Bike lanes a go! — New path will help cyclists cross Gowanus, backers say

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Cycling from Park Slope to the Columbia Street Waterfront District is about to get a whole lot easier.

Community Board 6 voted unanimously to approve a city plan to roll out a path for two-wheelers on Sackett Street that would connect to an existing Park Slope route and cross the Gowanus Canal on Union Street — giving bikers a safer ride from the brownstone enclave to Van Brunt Street.

“It’s an excellent, carefully thought-out plan,” said board chair and avid bike rider Daniel Kummer, adding that the new route will improve connectivity between the two neighborhoods.

The Sackett Street bike path will begin at the foot of a lane that runs from Grand Army Plaza to Third Avenue, via Lincoln Place and Degraw Street. From there, the route will extend to Nevins Street, bypass the canal by way of the Union Street Bridge, then swing back to Sackett Street on a straight shot until it hits the water.

The Union Street Bridge will be turned into a two-way cycling conduit, supplementing an existing Park Slope-bound bike bath by replacing a marked off painted section of the roadway with a westbound route for two-wheelers.

The bridge — which currently accommodates a single lane of Park Slope-bound automotive traffic — will remain one-way for cars.

Bike boosters are thrilled about the new travel prospect, saying that the new path, which a Department of Transportation spokesman said is slated for July, is much needed in an area that lacks bike lanes in both directions.

“Just as cars need access in multiple directions, so do bikes. The Union Street bike lane offers safe access from Carroll Gardens to Park Slope, but currently there is no viable option for a return trip,” said Cobble Hill resident Dave Paco Abraham, who added that the Degraw Street westbound bike lane is an incomplete path.

“Adding Sackett Street’s lane to the mix changes that formula drastically and reduces the time a rider must spend out of a bike lane and potentially in danger,” he said.

Bike rider Eric McClure of Park Slope hailed the bike plan that will give cyclists a safe way to skirt the fetid canal.

“Adding the contra flow lane on [the Union Street Bridge] adds an important missing piece to central Brooklyn’s bike network, since it’s the only place for cyclists to cross the Gowanus Canal westbound for several blocks to the north or south,” he said. “There’s a significant amount of bike traffic between Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, and the new lane really helps facilitate that.”

The new bike plan also includes the extension of Union Street’s existing eastbound bike lane by three blocks, from Henry Street to Van Brunt Street.

Community Board 6 also approved the installation of an on-street bike corral in a current truck-loading zone in front of Union Street’s Rose Water restaurant, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The O-shaped racks, which can accommodate up to eight bikes, was requested by Rose Water’s owner and will take up just half of a parking space when the loading zone gets shifted, said DOT officials.

However, the board unanimously voted against a proposed Columbia Street bike corral, because it would have nixed a parking spot on the block between Degraw and Kane streets. The plan gained unanimous approval from the board’s transportation committee last month.

The bike rack would have been installed in front of the headquarters of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative — the group behind a planned 14-mile landscaped cycling route linking Greenpoint and Sunset Park, which requested the corral.

“I don’t see the current need for bike parking usage that would justify removing a parking space on a stretch of Columbia Street,” said Kummer. “It can be a very difficult place to park.”

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at
Updated 10:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Park Slope says:
This is a great step forward. Getting across the Gowanus will be much easier. Thanks CB6!
May 10, 2013, 8:10 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
This is great, but what does the photo have to do with the article?
May 10, 2013, 8:23 am
boof from brooklyn says:
But... 10 bikes fit where one car does. A bike corral would make it easier to find parking, not harder.
May 10, 2013, 8:40 am
Martin from Cobble Hill says:
How does for a bike corral get rejected after it has received unanimous support from a committee? Our community boards are messed up.

Kummer is wrong. If I can find a secure place to park my bike, I won't take my car which means more parking for him!
May 10, 2013, 9:04 am
jason from cobble hill (kane st) says:
We have a greenway, a very popular destination restaurant, and no place to park our bikes on this block. And residents certainly don't appreciate cyclists locking to their gates.

