There’s been a ton of news on all the bike lanes going up in North Brooklyn. I’ve noticed lanes popping up all over the hood. Franklin Street, Greenpoint Avenue and Provost to name a few. All excellent candidates for the increase in bicycle traffic in the hood. Even the route of Manhattan Ave from Greenpoint to Ash is a nice addition.

BUT – and this is a big but, this morning one of my readers sent me a link to the DOT’s 2008 Bicycle Route Installation Schedule and that’s where I noticed this:

I’m not concerned with the current Project Route but rather the Future Planned Route. Those little red dots that appear to be heading down Manhattan Avenue in the direction of Nassau Ave. Are they out of their fucking minds?!

Manhattan Ave between Greenpoint & Nassau is already one of the most – if not the most congested stretch in Greenpoint. I’ve already bitched about this last year and it wasn’t even an official bike route then. Between not one but two bus lines, countless double parked cars, trucks for deliveries, parking available on both sides of the street, pedestrian jaywalkers everywhere you look and I’m not even taking into account that it’s a tad on the narrow side for two-way traffic, they now want to add bike lanes? Where?!

Just last week I was in the car with my Dad driving down Franklin Street with their new lanes (which is actually a shared lane of the road really) with this chick in a really bad blond wig (why?!) coasting along in her vintage Schwinn complete with basket as if she was meandering down a dirt path in a field with Ryan Gosling. I thought my father was going to run her off the road. But I think the wig thing just freaked him out.


Now I feel that Franklin Street, even though it is seeing an influx of traffic from cars, is still a perfectly viable choice for a bicycle route. It just takes a minute of patience for drivers to pause for going around bikers until the coast is clear on the other side. Which on a busy day could mean waiting for five or more cars. Still, it’s do-able.

But on Manhattan Ave? A driver could be stuck behind a two mile an hour cyclist all the way from Greenpoint to Nassau. Holding up traffic behind them exponentially. And don’t even get me started on the fact that the bicyclists NEVER, and I mean fucking NEVER obey the traffic lights. So now, let’s put them on Manhattan Ave and let them run the lights at Norman, Meserole and Calyer.

I personally feel like hitting a bicyclist with your car should now be only ten points when driving as opposed to twenty points just because the DOT is making it that much easier.

Update @ 12:17pm: And just this morning there was a crazy accident on this stretch of road. “Driver of delivery truck had seizure, lost control and plowed into oncoming traffic and parked vehicles. About 6-7 vehicles total.”

Now imagine a bicyclist up in that.

Join the Conversation


  1. You are correct, a lot of bicyclists do not follow traffic lights & laws. But to say “fucking never” is such a lie. There are many responsible bikers in our area, and as someone who has biked down Manhattan ave many times throughout the years, I see it more like this. Traffic moves so slow that I often find myself stuck behind cars, that are often stuck behind buses or double parked cars. So I am always passing cars, not the other way around. And since there is little or no visibilty down the side streets, I am forced to stop at intersections, that is if I want to make it home alive. I would put money down that I could go from Nassau to Greenpoint faster then a car(during daytime hours), all the while following all traffic laws.

  2. Alright granted saying “fucking never” can’t possibly be true. There must be some bicyclist, somewhere who obeys traffic signals. I’ve yet to see it but I am sure it exists.

    Traffic moves so slow that I often find myself stuck behind cars, that are often stuck behind buses or double parked cars. So I am always passing cars, not the other way around.

    And does that really sound safe? A bicyclist going around a car when it’s two way traffic with buses, pedestrians and the like? I think that sounds even crazier and a better argument for them *not* to do it than mine!

  3. It would be a great avenue for bikes if you take the parked cars out and extend the sidewalks. Separated bike lanes is the future.

  4. It would be a great avenue for bikes if you take the parked cars out and extend the sidewalks.

    Agreed. But seeing as Manhattan Ave is a metered (read: $$$) stretch, there’s no way the city’s gonna do that. Not that I blame them.

  5. I call bullshit on the “bike lanes” on Franklin St. Just because the city paints a bike on the road, doesn’t make it a bike lane. Since bikes are allowed to share any road, what makes Franklin safer/easier for bikers than any other street.

    Ending rant now. I just think they should give us some actual bike lanes around here.

  6. That accident on Manhattan Ave actually happened yesterday, not this morning. Unless there were two! My friend told me about it last night; she’d walked past while coming up Manhattan to meet me.

  7. i agree with tara. i’ve spent a lot of time in the city recently and the amount of so-called new bike lanes is suspect, considering they’re not bike lanes, just those bike drawings with arrows under them.

    still, i don’t think it’s the cyclists’ fault that they’re installing a bike lane (lane or arrows) on manhattan ave. savvy bikers will stay off of it anyway. i biked everywhere when i lived in greenpoint and i NEVER biked on manhattan ave. it’s too frustrating and terrifying, especially when kent and banker are virtually deserted most times of the day. this is just silly urban planning.

    and you’re right, some cyclists, especially the kind who wear wigs and ride fucking beach cruisers, have no regard for traffic laws. it took one minor accident for me to realize that no matter how righteous you think bike riding is, you’re still the one who will DIE in an accident. also, there’s been studies done that show that drivers are less likely to be careful around bikers who are wearing helmets than those who aren’t… so it seems like a losing battle however you look at it. 🙁

  8. I’ve almost been run down by bicyclists on Manhattan Ave a couple of times this past week alone – I had the walk light, cars were stopped at the red, but bikes disobey the red and go whizzing by…

  9. Do your research first. Just because there is a dotted line on that map doesn’t mean there is going to be a bike lane there. The City did this bike master plan in the 1990s without considering how a bike lane would fit in the geometry of the streets marked as “future routes”, then did almost no work for the next ten years implementing the routes. The City installed the parallel route on Leonard, so it’s probably not going to do Manhattan Ave b/t Gpt and Nassau anytime.

