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DOT Wants to Put More Bike Lanes in Bushwick With Local Input

By Serena Dai | November 13, 2014 5:06pm
 Cyclists may soon have more bike lanes to use in Bushwick.
Cyclists may soon have more bike lanes to use in Bushwick.
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DNAinfo/Serena Dai

BUSHWICK — The city Department of Transportation is looking to add more bike lanes to Bushwick — and it wants locals to tell them where they should go.

Bushwick currently only has three bike lanes, including on Central Avenue and Evergreen Avenue between Myrtle Avenue and Moffat Street and on Myrtle Avenue between Central Avenue and Broadway.

The DOT will host a community meeting about improving the bike network on Tuesday, Nov. 18 between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the 83rd Precinct at 480 Knickerbocker Ave. The agency is also conducting an online survey asking for feedback.

"If you fold out a New York Department of Transportation bike map, you can see right away that Bushwick is not an area that has great bike infrastructure right now," said Luke Ohlson, Brooklyn organizer for activist group Transportation Alternatives. "And that needs to change."

The meeting will be co-hosted by Community Board 4, Councilmen Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Espinal and the New York City Department of City Planning.

After Tuesday's meeting, DOT will host a public workshop for more input, a DOT spokesman said. Results will be used to create a plan that will be presented to the community board in late 2015 or early 2016.

The city expects to start installing the new lanes in 2016.

North Brooklyn has seen a signficant rise in the number of cyclists in the last five years.

Between 2005 and 2013, the amount of cyclists using the Williamsburg Bridge between April and October during the day jumped by nearly 230 percent, according to counts by the DOT.

In Bushwick, 324 cyclists used Evergreen Avenue in one weekday count in October 2013, and 283 people used Central Avenue in an October 2013 weekday count, according to a DOT spokesman.

In a May 2014 weekday count, 611 cyclists used Flushing Avenue between Beaver and Humboldt streets, and 296 people used Flushing Avenue between Wyckoff and St. Nicholas avenues.

Surveys collected by Transportation Alternatives in the spring about street safety in north Brooklyn — encompassing pedestrians, cyclists and drivers — found that many people consider streets like Broadway and Bushwick Avenue to be precarious to walk or bike on, Ohlson said.

"When you put in bike infrastructure in city streets, not only does it lead to people having more options, it makes streets safer for all users," Ohlson said, "including pedestrians and people in cars."

At a recent Community Board 4 meeting, district manager Nadine Whitted encouraged locals to submit ideas to the DOT.

"Let’s get on top of things like that," she said. "Let’s start a network that involves not only the cyclists but the residents too."