Perhaps residents of Community Board 11 should take note of Brooklyn’s Hasidim, members quipped at a general meeting on Thursday, December 17. CB11 passed a motion to request the elimination of newly installed bikes lanes on Allerton Avenue.
Bike lane critics around the city have made similar requests but only those in Williamsburg, orthodox Jews among them, appear to have succeeded. The city Department of Transportation removed a 14-bock segment of a bike lane on Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, in November.
In July, CB11 members opposed a DOT plan to install new bikes lanes and narrow Allerton Avenue from four to two lanes from Bronx Park East to Gun Hill Road. They argued that the change, designed to accommodate bike riders and help seniors cross Allerton Avenue, would cause traffic and damage business on the street.
The DOT agreed to keep Allerton Avenue at four lanes from Bronx Park East to Boston Road but installed pedestrian islands and bike lanes on Allerton Avenue from Boston Road to Gun Hill Road in September. The DOT also expanded exit ramps from the Bronx River Parkway onto Allerton Avenue.
Four months later, CB11 members expressed distaste for the changes, the bike lanes in particular. Although there are more businesses on Allerton Avenue west of Boston Road, there are also businesses east of Boston Road, board member and Waring Avenue resident Joe McManus said.
McManus is concerned about students south of Allerton Avenue, where traffic has increased since the bike lanes were installed. Few seniors attempt to cross Allerton Avenue anyway, he said.
“They paint bike lanes but [what about] a traffic light at P.S. 97?” McManus grumbled.
The bike lanes aren’t being used, let alone by seniors, CB11 district manager John Fratta said.
“What do we need them for?” Fratta asked.
CB11 member Joe Thompson has noted traffic snarls at Allerton Avenue and Boston Road, where Allerton Avenue narrows from four to two lanes. The DOT based its original proposal on three pedestrian accidents – one fatal – in the course of ten years on Allerton Avenue, Thompson said.
“Nobody uses the bike lanes,” he charged. “[The DOT] removed bike lanes in Williamsburg because there was a dangerous situation. The situation is no different here.”
Reach reporter Daniel Beekman at 718 742-3383 or dbeekman@c
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