Central Brooklyn

DOT’s ‘Priority Bicycle Districts’ Could Bring More Lanes To Ditmas Park & Sheepshead Bay

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Prospect Park West protected bike lane. (Photo via Park Slope Stoop)

A new report by the Department of Transportation (DOT) revealed that a few “Priority Bicycle Districts” including Ditmas Park and Flatbush could get more bike lanes in an effort to prevent fatalities and injuries.

Cycling is more popular than ever, with a 150 percent increase in ridership since 2006, outpacing both population and employment growth, according to a new study from the DOT.

Their findings also show that despite the dramatic increase in bikes on the road, the number of fatalities has stayed relatively flat during the same time period — a statistic they attribute to the growth of the cycling community and an expanded network of bike lanes.

Zeroing in on certain neighborhoods, the study found Ditmas Park in Community Board 14 had a higher rate of cyclist injuries and fatalities (referred to in the study as KSI) and also fewer bike lanes. According to the study, the high rate of fatalities most likely has to do with the high number of ridership and fewer bike facilities.

“These districts, seven in Brooklyn and three in Queens, represent 14 percent of the City’s bicycle lane network and 23 percent of cyclist KSI,” the report reads. “Moving forward, the agency will prioritize these areas for bicycle network expansion.”

Photo: DOT

Other “Priority Bicycle Districts” include districts 3, 4, 5, 12, 17, and 15 — which includes Boro Park, Kensington, Midwood, and Sheepshead Bay.

In 1997, the city’s Bicycle Master Plan set a goal to install 1,800 miles of greenways, bike lanes, and bridge paths by 2030, we reported. The master plan was intended to serve as a guide and has been adjusted over the years, a DOT spokesperson told BKLYNER.

However, much of the plan hinges on public support. The DOT must present bike lane plans to the Community Board, who has to approve the plan based on community feedback.

In recent years, several bike lanes have been in the planning stages in the surrounding areas, including a potential lane on 4th Avenue from Boerum Hill To Bay Ridge; on 10th & 11th Avenues in Windsor Terrace; and completed bike lanes on Argyle, Rugby, and Beverley Roads in Ditmas Park and 7th Avenue in Park Slope.

But bike lanes have also been met with controversy and opposition all over Brooklyn. Last year, a bike lane proposal in Marine Park was shut down after fierce opposition from residents. In 2012, a Sheepshead Bay proposed lane faced similar blowback from a community board leader, and further north, the DOT withdrew a bike lane proposal on Clinton Avenue after a heated town hall.

Additional reporting by Carly Miller. 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. What about Marine Park? There is no bike lane that leads to this wonderful park. In fact there are almost no bike lans in this tree lined neighborhood at all.

  2. Slapping some paint on the asphalt and calling it a bike lane does as much harm as good. Many of these so-called bike lanes are potential death traps because they are laid down next to parked cars from which a door can open into the lane at any moment. I doubt they make anyone safer.
    What would actually help would be additional protected bike lanes, as shown in the picture above. And, finally repairing the Ocean Parkway bike path would be nice.

  3. Kyle–I once was “doored” while riding in a bike lane that, as you describe, was set next to a parking lane. The driver jumped out of his car and bellowed “Watch where you’re going!”

    I got a big bruise on my side but was otherwise OK. It could have been a lot worse, though.

  4. You don’t show what the asterisk in the statistics means so I clicked on the link to the report. It means that 2015 data was not available so they are using a four years of data for a five-year period which invalidates their statistics. Why would 2015 data still not be available in the second half of 2017?

    Not true because 2015 data is shown on their website so they are lying. A more likely scenario is that the 2015 data does not show what DOT wants it to show forcing DOT to change its predetermined conclusions that cycling is safer than ever.

    If you extrapolate for the fifth year, it would mean that the numbers of those killed or seriously injured actually increased by 34 percent comparing the two five year periods and are not “relatively flat” as your article concludes. You can’t just plug in the missing 2015 data from the data on their website because that data does not show killed or seriously injured but fatalities and all injuries.

  5. People ride their bikes on the streets around the Marine Park area all the time. They always have. Car drivers have to watch out for them and bikers have to be aware of cars because a bike and a car can’t be in the same space at the same time. Drawing a picture of a bike on the pavement does not create space for a separate bike lane on narrow streets.

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