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.

Monday, December 27, 2010

NYC DOT Bike Share Request for Proposals

DOT has issued a request for proposals for private companies to provide a bike share system in New York City. Bike share will serve as a new public transportation system complete with durable bicycles and docking stations to provide convenient and inexpensive mobility twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. Bike share is envisioned to be used primarily for trips under 3 miles. DOT anticipates the system would start in spring of 2012.

The responses are due in February 2011. A test of the system will occur in late 2011 and a projected start for the full network in April 2012.

Preliminary analyses, conducted by NYCDOT and New York City Department of City Planning, indicate that a financially self-sustaining System would cover the CBD (south of 60th Street in Manhattan) and surrounding neighborhoods. NYCDOT estimates that a System of this size would require approximately 10,000 bicycles spread over approximately 600 stations. NYCDOT is particularly interested in Systems that span more than one borough and make the best use of the City’s burgeoning bicycle network.

Read more here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Street Organization in "Shakedown Street"

The Op-Art Piece posted in today's New York Times by Bruce McCall.

Yeah, admit it, this is quite funny and brilliant. Look closely at the illustration - it is the complete inversion of street and sidewalk functions with cars on the sidewalks and people in the streets. Though if it was me, I'd have organized the street lanes as:

A: skateboard/scooter/segway
B: stroller
(A and B together allows kids to skate next to their parents and infant baby brothers and sisters)

C: Traffic Agent
(close to the DMZ and quick enforcement of unoccupied strollers)

D: prohibited lane (D.M.Z.)
(to separate strollers from the speediest, see below)

E: bicycle
F: equestrian
G: jogger
(E and G on either side of F allows for some great commuter races, as noted in this prior post by the NYTimes, "Let's Race".)

Owl's Head Park Greenway Open!

It is confirmed - the NYC Greenway connector at Owl's Head Park in Brooklyn is now open for use!

During a cold evening ride a few days ago, we spotted the newly paved asphalt hiding behind the construction fences along the northern edge of Owl's Head Park. When we returned yesterday, the fencing to the path was removed and open for use. The walking/biking/skating path extends from the corner of Shore Road and 68th Street to Colonial Road and Wakeman Place along the northern edge of the park. This route gives access to Millennium Skate Park near Wakeman Place and the newly renovated dog run near 68th Street.

From our checks on Google and a roll-off from a bicycle computer, we calculated the length of the Greenway at about 2000' (.37 miles) and a slightly curving 325' length of dog run.

While chatting with a dog and his owner, we learned that the dog run and Greenway had just opened on Monday. We saw several dogs and their walkers along the Greenway and a few fishermen going to and from the 69th Street Pier along the Greenway. This Greenway also provides a continued route north for all the cyclists who reach the end of Shore Road and used to ride opposite the traffic direction on 68th Street to return into the neighborhood, solving a problem we saw in our Shore Road Bike Lane post.

Map It

Greenway entrance at Shore Road and 68th Street

Near 68th Street and pathway leading into the park. Construction fence still to be removed.

Going to the dog run.

Looking north from near 68th Street: the dog run is ahead on the left, signage and markings for the entrance, and the slope of Owl's Head Park on the right.

Greenway entry at Colonial Road and Wakeman Place

Millennium Skate Park near Wakeman Place and Colonial Road.

View from the Greenway to Colonial Road and Wakeman Place.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reasons to Love NY #21

The 2010 edition of New York Magazine's "Reasons to Love New York" gives a bit of history on the toehold bicycle lanes first made into NYC in 1980 at Herald Square and how the bicycle traffic light "causes barely a ripple in the city’s traffic flow, but the lights have finally tamed our intersections." Read more.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Owls Head Park Bike Lane

Breaking News: We've seen the paving for the new Owls Head Bicycle lane.

It still resides behind the chain-link fence but it is certainly a new bicycle lane - a Class I Lane, physically separated from traffic completely.

It is a two-way asphalt lane extending from the corner of 68th Street and Shore Road northward through the park, along the edge of the access road to the Belt Parkway.

With the recent cold, rain, and early sunsets of the past few weeks, we had not taken a ride by the area in daylight in about a month. We'd guess the lane paving was done sometime in late November or early December. It also looks like the dog run in this area is also getting a nice rehab.

If it stops raining and is above 32degrees, we'll dispatch our photographer to the location.

Also, the overlook at the top of the hill at Owls Head Park also had a nice repaving done over the summer and was opened in the fall. With the winter leaves gone, the harbor should be visible from this high point.

Location Map

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Newtown Creek Votes for New Projects

Some news from our fellow neighborhood at the north border of Brooklyn along Newtown Creek.

NYS is allotting $7 million to fund the local projects after the city was fined $10 million in 2008 for missing the deadline to do an upgrade that would have met the state standards on Greenpoint’s wastewater treatment plant. The community has voted on several options for the $10M. The list of projects is below (this was preliminary, the actual list may have changed slightly).

Read more: Brooklyn Downtown Star - Residents vote on Newtown Creek projects

Two projects were directly related to wish list of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (a pedestrian bridge across the creek #13 and work along West Street #21) and another wanted to build a cycling velodrome #20.

Anyone know the results of the voting?

