City holds Bushwick Bike Lanes Workshop at Silent Barn on May 9

City seeks artsy cyclists to help plan new Bushwick bike lanes

Taking a ride: Bicyclists ride down Myrtle Avenue in Bushwick. The city will give riders a chance to say where they would like new bike lanes at a workshop this weekend.
The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Talk about street cred!

The city is hoping to get Brooklyn’s bohemian set buzzing about bike safety this weekend by hosting a workshop at a hip Bushwick artist collective, where attendees will get a say on where to place new bike lanes in the neighborhood.

Running the event out of Silent Barn, which is better known for staging weird art shows and avant-garde music concerts, will help the Department of Transportation to connect with a young crowd that often does not get a voice in important city decisions, said organizers.

“The Silent Barn is an institution and they will be able to get a lot of different opinions there,” said artist Sam Polcer, who takes photo portraits of cyclists for his blog Preferred Mode, and will be on hand to offer free snaps of attendees with their rides.

Silent Barn, which is on Bushwick Avenue between Melrose and Jefferson streets, agreed to lend the city its space — and artsy authenticity — because it wants to make improving the neighborhood a larger part of its mission, said the creative cooperative’s community outreach coordinator Andrew McFarland.

There are currently a handful of bike lanes in Bushwick, but the neighborhood is still lacking adequate cycling space along many crucial and heavily-used routes, said Polcer. For instance, the bike lane on Myrtle Avenue — one of the only direct east-west routes in the neighborhood — is in the middle of a driving lane and its painted markings have faded, making it only marginally safer for cyclists than regular roads, he said.

“I would love a protected bike lane on Myrtle Avenue or on any major thoroughfa­re,” said Polcer, who is also the communication manager for Bike New York, an education and advocacy group.

Many Silent Barn volunteers and regulars would like to see a bike lane running right past the building’s front door, McFarland said.

“It can get pretty hairy out there on Bushwick and we want people to be able to get here safely,” he said.

One frequent Bushwick-bound bicyclist said she is excited to take part in the workshop and give her two cents on how to make the neighborhood a safer place for two-wheeling.

“The more bike lanes there are, the more cyclists use them, the less cars there are, and that alone unclogs roads,” said Clara Flores, who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant and rides through Bushwick at least three times a week. “The infrastructure needs to make more sense. It has to function like a body, like arteries need capillaries to work.”

The city, which is expecting about 75 riders to attend the workshop, has previously held similar workshops in southern Brooklyn and in the northern hinterlands of Queens, and plans to host more in the future.

Bushwick Bike Lanes Workshop at Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Ave. between Melrose and Jefferson streets in Bushwick, May 9 from 2–5 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

bkmanhatman from nubrucklyn says:
THis sounds great but I fear the Hassids will try to impose their ways on this.
May 8, 2015, 7:29 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I bike through south Williamsburg a lot and there's hardly a cuter scene than all the little kids riding their bikes.
May 8, 2015, 10:43 am
Jaime from Broadway Triangle says:
It is not just hipsters who need protected bike lanes. Just look around the Broadway Triangle. All the employees at the hospitals and and other institutions, plus residents of the affordable housing sites clustered around the Triangle, need safe bike routes too. As the subway and buses are getting more and more expensive, a bike becomes a smart ride for the wallet.
May 8, 2015, 11:35 am
TOM from Brooklyn says:
More bike lanes = more cyclists = less cars. Interesting logic. Does it also apply to trucks?

Will NYCDOT be scheduling a follow-on workshop with the grown-up's?
May 8, 2015, 12:56 pm
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
What the hell are you talking about? Cycling is a mode of personal transportation. Most cars on the road are personal transportation. Safer/better infrastructure makes various modes of transportation more attractive. Better/safer bike infrastructure makes cycling a more viable option for people (many of whom currently prefer driving their single-occupant cars). Get it?

Why do you think trucks and other commerical vehicles have anything to do with transportation infrastructure?
May 8, 2015, 1:17 pm
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
Does TOM stand for Tragically Oblivious Man?
May 8, 2015, 1:18 pm
ty from pps says:
you can always ride on on the sidewalk if it gets too crowded in the street
May 8, 2015, 1:45 pm
BK Bike Mom says:
It's his trustfund he can spend it how he wants to.
May 8, 2015, 8:29 pm
Ellis from Brownsville says:
Who cares about all the homeless black children who've been franchised out of their homes & neighborhoods. As long as hipsters have a bike lane, all is great in Brooklyn
May 10, 2015, 4:29 pm
Ellis from Brownsville says:
I hate white people and blame them for all my problems.
May 11, 2015, 8:35 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Look the mooks and the welfare queens had their chance to make something of this borough and they blew it. They turned it into a sewer. Today Brooklyn belongs to us, and we're improving it. And there's nothing anyone can do about that. You snooze you looze.
May 11, 2015, 9:53 am
Nancy from Bikeville says:
I love this idea. Could work for a lot of people.

As per the comments about the hood, remember who lived here first. It was the first suburb for the rich white folk in Manhattan. Eventually others pushed out, it got dirty, nasty and dangerous, but time pushed them further and now it's back to clean and safe.

Now, let's have bikes for everyone who lives here, regardless of SES. It just makes sense.
May 11, 2015, 10:04 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I would rather not have a bike lane on Myrtle Avenue in the fact that is a major thoroughfare. Doing this can cause a problem for commercial vehicles that will constantly be using them. In all honesty, it's best not to have a bike lane on this street. As for Jimmy, I feel that you need to take a Snickers bar, because you probably get pretty hostile when you're hungry.
May 11, 2015, 3:24 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Alright y'all scoot now skeet. Get off my stoop. Bikes will roll, and butts will be bounced, and there's not a dang thang anyone can do about it.
May 11, 2015, 5:15 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I can't stop farting, oops, that was a shart!
May 13, 2015, 3:49 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: