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:
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.