Cost Estimate Distance from Newtown Plant (miles)

1 American Playground Renovation
Franklin St. between Milton St. & Noble St.
Renovation details to be determined. Project does not include de-mapping streets, which is likely infeasible.
$4-5m 0.67
2 Apollo Street End
Apollo St.
Greening and other improvements.
$1m 0.58
3 Barge Park Dog Run
Commercial St., Dupont St. and West St.

$500,000 0.72
4 Barge Park Renovation
Commercial St., Dupont St. and West St.
Renovation details to be determined.
$5m 0.72
5 Biosculpture (Green Eggs/Biosculptures & Wetland Park)
North Henry St.
North Henry St. end; passive recreation and biological water filtration; park will have 3 large 'biosculptures' - egg shaped like the digesters.
$2.4m 0.22
6 Dutch Kills Basin Acquisition and/or 29th St. Improvements
47th Ave. east of 27th St. to 29th St.
Acquire private parcel to expand waterfront access; stormwater management & community facilities, including multi-use park with athletic field.
$3m 0.77
7 Greenpoint Boathouse and Environmental Education Center
GMDC Building, 1155-1205 Manhattan Ave.
Restore bulkhead and build out ground level of GMDC building on Newtown Creek (at Manhattan Ave.), creating publicly accessible open space, extending waterfront esplanade, creating boat launches and other access to waterway and creating community facility for recreational boating, including educational programming.
$5m 0.57
8 Greenpoint Monitor Museum
56 Quay St.
Funding for Phase II - site preparation and temporary programming at park on Monitor Museum's donated land.
$150,000 to $650,000 0.86
9 Greenpoint Playground Renovation
Commercial St. & Dupont St.
Project would include renovations, stormwater management and planting; demapping streets is likely infeasible.
$4-5m 0.66
10 McCarren Pool
Nassau Ave., Bayard St., Leonard St. and North 12 St.
Pool is being renovated. Unfunded items in current Parks Department plan include: a comfort station ($1.5m) and handicap accessible spiral slides ($1.75m).
$1.5m to $3.25m 0.94
11 McCarren Park Renovation
Nassau Ave., Bayard St., Leonard St. and North 12 St.
Renovation details to be determined. Unfunded items in current Parks Department plan include: field house ($4m), pathways ($2m) and tennis court lighting ($1.3m).
$1.3m to $7.3m 0.92
12 McGolrick Park Repairs/Renovation
Driggs Ave., Nassau Ave., Russell St., Monitor St.
Renovate pavillion, fencing around park, benches, safety surface in playground, fix drainage & flooding issues, repair fence on Nassau Ave. side of park.
$6m 0.66
13 Pedestrian Bridge Study
To be determined
Feasibility study on creating a pedestrian bridge over Newtown Creek from Brooklyn to Queens.
$1m TBD
14 Pulaski Bridge Study
Pulaski Bridge
Feasibility study on strategies to increase space for pedestrians & cyclists, creating a greenspace connection between Brooklyn & Queens, and enhancing sustainable transportation network.
$1m 0.49
15 Materials for Queens Library & Cultural Center at Hunters Point
Hunters Point
To purchase books and materials focused on environment and ecology to be housed at a new library facility.
$200,000 0.82
16 Saint Savior's Site (New Park)
57-40 58th St. (Rust St. & 58th St.)
To purchase land from private owner and develop new park.
$8.5m 1.97
17 Skate Park
To be determined

$1m TBD
18 Transmitter Park Renovation (Building)
Greenpoint Ave.
Park is being renovated, but no funding exists to renovate building, which could include restrooms, meeting space, restaurant concession, radio museum, or other features.
$5-6m 0.78
19 Tree-planting and Stormwater Management
To be determined
Tree planting projects that would also incorporate stormwater management strategies. Sites could include McGuiness Blvd., North Henry St., Jewell St., Bushwick Inlet Park, 54th St. and/or others.
$1,500 to $4,000 per tree TBD
20 Velodrome
To be determined
A bicycle racing, or "track racing" facility, using a donated velodrome once used in the Goodwill Games.
$1m TBD
21 West Street Greenway Project
West St.
Enhancements to existing project, including plantings and stormwater management.
$2m 0.71 - .8
22 Wetlands Rehabilitation
Newtown Creek bulkheads (along Creek)
Pilot project to build intertidal zones & seagrass using bulkheads to support terraced structures that support intertidal communities of filter feeders. Locations to be determined.
$2m TBD

City Council Hears Sides of Bike Lane Battle

The battle of the bike lanes, a civic discussion that has turned increasingly contentious and common at community boards and dinner tables throughout New York, made its way to the City Council on Thursday.

“While there are inevitable growing pains as cycling moves from the margins to the mainstream, its growth in New York is already delivering substantial safety, mobility and health dividends,” Ms. Sadik-Khan said. “The city’s bicycle program, with your assistance and support, is a huge success.”

Read the full story here.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Intersection of 78th St, Ft Hamilton, 7th Ave and I-278

Yes, that title lists 4 roadways coming together, plus a bridge and a bicycle lane. And a school on one side, too!

From the paper: "The city’s latest “exit strategy” for a controversial Dyker Heights intersection has some members of a local panel scratching their heads because the plan doesn’t take into account new bike lanes — which the same agency is proposing."
Link to article

Map It