Plan for Franklin Avenue Bike Lane Moves Ahead

By Rachel Holliday Smith on June 13, 2014 11:42am 

 A proposed bicycle lane on Franklin Avenue would extend the current bike lane there, shown here, about 1 mile south.
A proposed bicycle lane on Franklin Avenue would extend the current bike lane there, shown here, about 1 mile south.
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DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith

CROWN HEIGHTS — A plan for a bike lane extension on Franklin Avenue is rolling along.

On Thursday night, Community Board 8 approved a proposal by the Department of Transportation that would convert the avenue’s current two lanes of traffic into one lane of vehicle traffic and one bicycle lane between Atlantic Avenue and Empire Boulevard. The measure was supported by the board with 23 yes votes, 14 no votes and three abstentions.

Though some CB8 members voiced concerns that the new configuration would further gum up traffic on the busy road, the board’s transportation committee explained that new signaling patterns included in the plan would smooth out snarled traffic, even with only one lane.

“The irony of the proposal is, you can have more cars on Franklin Avenue in one lane with properly sequenced lights than you can now with two lanes,” said Robert Witherwax, co-chairman of CB8’s transportation committee. “It’s a little counterintuitive.”

The proposed changes along a mile of Franklin Avenue run through two community board districts and must be considered by each. Community Board 9, which covers the southern half of the project from Eastern Parkway to Empire Boulevard, previously rejected the proposal, but will hold another advisory vote on the issue later this month, according to the DOT.

The agency plans to implement the project as early as July.

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