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New Bike Lanes and Parking Planned for Waterfront, Park Slope and Gowanus

BROOKLYN — Two-wheeled travelers could soon have an easier ride and more parking options between Park Slope and the Columbia Street Waterfront District.

The city's Department of Transportation wants to install two new bike lanes and two new bike corrals. The new lanes would run between Third Avenue and Van Brunt Street, westbound on Sackett Street and eastbound on Union Street.

Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman said the proposed bike lanes could help solve a problem locals have faced since the B71 bus line was cut: moving quickly from east to west.

"Mobility is a big challenge," Hammerman said. "In a way this makes a lot of sense, to have additional east-west connectors that will enable people to get down to the waterfront and get up to Prospect Park."

Union Street already has a bike lane between Third Avenue and Henry Street. It's not clear whether the proposed new lane would replace the existing lane or simply extend it to Van Brunt Street. A DOT spokesman did not respond to an inquiry about the new lanes and said only that the bike lane proposal would be presented at this week's Community Board 6 transportation committee meeting.

DOT is also planning to install on-street bike parking facilities known as "bike corrals" on Union Street in Park Slope and on Columbia Street in the Waterfront District.

One will be in front of Rose Water restaurant at 787 Union St. in Park Slope. Rose Water owner John Tucker said he was inspired to request the cyclist parking after he saw the city install a bike corral in front of Gorilla Coffee on Fifth Avenue last year.

The city will most likely install three or four bike racks, which will hold six to eight bikes, Tucker said. He's agreed to maintain new planters that will beautify the bike racks.

"I'm a big supporter of traffic calming measures and anything having to do with bikes and promoting bike and pedestrian traffic in NYC," Tucker said.

The DOT plans a second bike corral at 153 Columbia St., the headquarters for the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, the group that's creating a 14-mile route for cyclists and pedestrians along Brooklyn's waterfront.

The new bike parking will be a first for the greenway, said Brooklyn Greenway Initiative co-founder Brian McCormick. He called the new bike corral "a perfect fit."

"Last year along the greenway route on Columbia Street there were bicyclists chained everywhere, chained to trees," McCormick said. "So the demand is there. People want to come down to the waterfront recreationally and check out what's there."

The Department of Transportation is scheduled to present plans for the new bike lanes and bike corrals at the Community Board 6 Transportation Committee meeting on Thursday, March 21, 6:30 p.m. Good Shepherd Services, 441 Fourth Ave.