Williamsburg, NY - City Removing 14 Blocks Of Bike Lanes On Bedford Ave.
Williamsburg, NY - Just when it seemed like the hoopla over bike lanes in Williamsburg had come to a close, Gothamist has learned that the Department of Transportation is planning to remove a 14-block section of the Bedford Avenue cycling route.
A spokesman said that the agency will remove the “small portion” of the bike lane between Flushing and Division avenues in South Williamsburg “as part of ongoing bike network adjustments in the area.” The agency will install new signage directing bikers two blocks west to the bike lane on Kent Avenue, which earlier this year became an issue of contention particularly in South Williamsburg’s Hasidic community.
Some Williamsburg residents protested the Kent Avenue lane over concerns it took away parking spaces, hurt local businesses, and was used by badly-behaving bikers who purportedly fail to yield to stopped school buses. The city then reconfigured Kent Avenue, prompting complaints about truck traffic being diverted onto residential streets.
While the dispute over the cycling route on Kent Avenue turned heated, the bike path on Bedford Avenue has been relatively noncontroversial — though some have called for its removal due to the number of “schools, stores and religious institutions” on the street. The Bedford Avenue lane was also one of the cycling paths where scantily clad cyclists were first spotted.
The Department of Transportation’s decision to eliminate a section of bike lane from the borough’s longest street is a surprising move, considering the agency’s recent efforts to bolster the city’s cycling network under the leadership of bike-loving Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
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