Marine Parkers Come Out On Top In Bike Lane Battle, DOT Will Remove Protection

Marine Parkers Come Out On Top In Bike Lane Battle, DOT Will Remove Protection
Details of DOT's former plan for East 38th Street. Photo courtesy of DOT.
Details of DOT’s former plan for East 38th Street. Photo courtesy of DOT.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) hoped to make a section of East 38th Street between Avenue U and Avenue V in Marine Park similar to most other residential streets in the area by adding a two-way bike lane with a 3-foot buffer between it and the parked cars on the side of the road. However, after blowback from local residents who would rather keep the road wide, the DOT is going to leave it the way it is.

Brooklyn community board 18 approved the protected bike lane earlier this year as part of a series of improvements meant to connect the neighborhood to Jamaica Bay Greenway, according to Streetsblog.

How the bike lane would've connected to Jamaica Bay Greenway. Photo courtesy of DOT.
How the bike lane would’ve connected to Jamaica Bay Greenway. Photo courtesy of DOT.

With the new design people had problems getting out of their driveways, and there were instances of sideview mirrors getting hit by cars going down the now-thinner road. Also, because of the decrease in street width, delivery trucks were blocking the whole road, according to Council Member Alan Maisel, who pushed the DOT to remove the protection.

As reported by Streetsblog:

But the bike lane is next to a park and doesn’t affect access to driveways. The only difference for motorists is that the travel lane is now 12 feet wide, which is still on the wider side of standard city street dimensions.
A DOT spokesperson told the Brooklyn Daily that the parking protection will be removed by the end of the month, leaving cyclists exposed and the bike lane vulnerable to double-parking and other obstructions.

The new design will have car parking along the curb on the side of the park, then a buffer, and a bike lane running alongside traffic, according to the DOT.

At 40-feet wide, East 38th Street is about 10 feet wider than the typical residential Brooklyn street, according to Streetsblog.

According to Maisel, drivers use this road to avoid busy Flatbush Avenue. Some make the argument that narrowing the road will cause drivers to be more careful on East 38th Street, but the majority has spoken and the street will remain good and wide.

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