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, April 19, 2011

Thoughts on Bay Ridge Parkway

Bay Ridge Parkway was probably an easy political sacrifice for DOT: (comparatively) low cycling volume in a car-focused area, well documented objections by local community groups (either the cyclists or the community and political representatives are out-of-touch with one another… not sure which way this swings).  The shovel-ready lane on Bay Ridge Parkway was easily converted to shredder-ready with a quick press release that makes DOT appear responsive to community needs in the current bikelash environment.

It is obvious that Bay Ridge Parkway is almost a freeway at times and it is tragic that pedestrian accidents and fatalities occur along this road.

The bicycle lane had pros and cons on paper or a map:

1) 3 mile connector from Seth Low Playground to Shore Road and the harbor

2) Wide enough at most all blocks to accommodate a bike lane, or even a buffered lane

3) Uses one of the few bridges over the highway for continuity of connection. Also one of the few bridges with 90 degree intersections and traffic that feels reasonably managed. (B.R.Pkwy is so not closely linked to a highway on/off ramp or major intersection as compared to 86th, or 92nd or others).

4) Not a high commercial street, mostly residential or community functions

1) Perception of a busy street

2) Riding it is convenient but not always pleasant due to the vehicles (real speed)

3) Others issues?

Other side streets might be usable as bicycling routes and maybe even more friendly (ie less trafficked). However, BRBR sees two potential losses or problems:

a) Loss of continuity across the highway. This is a real challenge.

b) Crossing some of the avenues is difficult (whether for bicycle or car) because many are not signaled.

There is a real lack of marked east-west routes in this area of Brooklyn. A network of east-west routes would be fantastic. For reference, look at what the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway is proposing in the Sunset Park area (see page 30 and others for the conceptual plan).

As a final mini-sidebar, BRBR would love to see a bike lane pass through Ft Hamilton. This could be one of the connectors as part of the east-west network. BRBR used to do this often pre-9/11, but no longer. Though BRBR has read that the new base commander is trying to open up to the community more.


Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings about 75th Street. Over the years I have done lots of east/west biking. I rarely ride on 75th and when I do it is only for a few blocks at most. Traffic on 75th Street is problematic with speeders and idiots who pass on the right especially at intersections. From a cyclist's perspective simply putting stripes on 75th Street with much of it in the door zone is not going to do much to make it more appealing. I would still mostly use side streets and have always used side streets on group rides that I have lead.

On the other hand, perhaps a bike lane would calm the traffic somewhat and 75th Street could use calming. Also, I don't like to see politically driven pull back related to the expansion of bike lanes. And the reasons given for why 75th Street was not appropriate are mostly BS.

BRBR said...

BRBR note for the non-locals: 75th Street is the same street as Bay Ridge Parkway

Anonymous said...

Are there any cycling groups in BayRidge that cycle together on weekends or weekdays?
Please send info to voodimac@rocketmail.com, I would really appreciate it.