Burgers: City ‘Kent’ get it right

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The city unveiled its latest Kent Avenue bike lane plan — this time seeking to bring peace to warring bicyclists, motorists and business owners — but Williamsburg’s inland residents claim the new proposal only makes matters worse.

The Department of Transporta­tion’s new plan, presented last Wednesday night, would turn the currently two-way, truck-heavy avenue into a one-way, northbound street — with a protected two-way bike lane on the waterfront side of the roadway.

The agency says its proposal — which could be implemented as early as July — would reduce speeding on Kent Avenue and restore more than 200 parking spaces and loading zones. The department’s bid to end the fighting over the bike lane that began six months ago when newly painted lanes replaced hundreds of badly needed parking spaces and truck loading zones on both sides of Kent Avenue.

The current proposal would divert southbound truck traffic off Kent Avenue at North 14th Street — where the one-way section of the thoroughfare would begin. The detoured trucks would turn south on Wythe Avenue for three blocks until North 11th Street, where signs would direct the trucks to veer east towards an existing truck route on Union Avenue.

As a result, some inland Williamsburg residents fear that Wythe Avenue would become a big-rig highway.

“It’s mayhem!” said Williamsburg activist Stephanie Eisenberg. “With all of these new residential communities, how are you going to reactivate a truck route?

“If the bike lanes are the tipping point, you should get rid of one of them,” she added.

Grand Street resident Tim Main agreed.

“Kent Avenue is a natural thoroughfa­re,” said Main, who called for two-way traffic on Kent and a one-way bike lane. “Closing it down to traffic in one direction would be like closing the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in one direction.”

But Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner David Woloch insisted that the current proposal is the best solution for the neighborhood’s cyclists, motorists and business owners.

“Right now we have a situation on Kent Avenue that is not working,” he said. “We think far and away this is the plan that has the most wins for everybody and the fewest losses.”

Some people at the crowded meeting agreed on the need for a two-way bike lane on the waterfront side of the street, which would become part of the proposed Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, an uninterrupted cycling and walking path that would stretch from Greenpoint to Sunset Park.

“It defines the space so the community can anticipate and start to make room for [the Greenway],” said Greenway Director of Planning Milton Puryear. “It’s a much more informed approach.”

The new proposal has also found a surprising ally among factions of South Williamsburg’s Satmar community — groups that took early and aggressive stances against the Kent Avenue lanes when they were installed last fall.

“You’ve got to give and take,” said former bike-lane opponent Leo Moskowitz. “If the bikers and the business owners are accommodated, it’s a win-win.”

Updated 5:13 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Bob from Williamsburg says:

A special thanks for Williamsburg activist and candidate Isaac Abraham for working for our community for the last 35 years especially this bike lane issue for the last 7 months this is a perfect example
How he is dedicating his time and afford so everybody will be happy biker. residents and business owners, we need people like you, we wish your a lots of luck at your campaign!!!
June 4, 2009, 5:34 pm
Len from Greenpoint says:
Wow… this is a big accomplishment….. thanks guys for all your hard work may god bless you,
June 4, 2009, 5:37 pm
Jeff from Brooklyn says:
I know this community for a long time they really know how to fight city hall, I give Mr. Isaac Abraham my vote….he is a big fighter for a long time we need him in office, keep up your good job!!!!!!!!
June 4, 2009, 5:42 pm
Jo from Greenpoint says:
This time it’s a smart move from the Williamsburg community they like to live in peace with the rest of the neighbors...........
June 4, 2009, 5:46 pm
Linda from Kent Av. says:
I am a cyclist I love this idea I hope this is in process for this summer so I and my friends will enjoy it to ride this summer like we ride for the last couple of years.
We always like the Williamsburg community for there hard and good work!! Just keep it up!!!
June 4, 2009, 5:54 pm
Justine from Williamsburg says:
The new route crosses over 5 avenues , one of them being Bedford avenue ? Oh my! What about McCarren Park being one block away from a right turn at a complicated intersection? It sounds dangerous. Why not have the southbound trucks go down Wythe avenue? That sounds safer, and more direct! Dear Lord, the people that deliver the bread from Greepoint to our restaurant on Williamsburg's southside will have to drive way out of their way a good ways further. Wow . This plan is REALLY not good enough.
Scrap it.
June 4, 2009, 8:31 pm
tony from williamsburg says:
hey this abraham he sais he has been around he says 35 years .his voice is only when their is some publicity .hey abraham beside allways a big mouth to all our politicians. pls tell us how many peolple you have helped all these years ,without making sure to go to the press & to bash some guy .
June 4, 2009, 8:32 pm
resident from brooklyn says: County:1/m:hyb:13:40.721002:-73.955226:0:::::/io:0:::::f:EN:M:/e
June 4, 2009, 8:48 pm
Steav from greenpoint says:
This is a much better idea. Bravo. And isn't Wythe Avenue already a southbound truck route? It runs parallel to Kent so what's the problem?
June 4, 2009, 11:51 pm
Jim from williamsburg says:
I like this plan a lot. It will be safer for the bikers and will give us more parking. Brilliant! Furthermore, this will discourage the commercial traffic from using that route. Truth is, Kent is no longer the commercial are it once was. Lots of factories have closed and many houses/condos came up in its place; yet it's still used as a pathway to get to other commercial areas. Making it a one lane will probably change all that. Looking forward to this!
June 4, 2009, 11:53 pm
Bob from Williamsburg says:
Tony I feel your pain... it happens to be as of today the polls are very high for Isaac Abraham he is neck and neck with Joan Simon, he is having a very big chance big time !!!
And by the way the press likes him very munch, he knows how to handle it very well, and the community likes him too, so he is getting our full support and hopefully becoming our next city councilmen at 33rd district……
June 5, 2009, 12:14 am
Meredith from Williamsburg says:
If you lived on N 11th or N 14th street in 11211 , you would be really pissed off. If you wanted to move a truck of material , bread, produce, livestock, art, etc from Greenpoint, you would be pretty mad to drive a mile and a half out of the way to get to south side Williamsburg , Navy Yard, BQE ... It is a danger to a steady flow of McCarren Park goers (children,pets,bicyclists, teams of soccer players) Most distracted by the park, and already in a crazily under-marked set of converging thoroughfares. Motorcyclists,truck and cars are driving like demons to get to and thru the park. If you drive, you know how the right turn onto N 11th street off of Roebling st comes up on you fast. Imagine a truck or two that is waiting to turn onto Union avenue. Even with stoplights, the trucks will have to cross over 5 avenues , the biggest being Bedford avenue.
I think the plan sucks. I think the trucks should parallel the route down Wythe avenue , or stay how it is, untill a different plan is come up with.
June 5, 2009, 9:04 am
Jay from Greenpoint says:
Meredith.. You right this time, in the other hand the way its now is out of the question, the business on Kent av. Can’t get deliveries and pick ups, business are loosing a lots of money and the same time getting tickets every day, residence don’t have any parking at all if you lucky to find one it will be 5-6 blocks away, children can’t be picket up at the side walk there is the bike lane school buses are just trying to fallow the law by not steeping on the bike lane that’s really dangers!!
So I think we got to give a chance for DOT and see if its going to work out as the plan goes, on White Av. Are going already trucks its sounds ok, some people don’t like that but this is the city of NY you can please everybody……hopefully its going to work out just fine I think…..
June 5, 2009, 11:59 am
Dovya from Williamsburg says:
Sacrifice the bike lane, if need be. The plan is wholly unfair to residents of North Williamsburg's residential streets, and people that are getting to the park. Plus, the trucks would have to cross over too many busy avenues (Bedford avenue pedestrian and car traffic could not safely absorb the extra truck traffic.) The intersection of Union ave & N. 11th will be a death trap. Kent has always been a highway for truck traffic, and should remain so.
June 5, 2009, 12:57 pm
Nick from Brooklyn says:
Dovya….. Don’t you get it the way Kent Av. is now is not an option!!!!! DOT is really trying very hard for everybody business, residence, Etc and special to get back parking, don’t you thing Kent Av. As of now is a dangers zone!!!!! Trucks and trailers are zooming 55 mph like an highway? The only solution well be to take away the bike lane and get back Kent Av. Like it use to bee,
June 5, 2009, 4:02 pm
Matth from Greenpoint says:
You're right. Bikers, walkers, car owners all happy? That's a first.......
June 5, 2009, 4:11 pm
ms nomer from greenburg says:
Blame the Bloomberg administration for rolling out the red carpet for residential development everywhere, without plans to support existing manufacturing zones and businesses, and the truck routes that they depend on. Instead, the administration has encouraged condo development everywhere, causing major problems for street users of every stripe as neighborhoods have been transformed from industrial to luxury-residential without any serious planning to handle impacts on all street users.

