicycle Survey

You've been waiting for it, so here it is: a survey on bicycling in Bay Ridge! Let us know where you are riding.

Click here to take the survey.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Follow-up: Cyclists Are Making a Lane for Themselves on City Streets

Here's a follow-up to my prior post about an event which has passed, so here's a recap on e-Oculus:

"Few changes in NYC’s built environment in recent years have catalyzed as much optimism, or provoked as much opposition, as the steps taken by the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) to reclaim space for bicycles. For a low infrastructural investment (paint, concrete, and signage, plus planners’ labors), the city is restoring balance among all forms of transportation. Cycling’s mode share is rising sharply, thanks in large part to the new lanes, racks, and parking rules (see “DCP’s New Balancing Act on Bike Parking,” by Bill Millard, e-Oculus, 01.13.09), but it still remains around 1% — not yet high enough that most citizens view biking as a norm."

Read the full story here

Monday, August 16, 2010

NYC DOT Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan

This was just released today "...a report released Monday by the city's transportation planners offers unique insight into the precarious life on the city’s streets, pinpointing where, when and why pedestrian accidents have most often occurred. The study confirms some of the century-old assumptions about transportation in the country’s biggest city — yet undercuts others."

Here's a link to the NY Times article:

And a direct link to NYC DOT's report:

This will certainly have some affects upon street planning in NYC, in all neighborhoods and boroughs.

Photo from the NYTimes.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative on the Waterfront

Did you know that plans are underway for an extensive bicycle greenway along the entire waterfront of Brooklyn? It's true!


The earliest phases of it are planned to extend from Greenpoint to Sunset Park and some segments are already in place. Though the bigger plans wrap all the way south through Bay Ridge and extend east to Floyd Bennett Field and Jamaica Bay, across the Marine Parkway Bridge and the Cross Bay Boulevard Bridge. I spoke with Milton Puryear, Co-Founder of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, who said that the National Parks Service was also involved with the project due to adjacencies and connections with Gateway National Recreation Area.

You can download plans for various segments of the plan here:

It's really interesting to see the though that is being put into the Sunset Park segment of the route. Look at all those fingers of routes extending into the neighborhood! Nice community planning work there with help from UPROSE !

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Upcoming Presentation: Bicycles as Transport -- From Alternative to Mainstream

Bicycles as Transport -- From Alternative to Mainstream

Thursday, 08/12/2010, 6:00pm - 8:00pm RSVP

Where: At The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets

Bicycles represent among the most sustainable forms of personal transportation. Cities such as Amsterdam and Munich have integrated the bicycle as a key component of transportation modes, and have developed infrastructure, regulatory, and cultural changes as a part of this shift. How can New York City make this transition from "alternative" to "mainstream?" This panel, with expertise in the fields of urban planning, transportation planning, and bicycle advocacy will attempt to answer this question through presentation and discussion.

Jon Orcutt, Director of Policy, NYC Department of Transportation

Caroline Samponaro, Director of Bicycle Advocacy, Transportation Alternatives

Jack Schmidt, Director, Transportation Division, NYC Department of City Planning

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

9th Street - The Bay Ridge Parkway of Park Slope?

So let's make a comparison between our own Bay Ridge Parkway, shown in a posting a few days ago, and 9th Street in Park Slope.

The view above is made standing on the northeast corner of 3rd Ave and 9th Street, looking east on 9th street. The foreground shows the bike lane "sharrows" (who thought of this name?) which extends behind the camera going west towards Carroll Gardens and Red Hook. The B61 bus also runs along 9th Street in both directions. The sharrows of 3rd Ave can also be seen in this photo, extending across the intersection.

Let's move forward and east along 9th Street...

Above is a photo at the corner of 4th Ave and 9th street looking east, up the slope of 9th street. the roadbed measures about 52' wide. What's key here is all the lane activity that is happening across the width of 9th Street. From left to right:

curb bumpout (which is parallel parking just up the block)
westbound through traffic lane #1 with sharrows
westbound through traffic lane #2
left turn lane
eastbound through traffic lane
bicycle lane
curb bumpout (which is parallel parking just past the light pole)

If you want an interactive view, see the google streetview here. Note that this image was made pre-bumpout at the corners.

Let's head eastward some more...

The above photo is about midway between 4th and 5th Avenue. What is happening from left to right along the roadbed?

bicycle lane
westbound through traffic lane
eastbound through traffic lane
bicycle lane


Here we are approaching 5th Avenue along 9th Street. At this location from L to R:

Bus stop has replaced the parallel parking
westbound through traffic lane
left turn lane for eastbound traffic
eastbound through lane
bicycle lane

Google streetview link here give some more interesting information - left turn markers for cyclists turning left onto 5th Ave.

9th Ave is quite a feat of traffic management for vehicles, bicycles, buses, and parking!

Monday, August 2, 2010

3rd Avenue: More Evening Riders

Here are some more photos of bicycle riders heading southbound on 3rd Ave, towards Bay Ridge. Photos made on July 9 at about 8pm.

If anything, 3rd Ave is big! It has a super-wide roadbed with a wide righthand lane. With the hulk of the BQE flying overhead, an empty road as far as you can see and the semi-abandoned feel of the decayed warehouse buildings, only the occasional scent of briny water is a reminder that you're not in Detroit.

But then the traffic lights cycle through and release a tidal wave of cars and suddenly, you're in the midst of the chariot race in Ben Hur!

(in case you didn't get it!)

This rider was headed south.

And here's a whole family of 4, also going south.

It wasn't much surprise to see so many people out on this route. I'll admit that I use it late in the evenings after the rush hour traffic has eased off a bit and I often see commuters going back home to Bay Ridge and Sunset Park.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

3rd Avenue: Summer Evening Ride

What else is someone going to do on a nice summer night? Ride along 3rd Ave, of course!

I saw these 3 guys riding their bicycles south on 3rd Avenue at about 9pm on July 27. They had ridden from Central Brooklyn, out to Red Hook, and were now going south to Bay Ridge.

Bay Ridge Parkway: A Quick View

So does anyone ride a bicycle on Bay Ridge Parkway? Here's some evidence: I snapped a photo of this guy on Friday evening (July 30) at about 8pm.

Cyclist going west along Bay Ridge Parkway near 11th Ave.

The proposal for a bicycle lane was the reason to start this blog, as posted here and here.

The street is an interesting one, acting as a notable east-west connector in southern Brooklyn. It extends for 3 miles from Stillwell Avenue and Garibaldi Square Park to the harbor at Shore Road. Link to Map of Bay Ridge Parkway.

The width of the road varies in places as it passes through the neighborhoods. Curb-to-curb, much of it measures approximately 48' to 52' wide. This happens for most of the length east of Ft Hamilton Parkway.

Bay Ridge Parkway at Ft Hamilton Parkway.

This photo looking west shows the roadway width, including parked cars and active driving lane.

Another shot made farther west. The bus stops that are at every avenue can be seen here.

A photo of one of the widest areas of Bay Ridge Parkway between 6th Ave and 4th Ave. Half of the roadbed width contains enough space for parked cars, a double parked car unloading passengers and a through vehicle that doesn't yet cross the yellow line.

There is a kink in Bay Ridge Parkway at 4th Ave and between 4th Ave and 3rd Ave it narrows to only about 42' curb-to-curb.

Then past 3rd Ave, Bay ridge Parkway widens again and descends down to the harbor.

Bay Ridge Parkway arrives at Shore Road!