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.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bicycle Lane Update

Good news for bicycle lanes lanes in Bay Ridge.  On September 24th, the full board of Community Board 10 voted to send a list of recommended streets to DOT for bicycle lanes.  The streets include:

Sixth Avenue
68th Street from Sixth Avenue to Shore Road
72nd Street from Shore Road to Sixth Avenue
Marine Avenue
11th Avenue

Read more about it on StreetsBlog, Courier Life's Brooklyn Daily and  Bay Ridge Odyssey.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Verrazano Bike & Pedestrian Lane

Kudos to Brooklyn Community Board 10 member Bob Hudak for recommending that the DOT consider installing a bicycle and pedestrian path across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, in combination with the planned road deck and approach improvements.  Unfortunately, the reply was "no."  Read the Eagle's article here.

The bridge is designed to accommodate the pathway but the installation was nixed by Robert Moses during construction for concerns about budgets and potential suicide jumpers.  (Suicide?  We suppose that when you are caught between bell bottoms and the Bronx burning some 35 to 50 years ago, plus the President is telling your town to drop dead, ending it all might have seemed like a viable option.)

A study done in 1997 to consider a retrofit to add the path as intended.  It is a through document and was years ahead of its time in comparison to the current pro-cycling attitudes and initiatives of NYC.  One of the study's deputy directors, Regina Myer, is now director of Brooklyn Bridge Park, a place that is becoming a significant connector along Brooklyn's waterfront. It also has a bike and pedestrian path along its edge.  That park and path also has tremendous community and city support.

But in Bay Ridge, it's a different story.  Our community will not give a 5' wide painted stripe on the road for bicyclists.  And in Staten Island, bicycle lanes have been removed along Father Capodanno Boulevard.  Staten Island has also been frequently noted as the least friendly bicycling borough.

Mr Hudak also asked if MTA buses could be equipped with bicycle racks to provide some basic means to cross the Verrazano with a bicycle.  If other cities can do it, NYC should have the capacity, too, rightBRBR's online survey indicates that 88% of respondents would want to cross the bridge on a bicycle path and 53% would load their bicycles on a bus rack.

Currently, there is a total of zero bicycle racks on buses in NYC.  Maybe the S53, S93 and S79 can be the first?  BRBR suspects that an initiative for racks on buses would have to come from a higher city agency or the Mayor's office, rather than starting solely with the local representatives.  Lack of a bicycle and pedestrian connection across the Verrazano Narrows is one of the most obvious missing links in the expanding NYC network.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

...Survey Says!....

A recent survey by the New York Times reveals that 66% of New Yorkers think bicycle lanes are a good idea!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Vintage Bicycles in Gerritsen Beach

For Bike-Buyer on a Budget, the Destination is Gerritsen Beach

Here's an article sent to us by State Senate candidate Andrew Gounardes, after he read BRBR's prior blog posting about his viewpoint on bicycling.

"The city’s bike riders are increasingly making the trek to the unlikely bike haven of Gerritsen Beach, a residential South Brooklyn neighborhood lined with small cottage-like houses along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, where the Ferrarins’ Sheepshead Bay Bicycles, and Whitley’s Brooklyn Vintage Bicycles are located."

Read the full article here.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Gounardes Like Bikes!

Here's a story from the Brooklyn Paper - Gounardes: I Like Bikes

State Senate candidate Andrew Gounardes wants to see more bicycles in Bay Ridge — setting the wheels in motion for a showdown with Republican state Sen. Marty Golden, who opposes bike travel on major thoroughfares.

Read more here.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Out of Darkness

We're into June and the longest daylight days of the year are now upon us.  Warmer temperatures give a clear indicator that bicycling season is in full swing!

Bike Month happened in May, marking the start of the high riding season.  If you haven't gotten out yet on your two wheeled pedalmobile, there is still plenty of time to put some rides into your days.  Daylight begins at 5am and goes almost until 9pm at night.

The Five Boro Bike Tour passed through Bay Ridge on a sleepy Sunday last month (May 6) and the Tour de Brooklyn was last weekend (May 28) .

Not to worry because the Brooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride will pass through on Saturday, July 28.  We can envision the terrified residents of Shore Road cowering in their apartments and looking down upon the melee below as Kurtz whispers, "The horror!  The horror!"

Unfortunately, Bay Ridge will not be receiving any of NYC"s new bike share stations.  Those are currently only planned for areas of Manhattan below Central Park, northern Brooklyn above Atlantic Avenue and a bit into Long Island City.

We have to wonder if the share system will ever make its way into South Brooklyn.  The 38th parallel of bicycling spite begins in the region between 23rd and 38th Streets, along the border of Greenwood Cemetery and the MTA Bus Depot.  The 5th Avenue bicycle lane abruptly halts at 23rd Street and the DMZ-like void of bicycle lanes south of Greenwood forms the black hole defining the attitude our community boards and elected officials would have us believe about bicycling in South Brooklyn: fuhgetaboutit.

But still, the 2012 bicycling map for NYC indicates more dotted lines of hope with new lanes projected for:
  • Ridge Boulevard
  • Ft Hamilton Parkway
  • 92nd Street
  • 100th Street
  • 101st Street
  • 14th Avenue
  • Bath Avenue
  • and even Bay Ridge Parkway still remains in the future

An excellent article was printed in New York, predicting the incredible convenience that the bike share program will bring to crosstown traffic in Manhattan.  Imagine what it could do for Bay Ridge:
  • Ride a bike up to the Brooklyn Army Terminal and catch the ferry
  • Ride to or from the subway or express bus to near your home
  • Ride to a restaurant on the opposite end of 3rd ave or 5th ave, which you never visit because the parking is too bad
  • Ride to the VA hospital or Ft Hamilton
  • Ride to a softball game or go play some pickup basketball
  • Ride to the pier to go fishing
  • Ride to get a slice of pizza
Bay Ridge has lost bus lines and has infrequent service on the subway on weekends and during off hours.  Why not ride a bit?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

NYC Bike Share Locations

With the program’s first 420 proposed locations unveiled on Friday, proponents say New York has taken a step toward a watershed moment in the transportation history of the city: Every few blocks throughout Midtown and Lower Manhattan, in splotches of northern Brooklyn and along a small slice of Queens, New Yorkers will have access to a new alternative for public travel

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