Bloomberg's going to have to get real about truck traffic, which isn't going away at ALL -- quite the opposite.

Fighting over trucks on one street or another is naive; we're experiencing trucks-gone-wild as it is. Where's Mayoral Candidate Bloomberg telling DOT, DSNY and NYPD to step it up and deal with truck traffic in a coordinated, smart, forward-thinking way?

I guess it's just easier to pit communities against each other. Typical.
June 5, 2009, 4:20 pm
Mark from Greenpoint says:
Ms Nomer is right. Arguing over which street should get used doesn't address the real issue of truck traffic. Whatever is decided will be a temporary distraction from the City doing any real work on the problem. I live on what would look like a typical Brookyln "residential" street and big trucks use it all the time. Are there any rules in place for this? Yes. Does the city care or enforce it? No.
June 5, 2009, 6:05 pm
hank from greenpoint says:
Funny I have a car and have to pay the city a fee for my car to have it in new york and use the roads, and a biker does not pay a penny to use the roads. Let the bikers pay a fee for the city roads for there bikes to make things a little even. Now I have to go out of my way with a truck and I pay thru the noise. Its very unfair.
June 5, 2009, 7:39 pm
hank from greenpoint says:
Funny I have a car and have to pay the city a fee for my car to have it in new york and use the roads, and a biker does not pay a penny to use the roads. Let the bikers pay a fee for the city roads for there bikes to make things a little even. Now I have to go out of my way with a truck and I pay thru the noise. Its very unfair.
June 5, 2009, 7:39 pm
teresa from greenpoint says:
Hank from Greenpoint:

Cyclists' and walkers' taxes go towards street maintenance too. Careful what you wish for: if cyclists and walkers started demanding their own money's worth from city streets, drivers would have even less of a say, since walking trumps every other transportation type in this city. (Almost all of us walk, even if we bike, take transit or drive as well.)

Also, walking and biking cause next-to-no wear and tear on roads, while overweight trucks tear up our city streets and stress our bridges, not to mention the physical threat they represent to human bodies, even on sidewalks.

