City: New fencing will defuse bike path ‘bombing zone’

The Brooklyn Paper
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The city says it will build a fence to stop brick-tossing teens from pelting cyclists riding along a popular Fort Greene bike route — but some pedalers say much more needs to be done before they’ll brave the path again.

The Department of Transportation plans to install a tall, curved fence over a footbridge that connects the Whitman and Ingersoll houses on Navy Street between Tillary Street and Myrtle Avenue.

Last year, teens threw rocks, bricks, bottles, apples and golf balls off the footbridge, hitting at least six cyclists taking the bike path below that links Fort Greene to the Manhattan Bridge. One bicyclist, a resident of Park Slope, was hit in the face with a brick — leaving him with a cracked helmet and a deep cut to his cheek.

An 18 inch-tall inward-curved mesh barrier will be installed on top of the fence — much like the one on the Manhattan Bridge bike lane — to stop anything from being thrown over the footbridge, a Department of Transportation spokesman said, explaining that the fence, which will be much taller than the one that’s already there, should be in place by the end of the month.

Cyclists — especially those who were injured at the site — said they were happy the city is focusing on the problem, but find the new fence an “incomplete solution.”

“The city doesn’t fully understand what’s going on,” said Stephen Arthur, the cyclist who was hit with a brick last August. “Let’s get this done the right way.”

Arthur says the city’s new fence should extend beyond the footbridge and line the stairs leading up to the bridge to completely block spots where teens can “bomb” bikers.

He also wants a separate ground-level fence — which separates the public housing complex from the street — taken down because it provides bike bombers with an easy getaway route, and is demanding the city hang signs indicating that throwing anything off the footbridge is a crime.

“More measures should be taken,” he said. “They need to give this more thought — we don’t want this to happen again.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:29 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

manposeur from Portlyn Lakes Park says:
The housing police should patrol the bridge or have some stationed there.
Jan. 3, 2012, 8:09 am
milquetoast from williamsburg says:
The stone throwers could still "lob" bricks if the fence is not fully enclosed. and and as Stephen Arthur stated they could still throw rocks from the side. Just a incomplete patch to address the problem
Jan. 3, 2012, 9:24 am
S from PPW says:
Many thanks to Stephen for his persistence on this issue. Keep it up!
Jan. 3, 2012, 9:28 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Interesting that those opposing bike lanes are technically making the City less safe, whereas bike lanes, well, ahem, the proof is in the pudding:
Jan. 3, 2012, 9:58 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Now it's not just passive resistance to making the City safer. By throwing rocks, vandalizing bike lanes and harassing cyclists, anti-cyclists are now actively resisting making the City safer.

Sounds like a clear quality-of-life violation to me. Anyone else?
Jan. 3, 2012, 9:59 am
Steve O from Prospect Heights says:
Good to see you on your bike, Steve A., and thanks for all your work on this.
Jan. 3, 2012, 10:20 am
adamben from bedstuy says:
i think that it is schumers wife harassing bikers.
Jan. 3, 2012, 10:58 am
adamben from bedstuy says:
seriously, put some cameras up there; it's not rocket science.
Jan. 3, 2012, 10:58 am
Fuzzbee from Prospect height says:
i am glad that all these thankful nets are up so that my head won't be hurting never ever around here! the are peopke jerks that throwing thin over the fence all the time end i am not to stand for it NOMORE!111!!!! these are the jerks and they should be getting A TICKIT!!!
Jan. 3, 2012, 12:44 pm
Pete from Park slope says:

How about police parking there, how about some
police actually patrolling there , including housing Polic=Oh wait, that's real work.
Jan. 3, 2012, 12:49 pm
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
my observation has been that it is Tweens not teens doing this (just like it was a tween that threw the Target shopping cart off the parking garage walkway in E. Harlem.)
Jan. 3, 2012, 1:43 pm
Ken from ppw. says:
solution: stop riding bikes start using cars etc. paying insurance, registration, auto shop fees etc. just bring the economy to a better shape....
Jan. 3, 2012, 1:51 pm
S from PPW says:
Ken, with all the money I save riding my bike, I can afford to pump more money into the local economy instead of paying it to Saudi Arabia.

Ride a bike and you might be able to afford to go out to dinner in your local neighborhood more often.
Jan. 3, 2012, 2:14 pm
ty from pps says:
Ken -- I *really* hope you were being ironic or sarcastic or something else that did not translate on the internet.
Jan. 3, 2012, 2:38 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Why do you ruin your valid point? Really. Either you don't really support bike lanes or you do but can't control yourself and thus are an obstacle to its further adoption. Is your hate worth it? Is your immaturity?
Jan. 3, 2012, 6:59 pm
sim from astoria says:
anyone else think that killing kids is wrong?
Jan. 3, 2012, 9:11 pm
unibridgetour from williamsburg says:
We crossed this bridge last February.
Jan. 4, 2012, 8:17 am
Sam from BK says:
Ken youdont make any sense with your comment. Why did you waste your time posting it?
Jan. 4, 2012, 1:47 pm
E from Fort Greene says:
As a biker, I am all for protecting our safety. But, the fence along Ashland/Navy is to keep the pedestrians and children in public housing safe from the fast cars barreling down that street. There's basically a highway running through the housing complex. It needs to be fenced off.
Jan. 4, 2012, 2:31 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
That is an excellent point, E from Ft. Greene. Thank you.
Jan. 5, 2012, 1:41 am
Bk Gentrifier from Fort Green says:
I am in one of new developments and have watched them throw rocks several times. Its not even teenagers, its a group of project kids in age rage of 6-10 years old. By the time anyone stops they disappear into the projects. They also throw rocks at cars at Myrtle and Ashland right in plan view of everyone. As soon as car stops they are gone. Cameras are all over The Andrea, New CVS and University Towers.
Jan. 5, 2012, 9:33 am
Thursday says:
maybe they read some of the things you all say about them...or are getting bad vibes.

Children, even "project children" are good at detecting bad vibes.
Jan. 5, 2012, 1:01 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Thursday, maybe. I'm inclined to agree that project children are precocious and perceptive. We all need some perspective, but not the type that excuses this type of behavior. Mind you, my mom lives in the Taylor-Wythe Houses and my sis lived in the Williamsburg houses, so I feel you, but that does not give anyone the right to launch rocks, bricks or any other potentially murderous items at passing cyclists.
Jan. 5, 2012, 2:58 pm
CBS TV Video from NYC says:
Brooklyn Cyclist, Victim Of Brick Attack, Speaks Out
Stephen Arthur's Case Is Just One Of Many That Have Been Unresolved
Jan. 8, 2012, 9:27 am
Brooklyn News 12 from Brooklyn says:
video of biker hit by brick in face, speaks out
Jan. 8, 2012, 10:07 am
chomskyzinn from Downtown Brooklyn says:
Meta-Brooklyn, meet the Real Brooklyn. Perhaps the best solution would be to increase foot traffic near that bridge. Maybe an artesanal slow food eaterie (alert Chowhound!) and a Starbucks with wifi would do the trick. Perhaps Frankies Sputino Northeast. Or how about this: the bridge could be used for performance art depicting the oppressed plight of the denizens of Whitman and Ingersoll (though with performers from Julliard).

Have lived in this benighted boro my whole life. I got news for you: Brooklyn happens.

Anyway, I am far more menaced --- and I bet the statistics support this --- by entitled, hyper-aggressive gentrifiers on bikes, who think they own the streets, than I am by a 1 in 10 trillion chance I'll ever be hit by a brick.
Feb. 6, 2012, 12:52 pm

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