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You Told Us: Should the DOT Add a Protected Bike Lane to Clinton Avenue?

 The DOT wants to add a two-way bike lane to Clinton Avenue, making it a one-way street.
The DOT wants to add a two-way bike lane to Clinton Avenue, making it a one-way street.
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NYC Department of Transportation

You Told Us is a regular feature where we highlight comments from users in the communities DNAinfo covers.

CLINTON HILL — A controversial Department of Transportation proposal to add a parking-protected bike lane to Clinton Avenue and turn the thoroughfare into a one-way street for vehicular traffic has sparked a heated debate among Clinton Hill residents.

The proposed two-way bike lane would run along Clinton Avenue for 2.2 miles between Flushing and Gates avenues. 

The DOT project would turn Clinton Avenue, now a two-way street, into a one-way northbound street, with one travel lane, a parking lane and a pedestrian island, which the city agency says would calm traffic, shorten pedestrian crossing distances and make the street safer for families, seniors and children. 

Residents and cyclists that are for the measure say they would feel safer cycling in the neighborhood if the bike lane was added to Clinton Avenue. 

“I think this is a great idea! Vanderbilt is a scary place for biking because of all the through traffic. Clinton is much quieter and safer,” said Neighborhood Square (NSQ) user Matthew Donham.

Neighborhood Square users Schjanna Rydenour and Bianca Maria Orlando said the bike lane would prevent drivers from making illegal U-turns on the street.

“I do think it is a great idea, I live on Clinton Avenue. This should prevent a major hazard: All the cars making illegal and speedy U-turns on the street,” Orlando said on NSQ.

Another NSQ user, BrooklynSpoke, said he “can’t wait” to ride on a potential Clinton Avenue with his children.

“This type of configuration works all over Brooklyn, from Prospect Park West to Kent Avenue. It will make the street safer for all, make it possible for me to bike with my children to friends' homes, and will keep cyclists off the sidewalk. I can't wait,” BrooklynSpoke said.

Meanwhile, many residents fear diverting southbound traffic onto neighboring streets would make driving in the neighborhood and receiving deliveries a nightmare.

“Do you really think that that is a good idea DOT? Do you know how many more bikes ride up and down Vanderbilt? And what about the evening (southbound) rush hour traffic. I don't think that Waverly, Washington and Vanderbilt will be able to manage,” NSQ user BornBredBrooklyn said.

Others worry that a bike lane would make it harder for elderly residents to cross the street.

“I live on Clinton Avenue; we have a lot of seniors in the nearby buildings. Crossing the bike lane will be a hazard for pedestrians,” said NSQ user Jennita. 

Meanwhile supporters say many of those fears are unfounded.

NSQ user Shawn Onsgard:

“People held similar fears about safety for seniors when the Prospect Park West protected bike lane was installed. Those fears have not come true. Now people let their toddlers ride in the bike lane, it is really very tame and easy to navigate even for seniors. What's more, because the distance from one parking lane to the other is much shorter, people find that  it is remarkably safer to cross the street with this type of design. Improving safety for seniors is actually one of the biggest benefits of this street design.”

As part of its community outreach efforts, the DOT is collecting feedback from residents before it presents the bike lane proposal to Community Board 2’s transportation committee at 6 p.m. on May 17, at Brown Memorial Baptist Church.

For more information and to submit feedback to the DOT, click here