Residents in one part of Brooklyn weigh in on a controversial bike lane proposal for their neighborhood. Borough reporter Jeanine Ramirez has the story.
Cyclists ride between parked cars and moving traffic on Clinton Avenue. But the city wants to change that by giving them a protected two-way bike lane that would look like this. The plan is a source of controversy though, because it would restrict vehicular traffic on the street to one northbound lane.
"I'm vehemently against it," said one neighbor.
"I think it's a terrible plan for residents of Clinton Avenue," said another.
Most residents who came out to this community board hearing Tuesday night were against the plan even before the Department of Transportation even made its formal presentation. The DOT says it is all to improve safety after 11 cyclists were injured on nearby Vanderbilt Avenue.
"By creating a protected facility we're not only creating a safe space for the cyclists, we're improving the conditions for the pedestrians were interacting with the cyclists because of putting them in a predictable location where pedestrians and cyclists can interact," said Sean Quinn with the DOT.
But many in the community say the city is acting on behalf of the cyclists who travel through the neighborhood, rather than people who live there. Residents say the plan will cause traffic backups and eliminate parking spots, among other arguments.
"A lot of our congregants and community leaders are wondering how we can prioritize the argument of a bicycle before we talk about affordable housing," said one.
Clinton Avenue runs through the historic neighborhood of Clinton Hill.
It's one of the most densely populated corridors in the area. The DOT says creating the bike lane here will add two point two miles to the city's bicycle network. An expansion some say is needed.
"I use the bike lane to commute to and from work every day," said one neighborhood resident. "I feel that people are really not accepting cyclists as users of the street."
With so many opinions, the hearing will continue on Thursday night. Community Board Two's transportation committee will then make its recommendation to the full board before a vote.