Ridge Bike Lane Battle

CB10 committee votes to put bike routes on Ridge and Dyker streets

Brooklyn Daily

A community panel wants to make Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights more bike friendly — but on its own terms.

Community Board 10’s Traffic and Transportation committee voted 6–1 to bring more bike lanes to car-clogged Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, but the group wants to throw away and re-draw the city’s current bike lane plan for the area.

The city wants to put bike lanes on Fort Hamilton Parkway, Bay Ridge Parkway, and Ridge Boulevard, but board members shot down all but one of the routes.

Instead, the committee voted to have two-way bike lanes on one side of Fort Hamilton Parkway between 84th and 101st streets as well as the entire length of Sixth, 11th, and Marine avenues. The group also called for a one-way lanes on 68th Street from Sixth Avenue to Shore Road and on 72nd Street from Shore Road to Sixth Avenue.

Committee chairman Brian Kieran said the new pedal paths were necessary to link bicycle routes on Seventh Avenue and Shore and Colonial roads with the rest of the borough’s bike lane network.

“The biggest complaint about the bike network is the omissions,” Kieran said.

CB10 hasn’t always been open to bringing bike lanes to the neighborhood. Last year, the panel rejected the city’s plan to put a bike lane on Bay Ridge Parkway and bike-loving member Bob Cassara was kicked off the board following arguments over its decision.

Yet Thursday’s vote shows that board members are rounding the bend on bike lanes.

Even bike lane critic Allen Bortnick — a proud owner of a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria who wants the city let him rent a space in front of his Shore Road building — said bike lanes were necessary, but shouldn’t be on major thoroughfares.

Still, he refused to vote for new bike lanes.

“This is not Holland. In this city, time means money and New York needs its cars and needs to transport them from one place to another as fast as they can,” said Bortnick.

But bike lane supporter Bob Hudock slammed Bortnick’s comments.

“If you think packing more and more cars onto the street makes a city great, move to Houston,” Hudock argued.

The committee will submit its plan to the full board in September, but the city may ignore the committee’s recommendations, since the group’s role is strictly advisory.

The committee’s decision comes after state senate candidate Andrew Gounardes — who plans to run against state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) in the fall — said he would like to connect Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights to the rest of the borough’s bicycle network. Gounardes is a member of CB10’s Traffic and Transportation committee, but wasn’t in attendance at Thursday’s meeting.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at wbredderman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/WillBredderman

Reader Feedback

JP from Bay ridge says:
I just love the way CB10 transportation comittee feels the are smatter than the DOT professionals. First they disagree with the recomendations to made 86st safer. Now they know best when it comes to where bike lanes are needed. The DOT should just ignore their advisory role and do what is best.
June 28, 2012, 11:58 pm

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