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Wanted: bike lane

The Brooklyn Paper
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Editor’s note: We received a remarkably high volume of mail regarding the controversy over a city plan to eliminate one lane of traffic in each direction on Ninth Street and replace them with left-turn bays and install bike lanes on each side of the street. Virtually every letter was in favor of the city plan.

• • •

To the editor,

My family applauds the Department of Transporta­tion’s plan to install bike lanes on Ninth Street in Park Slope (“Ninth Street freezeout: Neighbor vs. neighbor on bike lane plan,” April 21).

As car-free residents of Park Slope, we use our bikes for transportation, not just recreation, and we depend on the safety of bike lanes for protection from the increasing crush of city traffic. We cannot allow the parochial interests of a few Ninth Street residents to stand in the way of an enlightened project that would benefit everyone.

David Alquist, Park Slope

• • •

To the editor,

I am a Park Slope resident who uses Ninth Street frequently, both as a bicycle commuter and as a motorist.

My morning [bicycle] commute is a dangerous one, as I try to squeeze by in the right lane, avoiding suddenly opening doors and frequently double-parked cars.

I also use Ninth Street as my driving route to the Brooklyn– Battery Tunnel. The wide street is the only sure way to be able to pass by garbage trucks and delivery trucks that usually clog the adjacent side streets.

The city plan for a single travel lane and left turn lanes will greatly alleviate this speeding problem, making the route safer for everyone.

Roger Westerman, Park Slope

• • •

To the editor,

I understand a motorist’s frustration when his car is stuck behind a cyclist on a narrow street. But as a cyclist, I’m frustrated, too. I don’t enjoy being stressed out by a driver bearing down on me and honking the horn.

We need to put bike lanes on streets like Ninth Street that are large enough to safely accommodate both bikes and cars, which may actually help minimize the number of bikes on the more narrow streets.

The fear that a bike lane will encourage bike riding is well founded. Of course it will. But what’s to fear? Bike riding is healthy, efficient and non-polluting. Biking should be encouraged and bikes need safe routes throughout the city.

Christina Kelly, Cobble Hill

• • •

To the editor,

Kudos to Nica Lalli for seeing the light at the end of the bike lane (“One driver for the bike lane,” Park Slope Edition, April 21). It’s encouraging that the Department of Transportation sees the lanes as a non-negotiable safety enhancement as a response to the community’s concerns growing out of the Dizzy’s crash in 2005.

Steven O’Neill, Prospect Hts

• • •

To the editor,

As a bicycle commuter who rides about 10 miles each way from Mill Basin to Lower Manhattan, I am strongly in favor of bike lanes and traffic-calming measures on Ninth Street that will make the street safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

This street is heavily used by recreational users (joggers, cyclists, roller bladers, walkers) in Prospect Park and bicycle commuters, and therefore it is logical for the city to make Ninth Street more hospitable to these types of users.

Even though I do own a car and sometimes drive on Ninth Street, I believe it is important that street designs take into account the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, etc., and not just the needs of automobiles.

Murray Lantner, Mill Basin

• • •

To the editor,

The proposed plan for Ninth Street will enhance safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, while adding turning lanes for vehicle to allow for the more orderly flow of traffic. There is simply no downside to this plan.

Gary Eckstein, Park Slope

• • •

To the editor,

I’m thrilled to see the plan to get Ninth Street organized. Simply crossing the street is a nerve-racking experience when you hear a reving engine from a block away.

No doubt the parents of all the kids now in strollers will appreciate the added safety as they start riding bikes together.

Katie Gallagher, Park Slope

• • •

To the editor,

Improvements like this encourage people to get around in a more healthy way and raise public awareness about cycling and the presence of cyclists on the streets, and their calming effect improves safety for everyone.

Ed Throckmorton, Park Slope

Updated 4:28 pm, July 9, 2018
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