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New protected bike lane in Brooklyn still doesn’t protect cyclists from accidents between Grand Army Plaza and Downtown Brooklyn

segment-of-bike-lane-on-flatbush what-is-missingThe DOT recently inaugurated a new segment of protected bike lane  crossing Prospect Park in Brooklyn. While the new protected bike lane covers Flatbush Avenue from Grand Army Plaza to Empire Boulevard (see picture from the DOT ). The DOT indicates that the protected bike lane connects  to Downtown Brooklyn”. Unfortunately this is not the case (see map from the DOT with protected bike lanes in green). From Grand Army Plaza to Downtown Brooklyn cyclists still have to make their way through dangerous unprotected bike lanes which put them at a higher risk of getting injured or dying in a bicycle accident.  This is a concern, especially with the actual pandemic situation that has led many Brooklyn residents opting to start using a bike instated of using the subway.

At the recent inauguration of the bike lane, street safety advocates confronted New York Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg about the problem. Trottenberg who is herself commuting by bike between Grand Army Plaza and Downtown Brooklyn puzzled activists when she replied that she felt comfortable with the actual situation. “It’s a pretty good ride between here and Jay Street — you’ve got Vanderbilt to Bergen, so it’s pretty good she said.  She also added “Not everybody has the same opinion” and that’s true:  a day after the inauguration, a very upset dad who uses the bike lane to bring his son to school tweeted the following answer :

The video is pretty disturbing showing multiple cars obstructing the bike lane and making it very dangerous for anyone and especially for a family to ride through this mayhem.

The new 3.2 miles of protected bike lane is an improvement but it is still a far cry from what Mayor de Blasio announced in his “Green Wave” plan which included designated areas for cyclists on Flatbush Ave all the way up to both the Brooklyn and the Manhattan bridges.

While a bike lane was added a decade ago on the other side of Prospect Park which is wealthier, it took a much longer time for the DOT to install the new bike lane on the East side which is a more modest area. Brooklyn Borough President  Eric Adams commented that the city was discriminating against poor neighborhoods when implementing new bike lanes.