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.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Who is the Bike Candidate?

This story from Brooklyn Magazine compares the crop of NYC mayoral candidates on their attitudes and stance for bicycling in the city, meaning all of the city, not just Manhattan. Who is their pick?  Sal Albanese. 

Disappearing Lanes near Owls Head Park

It has been 2 years since any of the bicycle lanes in Bay Ridge were repainted.  Shore Road and Colonial Road were repainted back in the summer of 2011.  However, it has been longer since other lanes were restriped in the area.

These pictures show the current conditions of Wakeman Place and 68th Street.  At both, the outer marking of the bicycle lane has been worn away and vanished.  Both of these routes provide access to and from Owl's Head Park and the greenway surrounding the north side of the park.  These roads are also the final connector streets in the neighborhood for traffic entering and exiting the Belt Parkway, meaning vehicles are frequent and fast along these roads.

These lanes need to be repainted for safety and traffic calming around the Owls Head Park area.

The Disappearing Bicycle Lane of Wakeman PLace

Wakeman Place Bicycle Lane Vanishes

The Disappearing Bicycle Lane of 68th Street

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

5th Avenue Shared Bicycle Lane

Here it is, the unbelievable and amazing appearance of the 5th Avenue bicycle route, extending from 50th Street to 23rd Street.  Within a 15 minute time span, we saw at least 20 northbound and southbound commuters riding along this road just before 8am.  Men and women, families with children were out on this morning using the freshly painted bicycle route!

This newly designated route doesn't quite extend all the way south to 65th Street and into Bay Ridge, but it is very close.  Perhaps it will be extended when the roadway repairs between 50th and 65th are completed?

The southern-most section of the route between 49th and 50th Street

Along Greenwood Cemetery, a woman passes a man pulling a child-carrier

Continuing northbound near 27th Street

At 23rd Street, the new lane connects with the existing 5th Ave route.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Call Stephen Hawking! 5th Ave Bicycle Route Emerges from the Ether!

There is a new connection developing across the space-time continuum where none existed before - a marked bicycle route along 5th Avenue in Sunset Park.  BRBR saw it this morning, extending from 36th Street to 50th Street as a freshly painted line of sharrows along this commercial corridor in Sunset Park.  It looks like it will extend farther north, along the edge of Greenwood Cemetery.  Maybe it will extend all the way to 23rd St, where the 5th Avenue Bicycle lane currently ends?

Physicist Stephen Hawking in 2007 inside of a zero-gravity jet airplane.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Citi Bike Launch

Today was the day - bike share officially launched in NYC.  If you are reading this post, you certainly know something about bike share in NYC and the apparent threat of cataclysmic apocalypse that the bike share program will bring to the city... or not (let's be real, here!).  They are just blue bicycles!

The Scream, in blue: "Bikeshare is here!"  Get a grip.
If you are looking for a story, just google bike share and you can see plenty of news headlines.

Admittedly, no member of the expansive staff at BRBR actually rode a CitiBike today.  Instead, we were all at the 146th Kings County Memorial Day Parade in Bay Ridge, with not a CitiBike in sight.

And although no bike share stations are in Bay Ridge (the closest stations are about 4 miles away, near Atlantic Ave), the actual bicycles are closer than you may think  - they are being stored in Sunset Park, not too far from the Brooklyn Army Terminal.  We saw them on the warehouse floor and stacked in storage crates on Sunday afternoon.

CitiBike storage in Sunset Park

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Crowe Effect

An article from this past week in the New York Times, "Anxiety Over the Future of Bike Lanes," raises questions about the long-term lifespan of bicycle lanes in NYC - will they survive past the Bloomberg administration?

At BRBR, we believe bicycle lanes will remain.  They have become a core definition of experience and opportunity, providing a new means for people to move through, use and access all of NYC.  Bicycle lanes have embedded themselves into the culture of this town.  The date they fully took hold can be pinpointed: October 23, 2012.  On that morning, paparazzi photographer J.B. Nichols chased actor Russell Crowe through the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, on bicycles.

When has an A-list, Oscar-wining actor and personality ever before considered a bicycle as primary transit through the streets NYC? Crowe's bodyguard was also on a bicycle and they both were followed by a total of 6 bicycle riding photographers.  Imagine how this scene would have appeared!  Instead of photographers climbing over each other along the edge red carpet, they were maintaining pedaling cadence and scrambling past Crowe and his bodyguard along green-painted and bicycle-icon marked lanes of the street.

It has required many years of effort to develop the current on and off street bicycle network in NYC and the number of bicycle riders has steadily increased every year over the past 10+ years.  Motorists have also slowly grown accustomed to sharing the streets, whether or not a bicycle lane is in place.  Potential riders see other bicyclists and marked designation for places to ride.  The lanes create the possibility for people attempting their first rides throughout NYC.  The first trip is probably local in the neighborhood.  With some confidence and experience, another bicycle journey is to work or school.  The extent of the bicycle network allows a sense of empowerment to take hold, an a person can ride even farther or more regularly, making the bike a part of their personal transit system.  Soon, anything is possible... even actors on bicycles being chased by paparazzi on bicycles!

October 23, 2012 should be remembered as an important day in NYC bicycling!  Read the full account of this milestone in the Daily News.