The Plumb Beach bike path – part of the Brooklyn Greenway that extends around most of the borough’s waterfront – has reopened several months earlier than expected, as the Army Corps of Engineers subcontractors working on the nearby beach have found a way to accommodate cycling enthusiasts.
But Sheepshead Bites learned that the path was quietly reopened recently, and the Army Corp confirmed that the contractor finished up initial work and found a way to reorganize equipment, allowing for safe usage.
It’s just in time, too, as nearly 1,000 cyclists plan to roll through the neighborhood and onto the bike path as part of the 5th Annual Brooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride this Saturday, promoting the greenway. (Oh, and they’ll be using Neptune Avenue and Emmons Avenue to get there, so expect to see hundreds of bicyclists this weekend.)
During the past two weeks, NYCDOT repainted the much maligned and nearly totally worn out zebra stripes and bicycle lanes on Oriental Boulevard. This was the first restriping in about nine years since four traffic lanes were reduced to two.
The Jamaica Bay Greenway coalition is hoping to open new bike lanes across the city, including places like Midwood, Marine Park and Manhattan Beach. The New York Daily News is reporting that the coalition is first meeting with Community Board 10 in South Queens to present their plans for expanded lanes near Howard Beach, but will soon host similar powwows in Southern Brooklyn.
Some of the proposed lanes, which can be examined in greater detail by clicking here, cut through parts of Midwood, Marine Park and one loops through Manhattan Beach. Other proposed lanes loop around the Canarsie Pier, Jamaica Bay and Jacob Riis Park.
The Jamaica Bay Greenway Coalition plans to visit Community Boards covering Marine Park and Canarsie in the near future but will not force the issue if residents express concerns.
“We’re going to communities to find out their interest,” Le’alani Schaumburg, a community planner with the National Parks Service told the Daily News.
THE COMMUTE: This past week, transit news focused on what seemed like a series of unrelated events — most notably the resumption of Rockaway “A” Train service.
“A” Train Service Returns
“A” train service, between Howard Beach and the Rockaways, which was suspended seven months ago due to Superstorm Sandy, finally resumed on May 30. Due to the destruction of the trestle near Broad Channel, the suspension forced residents to resort to unreliable and overcrowded bus service. Months ago, a fleet of R-32 cars were trucked to Rockaway to at least provide subway shuttle service within Rockaway but it was in no way adequate to meet residents’ needs. If you think transit service is poor in Sheepshead Bay, you should be aware of the two-hour plus commutes and hour waits for buses, which Rockaway residents were forced to endure, with the trestle out of service.
Bad news for bicyclists. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has changed its plans regarding the bike path that runs along Plumb Beach. In a press release, the Army Corps of Engineers has announced that a section of the bike path will be closed until construction is complete – which won’t be before December.
Last March, we reported that the Army Corps of Engineers was planning on creating a detour for the bike path, but upon further review, it appears that the Engineers are reneging on their promise to keep it open. Dan Falt, the Army Corps project manager for the Plumb Beach project explained why change of heart:
“We had originally hoped that we would be able to maintain a detour for bicyclists and pedestrians while carrying out this critical coastal storm risk reduction work, but it’s becoming clear that in order to ensure public safety around the active construction site we’re going to have to close the bike lane completely. We’re doing this work in an extremely tight space, surrounded by water and the busy Belt Parkway and we need to make sure that the contractor has the space to operate while also ensuring public safety by keeping bicyclists and pedestrians away from the construction activities,” Falt said in the release.
Bicyclists riding along the bike path will have to get off the path at Flatbush Avenue if they are traveling west or Knapp Street if traveling east to prevent riding into the closed section.
Existing and proposed bicycle routes in Community Board 15. Dotted red lines are "potential bike routes." (Click to see the full map)
Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo is blasting the city’s plan to add three new bicyle routes in the Sheepshead Bay area, saying it puts cyclists’ lives at risk.
The city’s master plan for bike lanes identifies Avenue Y, Avenue T and Avenue P as potential bike routes within the boundaries of Community Board 15. The exact paths of the bike routes are:
Avenue Y between Ocean Parkway and Knapp Street. Knapp Street is also a proposed bike route between Emmons Avenue and Gerritsen Avenue.
Avenue T between Stillwell Avenue (where it branches off to Bath Beach and Coney Island) and Gerritsen Avenue.
Avenue P between Stillwell Avenue (where it joins another proposed bike route heading up Bay Ridge Parkway) and Nostrand Avenue. At Kings Highway there is a proposed spur that runs up Kings Highway into Canarsie.
The “transportation advocacy organization,” Transportation Alternatives — whose mission it is “to reclaim New York City’s streets from the automobile, and to advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit as the best transportation alternatives” — will be bicycling over to our neck of the woods this weekend, and I know all of you will give them a hale and hearty welcome… right?
The riders will meet at the corner of Washington Ave/Eastern Parkway in front of the Brooklyn Museum at 11AM. We will ride a couple of blocks on Eastern Parkway, then make a right on Bedford Avenue and ride Bedford all the way to Emmons Avenue, where we will get a chance to see first-hand the current layout and what we can suggest to improve the situation for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. We will make a left on Emmons and ride until Knapp St, where we will make a left, go a few blocks and wind up at Jordan’s Lobster Dock, where we can warm up with some clam chowder, lobster rolls, grilled salmon sandwiches or other delights. Be sure to bring a lock so you can comfortably leave your bikes and head inside to eat. Heading back, we can take Bedford Avenue again, or we can ride Emmons a little further and hook up with Ocean Parkway. The ride will be 16-17 miles round trip including the lunch stop. Approximate time for people heading all the way back to the Brooklyn Museum location would be 2.5-3 hours.
With a tainted history of traffic accidents and the death of a 4-year-old boy, Oriental Boulevard is now sporting brand new bike lane signs courtesy of the New York City Department of Transportation. The agency hopes the signs will provide a safer street, but local leaders are incensed, saying the signs indicate the agency is backtracking on community-led initiatives that the agency had previously appeared to support.
As if the city’s bike lane battles weren’t serious enough – what with top-less protests, Holocaust comparisons, and misplaced priorities - Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz kicked it up a notch by skewering the city’s bike line obsession, and fanatical proponents, in a song and dance routine. Literally.
Joining the cast of Symphony Space’s political cabaret Thalia Follies during the production’s first Brooklyn performance, Marty Markowitz took to the stage to voice the plight of Brooklyn drivers, besieged by the city’s fast-and-furious implementation of lane alterations citywide. Bus lanes and bike lanes and sidewalk cafe lanes – all given a tribute of sort to the tune of “Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music.
“Strollers and schlepers and skaters and joggers,/ Holiday lanes just for all the egg-noggers,/ Let’s not forget cars, it’s getting insane./ Welcome to Brooklyn the borough of lanes,” Markowitz crooned in his Elmer Fudd-like voice.