    I avoid Manhattan Ave on my bike as much as possible, Leonard, Lorimer and Banker are good substitutes.

    And why would your father run a biker off the road? He can pass her when it’s safe and give her enough room while doing so. The signs say to share the lane, not kill bikers.

  10. Do your research first. Just because there is a dotted line on that map doesn’t mean there is going to be a bike lane there.

    Um, the picture and the site says Summer 2008 with the dotted lines being ‘future’ routes. I don’t know how much more ‘research’ I can do with that. Nevertheless, I’m definitely aware of the bureaucracy of city agencies and full aware that just because they say they’re going to do something doesn’t mean it’s going to be done in our lifetime.

    And why would your father run a biker off the road? He can pass her when it’s safe and give her enough room while doing so. The signs say to share the lane, not kill bikers.

    Yeah, my Dad plays bumper cars on the road and is notorious for really killing bicyclists.

    It never ceases to amaze me how some people can take everything so literal.

  11. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think a bike lane on Manhattan Ave is a good idea, but I did disagree with some of your post. But you are absoutly correct, that street is congested enough as it is.

  12. BICYCLIST HERE Manhattan Avenue is for commerce, food and product delivery, mass transit, little old ladies and apparently a slew of banking options, but not bikes. Bicyclists should simply stay away from this avenue out of pure common sense for their own safety, but if you stand on the sidewalk on any given day, there a a ton of bicyclists swerving their way through, often with earphones on (WTF?) I think the Franklin & Greenpoint Ave lanes are great, but Manhattan Avenue isn't smart without steel and airbags.

  13. This may sound funny but I actually had an opposite problem. My car was the one that was hit by a speeding bicyclist. You may be thinking so what. Well $750 worth of damages is what. You will not believe the huge dent and scuff mark I have on my back quarter panel. Now what? It will be alot of poems this guy needs to write and sell before he can pay me back. I was totally in the right in case you are wondering. I had the green light and he blew the red on his side. He even admitted he was wrong and his words exact were “Well you know – I’m a biker”.
    Additonally, I’d like to point out the bikers on the Pulaski Bridge. I often walk the bride. They speed by so fast and rudely telling you to get out of their way. Um, hello – do you any of you see that HUUUUUUUUGE sign posted in both directions mind you that states “BIKERS MUST DISMOUNT!”
    I’m not here to bash the bikers but some common sense needs to be used. They’d be the first to sue someone if they were hit with a car I’m sure. Commone courtesies need to be applied to all car drivers, bikers and pedestrians.

  14. How timely! Just this morning, I was discussing with the Houseboy the new bike lanes on Manhattan (north of Greenpoint Ave) and I added “But obviously they can’t add bike lines south of Greenpoint Ave because the cars can barely pass each other on that stretch of the road”. Then I read this!

    Seriously- unless they remove ALL PARKING on both sides of the street, there is no room for bike lanes! It’s exactly as you describe- too crowded with buses in both directions, double parked cars and jay walkers!

    I do everything in my power, when on my bike, to avoid that street.

    While I encourage more bikes and less cars, I don’t think biking on this route should be encouraged. It’s madness to bike on that stretch!

  15. Oh and for the record, I do ride a beach cruiser with a basket (haha) but I also obey the traffic laws (lights/stop signs/traffic direction). But I also avoid Manhattan Av as much as possible.

  16. Well, *bitch cakes* you’re just so damn adorable I can’t really fault you for having one of those cruisers!

    And for the record, I am not a bicycle hating, SUV driving, Al Gore despising twat. I just feel like if you want to ride your bicycle, go to the park or ride it on streets where you’re not endangering drivers and pedestrians.

    It’s hard enough to drive in traffic, watching out for other cars, people jetting out into the street and obeying traffic laws without adding bicyclists to the mix.

    And also, I know there are ‘real’ bicyclists out there who know how to share the road and ride responsibly. My caveat is with the the MAJORITY of people riding bikes in this neighborhood who do not.

  17. they put the crazy logos right down the middle of provost street – to the driver it almost feels like a video game

  18. I have the pleasure of driving Greenpoint Ave. between McGuinnes and Manhattan regularly. The “shared” bike lanes there are just an accident waiting to happen. There are quieter and wider streets as an alternative.

    Or better yet, close Manhattan Avenue to passenger vehicles altogether and allow buses, bikes and local deliveries only.

    This is not in jest.

  19. nice comments about removing all parking and shortening the sidewalks just to accomadate bikes…holy shit, is this really what the world is coming to? Fuck 80% of the people and the stores so some fucking hipster trash can ride their bikes to their favorite $2 PBR watering hole where they drink 1 beer per hour. Piss off and go home…..

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