And for years, NY State and federal money has been directed more to road maintenance than to transit improvements, which would probably reduce road competition in less transit accessible parts of the city and make things easier for you as a driver. Don't start talking about what's unfair, it's a very slippery slope you're on.
June 5, 2009, 9:33 pm
John from Williamsburg says:
The plan has nothing to do with bicyclists or safety.
It is about the Satmars getting "their way" . They don't want the trucks on their densely populated streets anymore. Where will they park ? How will their multitudes of children get on and off the school buses? If they can achieve success
with this plan , it's another win for them , and NO ONE else.
Them and the 100 bicyclists that will use the route each day.
211 Ainslie street (at the senior center), Tuesday June 9 , at 6 pm. be there.
June 8, 2009, 11:05 am
Bob from williamsburg says:
John….I feel your pain!! You sound to be a very depress men!! This is about accomplishing everybody, business, residences, and bikers, on Kent Av. you don’t know what the real problem… the real problem is selfish people like you who don’t care about anything!! Business on Kent Av. are loosing a lots of money for the last 7 months especially with this slow economy time in the year, we can’t afford companies should closed down or total moving away from north Brooklyn, this means people will loose jobs Etc. YES the people in this community are fighting this ongoing problem for the last 7 months, and the way its now is not working at all so DOT is changing Kent Av. and will try if it works, they are willing to make adjustments if necessity, by the way the bikers are the winners they will have bike lanes/ greenway, the people in this community don’t riding on bikes at all!! We have a much bigger problem trucks and bikers are not stopping for the red flashers of the school buses at all!! People zooming 50 mph!! That’s a dangers avenue for everybody, this is the plan you like it or don’t!!
June 8, 2009, 2:14 pm
Joe from Greenpoint says:
Bob you are right…….I think it’s a perfect plan most of the people like it.. so I hope DOT will start implemented in month of July…..we all looking forward to have a nicer and better environment,
June 8, 2009, 2:45 pm
jay from Greenpoint says:
As a biker This is a very good plan I love it…..this Williamsburg community is a great community!!! We all going to have a good time this summer!!!
June 8, 2009, 4:21 pm
Larry from Greenpoint says:
i am a small business onwer on kent av. for the last 13 1/2 years i and the rest of the business are for the plan!! people don't know how hard it is ti do business today especially getting tickets for droping off and delvers Etc. we can't countinue doing business that way!! with out business its no business!! try to understand this excellent choice by DOT will change for the better, business,residance, and bikers etc. everybody will be happy at the same time....
June 8, 2009, 4:57 pm
Meredith from Williamsburg says:
I went to the CB1 meeting last night. Vincent Abate confirmed that it is "a done deal". No democracy allowed!
I think a class action lawsuit against the city, the DOT, and our own community board 1 , would be a good place to start. Why wait for the first fatality from this dangerous plan?
These streets won't hold a stopped fully loaded 18 wheeler because McCarren Park IS a swamp barely under the surface. The big condos that went up hit the water table at 15 feet. I see disaster on the near horizon , if the plan comes to be. Bloomberg can only see his myopic "legacy' in completing greenways and bike paths and not the safety of residents of North Brooklyn.
June 10, 2009, 10:23 am
Bob from Greenpoint says:
Meredith…just stop to complain this plan is in and ready to go stop being a selfish person don’t you see that 98 percent of people go for this plan, if you can live with it just move away………..maybe you will be a happy person…..
June 15, 2009, 11:42 am
Meredith from 11221 says:
First, learn how to spell check. Second , go —— yourself. I have lived in this apartment for fifteen years. 10 years longer than you knew to come and buy up properties around me to develop into your tacky , crappy condos.
10 percent and growing doesn't equal 98% ; even in your centrist world.
June 25, 2009, 11:01 pm
Ha! Good one. from 11211 says:
I wonder if Rabbi Leib Glanz , in one of his three closed door meetings with Deputy Mayor Sheekey, at the end of last year, were about this project. Stu Loesser himself declared that they were meetings about housing and transportation. They amount to Bloomberg currying favor with a big group of voters for his third run. The Satmars will put aside the red herring of scantily clad bicyclists zooming thru south Williamsburg , if they can get their parking back PLUS the bonus of getting less trucks rolling thru. Bloomberg's myopic vision for a Greenway in his legacy will be accomplished at any cost to communities. Some of us have a more valuable currency to exchange in how it is put in place. Votes.
June 25, 2009, 11:07 pm
Judy from 11211 says:
This is bull——. The trucks should be routed down Wythe. The plan to have them cross five avenues right by the park is asking for trouble. Wait til the first couple kids get clipped on their bikes. We'll see what happens then. I know who I'm voting for in the next election: Anyone But Bloomberg.
June 25, 2009, 11:18 pm
Blair from Greenpoint says:
Wow. Rare is it I can muster hatred for someone I've never met but Bob sounds like a totally ignorant, uninformed, self entitled piece of garbage, and for that i can make an exception. Where do you get off buddy boy? Calling my friend selfish? Clearly, from your postings, you're barely literate, so perhaps it's unfair of me to try and hold you to any sort of standard measured by logic and reason, but just a bit of common sense doesn't seem to be too much to ask, does it? We who live on and around N.11th are not selfish to want our streets to remain safe for us and our children and our dogs. We should not have to move to appease the Satmars or the bikers or jerks like you Bob.
June 25, 2009, 11:36 pm
David from 11211 says:
Why is this plan not being considered , as an improvement on the "improvement'? As is , the plan sucks. Look at this option, please.
June 26, 2009, 11:13 am

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