Williamsburg, NY – Kent Avenue Bike Pains

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    Simon Weisser, addresses the Community Board Williamsburg, NY – Opponents are calling on the city to put the breaks on a one-and-a-half-mile portion of a bike lane that would stretch from Newtown Creek to Sunset Park — saying Williamsburg doesn’t need more bike lanes.

    “There is already a bike lane a Bedford Avenue and a bike lane on Wythe Avenue — now they want a bike lane on Kent Avenue?” Simon Weisser, a member of Community Board 1 told his fellow board members at a Sept. 8 meeting. “You can’t accommodate every single street with a bike lane.”

    Weisser, and others, argued that the Department of Transportation should not stripe Kent Avenue with temporary lanes — precursors for the so-called Kent Avenue Greenway, a stretch of biking and walking paths that are separated from car traffic — until further review.

    To Weisser, the existing bike lanes — on Wythe and Bedford avenues — should be eliminated when the Greenway is done.

    He added that “the whole community” is behind him, a reference to South Williamsburg’s strong Hasidic bloc.

    But the board rolled over Weisser’s calls.

    “He sees the greenway as a way to eliminate the bike lanes, but they just fundamentally don’t have not the same function,” said Teresa Toro, chair of the Transportation Committee.

    The one-way lanes on Bedford and Wythe avenues are necessary commuter routes that connect Williamsburg with Central Brooklyn, while the greenway on Kent Avenue would be more like a “linear park” than a bike lane, Toro said.

    Milton Puryear, director of planning for the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, agreed.

    “The whole idea for the greenway is to provide a benefit to the people of the community — not just bike riders — by making a truck route into a more inviting streetscape,” said Puryear. “If you look at Kent Avenue now, it’s just not a place you want to stroll, or ride a bike. Once it’s built, you’re not going to find anybody who will be sorry they traded in what was here.”

    The morning after the contentious board meeting, a commuting cyclist was struck by a car service sedan on the future greenway path at the corner of North Seventh Street and Kent Avenue, leaving him with a broken elbow and collarbone.

    The driver fled the scene, a friend of the victim told The Brooklyn Paper.

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    20 COMMENTS

    1. City officials are being pressured by activists to open up bike lanes all over the city. There is no stopping them. This is the wave of the future.

      They will steamroller you if you dare to oppose them. They have the support and backing and are getting their way, slowly but surely. Eventually, us Chareidim will go back to the bikes our Tottes have ridden right here in New York. There is nothing unJewish about riding a bike!

    2. This Kent Ave. bike route is going to be a golden opportunity for the heimishe oilem to go exercising by biking along the 14 mile scenic waterfront route. It is going to be seperated from the motorists so it’s safe.

    3. to all those fat chasidsha people ,at least you’ll be able to ride you’r bike to gotliebs !!

      you people are so unhealthy sitting the whole day ,even when you go to daven 5 blocks away you take your car !its unbeliveable! no one in willimsburg incourages exercise ,and if you ride a bike your a “sheigits” why?! why are’nt you allowed to ride a bike like in europe ! whats the problem ?could someone please explain !

      the fact that bloomberg is behind it ,thats a shame ,because the tickets will be flying right & left if you block bike lanes …but someone has to put a stop to this so called yidishkeit ,that your frum if you wear your gartel on the street & look like a fat slobe ,and you never saw excersise machine in your life ,,,anyway with cigretts almost $10 a pack and now bike lanes in affect mabey it’ll be a healthier world

    4. I thihnk the community leaders should concern themselves with promoting bike riding instead of trying to get rid of the bike lanes. Why is no one concerned about our health???

    5. I sat in traffic this morning….. A trip that took 5 minutes before they put bike lanes, took 15 minutes, because a street that used to have 2 lanes had only 1 lane. It only causes TRAFFIC and unwanted bikers….

    6. I sat in traffic this morning….. A trip that took 5 minutes before they put bike lanes, took 15 minutes, because a street that used to have 2 lanes had only 1 lane. It only causes TRAFFIC and unwanted bikers….

      09-11-2008 – 1:02 PM

      good another couple of times sitting in traffic for a trip that takes 5 min ,you might pick up your bike instead and drive 10 min. instead of sitting in traffic for 15 min

    7. The bike lane is a thorn in the side of every ehrlicha Yid in Williamsburg. Pedestrians can close their eyes or look away not to see this “pritzus”, but unfortunately we the drivers have an obligation to see the road; someone who closes his eyes while driving is a “rotzeiach”, so we are forced to see the pritzus of the hipsters, which is the lowest of the low. “Atzas Bilom” in full swing.

    8. Drive on Bedofrd Ave and see what irs really going on.

      The street lost a traffic lane to allow for a safer bike lane. Traffic is drastically affected. The cyclists anyway go on other streets when they want to, they also go through lights. more fuel is wasted in the ensuing traffic. These sweet kids are really smart alecks, they often take revenge against double parkers or drivers by flinging their heavy chain against a car or around someone’s car mirror.

      If you have not seen the problem Please go look before you comment.

    9. Not every Willi person is overweight or lazy. Riding bikes is more dangerous than walking or driving. Willi kids need their father too, please do not ask them to ride bikes unless you do the same.

    10. With respect to the Hasidic religon, Brooklyn, NY seventy or so years ago offered the Hasidic faith and community a place to grow. Trying to remain encapsulated in a city as diverse as New York, in a borrough as diverse as Brooklyn is gonna be an uphill battle. I’ve pedalled through there for a decade/plus and I’ve always tried to be respectful. Times change, and as they do so the Hasidic section of Williamsburg will have to change, hopefully in a bearable direction for all parties involved.

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