Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 meetings don’t always stir up such strong emotions as were on display on June 30. When it comes to transportation issues, folks in the neighborhood seem sharply divided between car-owners clamoring for more parking and the biking/walking faction, often castigated as transient hipsters.

After the tragic hit-and-run accident that killed beloved teacher Matthew Jensen, the de Blasio administration allocated $39 million to make improvements to McGuinness Boulevard. The City’s Department of Transportation was on deck at CB1’s Transportation committee meeting to present their findings and offer up three possible visions for the future of the thoroughfare.

A DOT representative quickly pointed out that this particular presentation only pertained to the design of the in-house project, which can be completed faster and with fewer materials, as opposed to capital projects, which are more intensive and can take years to complete. The $39 million from the de Blasio administration goes toward the capital project.

After sifting through hundreds of community comments, the DOT found that the most frequent issues with McGuinness included the need for walking and biking improvements, aggressive driving, and problems with loading zones.

While McGuinness functions as a truck route due to its size and location, the DOT pointed out that most of the vehicles that use the boulevard are actually personal vehicles.


Councilmember Lincoln Restler expressed his disappointment in the presentation. “There was really strong consensus, certainly from Emily [Gallagher] and I and other elected offices, that maintaining two lanes of traffic for all waking hours in both directions does not address the significant safety issues that have plagued McGuinness Boulevard for far too long,” Restler said during the meeting, also calling option A “inadequate.”

Public commentary on the project lasted for about an hour and a half. It’s beyond the scope of this article to give you a play-by-play, but I encourage you to check it out for yourself here.

Lastly, on a personal note, from someone who watches these meetings for a living, let’s all learn to use that mute button, yeah? It’s 2022. We’ve been at this for two years. I’m tired.

Join the Conversation


  1. Turning a major artery like McGuinness Blvd is very dangerous and will effect the businesses greatly. If you want safety then build a few bridges for people to cross it. The traffic is ridiculous as it is. Encouraging more bike riders who do not wear helmets or follow laws is the real reason so many of them are being killed. Bikers should be taken off main roads and truck routes. Emergency vehicles will have an even harder time getting through streets.

  2. Listen, McGinnis boulevard is a key link between the Long Island expressway and the BQE and needs to stay as it is. There is a bike lane on the Pulaski bridge that goes at the bottom up one block to Manhattan avenue where there is another existing bike lane to be used. Then at Greenpoint avenue the bike lane turns down one block to Leonard Street which is only two blocks up from the Guinness boulevard and has been existing for years. Stop with new bike Lanes as the bicyclists don’t use the existing ones in Greenpoint Emma which run parallel to McGinnis boulevard and is only two short blocks up. The amount of traffic and pollution that this would create by reducing the size of beginners boulevard is unnecessary and is it danger to fire engines trying to get through McGinnis boulevard in case of emergency or alternate route for the BQE being jammed up. Stop the insanity spend the money wisely cut the crap. Don’t use existing bike lanes.

    1. I totally agree , I’m a school crossing guard and these cyclists DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT OBEY THE TRAFFIC LAWS ,,why do we keep on Accommodating them accommodate the people that pay taxes and the people that pay insurance I’m a taxpayer I’m sick and tired of paying for all theseCyclist lanes bike racks They don’t even use the bike racks they use stop sign poles light poles we have a find a space to park their bike come on it’s ridiculous already they want to ride there bikes let them go to the goddamn park city isn’t made for bikes and start making them pay some type of insurance why are they NOT ?????They cause most of the accidents

        1. So HAVE THEM PAAY FOR INSURANCE JUST LIKE CARS AND TRUCKS THAT BRING ALL OUR. essentials here ,,why shouldn’t they when we have to pay for there bike lanes and racks and when they sped threw a stop sign and get hit the drivers insurance goes up because of there negligence

          1. I’m sorry to inform you, Cookie, but people who do not drive—the majority of New Yorkers—pay for the roads that you drive on. Not to mention the massive subsidies given to drivers like free parking.

            Cars require insurance and registration because they are inherently dangerous. Bikes are not!

  3. What on earth is Lincoln Restler talking about a “consensus” for? No comprehensive survey was conducted. Emily Gallagher’s staff **refused** to send out mailers or conduct outreach to businesses east of McGuinness (maybe they just don’t like blue collar people?) but they could send out a useless happy holidays flyer to all of us. The “consensus” is Lincoln and a few of his friends.

  4. The vast majority of residents/voters in Greenpoint and the surrounding area want this road safer for pedestrians/bicyclists etc. and reduced in size…2,500 signatures (+ both elected officals Gallager/Restler) support the project.

    A vocal minority who profit from this deadly/polluting highway yell a lot. History will prove them wrong and I look forward to the new safer road. And btw, it’s spelled ‘McGuinness’ Tim.

    1. Omanra, 2500 signatures on a petition (not even verified – how do you know the signers live here?) is not even close to a majority of the people of Greenpoint.

  5. Personally, I’d like to see bike lanes, no parking and the use of speed bumps to slow the traffic way down. Trucks, scooters, and cars at such high speeds endangers everyone, even bikers with helmets, pedestrians, and folks in cars.

  6. Why don’t the bike lanes go down the median? Protected from the traffic…

    Nyc needs to learn from other cities and other countries. Ridiculous potential but we are governed by headless chickens.

  7. Agree McGuiness needs to be safer and I’m all in favor of new bike love. But after the disastrous redesign on Meeker, I have a hard time trusting any of these designs from the DOT. They really need to listen to the input of people who actually live here.

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