Community Board 6 – at its Jan. 11th meeting – resolved by a vote of 23 in favor, 8 against, to conditionally approve the NYC Transportation Department’s proposal to install a combination bicycle lane on 7th Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and 15th Street. Here is the letter CB6 sent, sealing the deal, providing additional details that may be of interest.
January 12, 2017
Department of Transportation
55 Water Street, 9th floor
New York, NY 10041
Dear Commissioner Trottenberg:
I am writing to advise you that at its January 11, 2017 general meeting Brooklyn Community Board 6 resolved by a vote of 23 in favor, 8 against, with 1 abstention, to conditionally approve the department’s proposal to install a combination bicycle lane on 7th Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and 15th Street (Class III lane between Flatbush Avenue and Carroll Street, and Class II lane between Carroll Street and 15th Street) in our district.
After hearing a thorough presentation by the department at its December 15, 2016 meeting our Transportation/Public Safety Committee recommended its approval of this proposed bicycle lane based on the following two conditions. First, that within a year of implementation the department return to the committee to report on its findings including but not limited to how well the lane is utilized and its impact on public safety. Second, we would like the department to reconsider the proposed width of the 4-foot wide double yellow buffer down the middle of the street for the Class II lane which we believe to be excessive, and provide data and a rationale to support its remaining in place if that’s the department’s conclusion.
We did have some healthy debate over whether the addition of these roadway markings would improve safety by encouraging greater predictability for traffic streams and slower vehicular travel speeds, or make the area less safe by highlighting some of the more chronic and persistent illegal traffic movements (i.e., double parking, illegal U-turns, failure to yield to pedestrians, etc.) which already plague 7th Avenue. These conditions, we understand, are regularly reported to the local precinct and discussed at Precinct Community Council meetings; despite the precinct’s best efforts they continue unabated.
By copy of this letter we are reminding our local police precinct commander that the illegal traffic conditions on 7th Avenue continue to threaten public safety, add to the congestion of the corridor and should be regularly enforced at least until sustained enforcement has had a positive impact on drivers’ behavior. We remain concerned that our local precinct may not have access to sufficient resources to address this problem and others like it in a sustainable fashion until drivers’ behavioral changes take a foothold.
Lastly, I would also ask that as a courtesy would you kindly give our district office advanced notice of when these new markings will be installed so that we can assist with dissemination of this information to the community as a public service.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment in this matter.