Good news for bicyclists and safe streets advocates: the city Department of Transportation is proposing to create a protected bike lane along Lafayette Avenue between Fulton Street and Classon Avenue — right across Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.
Details about the proposed lane have not yet been released, but will be revealed in a presentation to the Community Board 2 Transportation Committee tomorrow night (Tuesday, January 19) at 6pm at LIU Brooklyn’s Jonas Board Room on the 2nd floor. If you’re interested in attending, enter LIU Brooklyn via their Flatbush/DeKalb Avenue entrance.
Even without details, though, advocates of public transportation have expressed excitement. When approached by members of advocacy group Transportation Alternatives at the Fort Greene Park Greenmarket this past weekend, residents young and old were all smiles.
For Hilda Cohen — CB2 Transportation Committee member, resident, mom, and co-founder of Make Brooklyn Safer — the news came as a pleasant surprise.
“Four years ago this month, another local Fort Greene mom and i had campaigned to get a bike lane just like this, and traffic calming, on Lafayette,” Cohen explained. “Even with the reduced speed limit, there’s still, to me, evidence of speeding all along that street. Lafayette Avenue was already one of the most used corridors when dot did a study at our request, and since then we’ve gotten seven or so bike share stations, so it’s even more important now to have a bike lane.”
It also helps that such a lane would connect gaps in existing bike lanes in the area, which currently stops and starts abruptly between Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn.
Cohen noted that the DOT had previously wanted to install a bike lane on the same stretch of Lafayette Avenue, but “there had been pushback” from some in the community, so “it had been reduced down to sharrows — a marking on the street that intends for bicycles and cars to share a lane.
“As a bicyclist, if you’re going uphill, you’re relying on the driver’s consideration and awareness to keep you alive. And that’s what is so scary,” she said.