You cannot argue that trading a single spot that serves one driver for a spot that serves at least a dozen cyclists isn't a benefit to the community.
May 10, 2013, 2:02 pm
Stacy Sackwit from Pork Slop says:
This is idiotic only because it makes 'official' what cyclists have been doing for ** DECADES **...

That's fine but some of the morons need to pay attention and realize ** NOT ** every bike lane is two-way.

Just like the jerkoffs in their cars trying to K-turn there away in the middle of Union Street (thanks Co-Op Patrons!!!), try driving around the block... they all connect, eventually.
May 10, 2013, 3:35 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"This is great, but what does the photo have to do with the article?"

It does show a cyclist going the wrong way, which shows more proof how defiant bike zealots like your fellow Streetsbloggers happen to be.
May 12, 2013, 12:12 pm
Not Tal from Brooklyn says:
Yes, I'm sure that delivery guy is a regular Streetsblog reader.
May 12, 2013, 2:49 pm
ty from pps says:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (Laughing at you, Tal.)
May 12, 2013, 5:43 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Thank you ty for proving to me that you are nothing but an overgrown child and your alter ego does no better.
May 12, 2013, 8:44 pm
ty from pps says:
May 13, 2013, 9:04 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
and Tal

you obsession with commenting on things you don't understand and don't affect you is norman? Get a life!
May 13, 2013, 12:39 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Actually, I do have a life outside outside the internet. However, I can't say the same for you especially when you are commenting in the middle of a work day while those such as myself have actual jobs. Other Michael, you are really describing yourself here, not me. Perhaps, it's you and your buddy ty that need to get lives especially with all those personal attacks you guys keep making.
May 13, 2013, 5:45 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

Why are you so concerned with the bike lanes in Brooklyn. Really.

and from far away and irrelevant to me Pleasantville you are continually speaking up on ways to make my neighborhood less safe for me and my children. Yea, I am gonna attack you.
May 13, 2013, 9:44 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, threats just don't work on Israelis, and you will understand why my kind didn't concede to any form of fear be it terrorists or just anyone who is just a naysayer.
May 14, 2013, 7 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
May 15, 2013, 4:52 am
Mustache Pete from Fort Greene says:
Other Michael and Ty: Tal is right in one respect. Grow up and be better than him. This is really tiresome. You love instigating as much as Tal does. Why do you bother with the troll? No one actually listens to him. I'm not even sure that he's an actual person.

One reason I'm not sure that Tal is real: my Israeli friends laugh when I show these links. They say he's a caricature of paranoid hate-mongers they moved from Israel to get away from.

So Tal, if you are for real, I'm very sorry that the last round of medications didn't work out for you. Please don't give up -- try another psychiatrist. Talk therapy with actual human beings, rather than just raving on the Internet, can also help.
May 15, 2013, 12:39 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mustache Pete, I don't demand anyone who doesn't agree with me to be silenced or censored. If anything, it's the other way around. Also, I don't make any personal attacks on those that choose to disagree with me as well. If you don't like what I am saying, then simply don't read it, because nobody is forcing you to do so. Unfortunately, to some of the bike zealots, that's too mature for them, and they like to act like little kids, which is why they act that way on bicycles. Overall, if anyone is trolling here, it's them, not me. On a side note, I am not online 24-7 like some of you are, and I suggest some of you either take some decaff or get an actual job like I do.
May 15, 2013, 3:21 pm
Mustache Pete from Fort Greene says:
No one's demanding that you be silent or censored, Tal. If you're going to make provocative statements, be prepared for push bac -- develop a thicker skin and learn to take it like you dish it out. Otherwise, go upstairs and cry to your mommy.
May 15, 2013, 8:40 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

I don't want you to go away because I simply disagree,

I want you to go away because you have no knowledge of the issues that you comment on. Yes, you are allowed to have an opinion, but it is mostly based on misinformation.

Also, bike lanes and traffic patterns in Brooklyn don't affect you. They affect my safety and the safety of my family.

So yes, Tal. Be silent.
May 17, 2013, 4:35 am
Gary from Gowanus says:
"Yes, I'm sure that delivery guy is a regular Streetsblog reader."

Not taking sides here but it does look like the delivery guy is the one going in the correct direction.
May 23, 2013, 11:40 am

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