New Classon Avenue bike lane to be installed

Classon Avenue getting bike lane after thousands of people demand it

Brooklyn Paper
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The city will install a bike lane on Classon Avenue between Clinton Hill and Crown Heights where a bicyclist was killed last year, heeding the call of the more then 5,600 petitioners who demanded the safety measure after the tragic death.

A driver ran over and killed Crown Heights resident Lauren Davis as she pedaled down the street last year and her sister led a campaign for a bike lane shortly after. And the new peddler’s highway is a bittersweet first step in protecting other riders who use the stretch, she said.

“My initial response was crying, I just couldn’t believe it’s actually going to happen,” said Danielle Davis, who launched the petition in August. “I feel incredibly happy just to know that having a bike lane on Classon could help other families not have to endure the same loss, I would never want someone to have to go through what we have to go through.”

The Department of Transportation sent letters to Community Boards 2 and 3 in March telling them it is installing dedicated bike lanes on stretches of the one-way street that now have wide parking lanes from President to Union streets, Sterling Place to Dean Street, and Madison Street to Myrtle Avenue. Sharrows — markings designed to alert drivers to cyclists — will be painted on the two-lane spans for the remaining 11 of the street’s 28 blocks.

No parking spaces will be lost as a result of the changes, according to an agency spokeswoman.

The new lane won’t make much of a difference to drivers, but will help improve the safety of pedal pushers traveling down the street, according to the letter.

“The upgraded design will have little impact on drivers while helping maximize the visibility and right of way for cyclists,” it said.

Local community boards usually make a recommendation on plans for new bike lanes, but this proposal will not go before Community Board 2 because it had already voted to endorse the space for riders in 2012. The Clexy Block Association — which covers Classon, Lexington, and Quincy avenues — had asked for traffic calming and a bike lane at the time, according to the advisory panel’s district manager, who said it won’t be voting again because it took its stance back then.

“We have no plans to do that because the community board has already taken a position,” said Rob Perris.

The full board voted to recommend the addition of a bike lane by a tally of 28–3 at its January 2012 meeting, he said.

Classon Avenue marks the border between Community Boards 2 and 3, but the bike lane would technically be on the Community Board 2 side of the street, according to Perris. Community Board 3 has not ruled out bringing up the matter for input and is still deciding whether it will hold a vote, said district manager Henry Butler.

Community boards are only advisory, however, and the Department of Transportation has the authority to make changes to the streets without first consulting locals.

The city withdrew its last proposal to build a bike lane in Clinton Hill after locals railed against plan to install one on Clinton Avenue at several heated public meetings.

But thousands of people have already made their voices heard by signing the petition in support of the cycling space, said one bike activist.

“I’d say it’s a misconception to say the DOT is doing this without input. There are 5,600 other people who are asking for improved safety on Classon Avenue,” said Luke Ohlson, who is the Brooklyn director for safe street advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.

He’s pumped that the street is finally getting a bike lane, but said the city should ditch the sharrows — once called “chevrons of death” by Brooklyn Paper Radio co-host Gersh Kuntzman — and put in separate space for riders.

“I have to say we’re disappointed it’s going to incorporate sharrows,” he said. “I think the space is adequate enough to allow for a class 2 bike lane. We know that will be a safer option we’d like to see that implemented.”

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 5:59 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Local from Brooklyn says:
This should be a protected lane.
May 12, 2017, 4 pm
another local from brooklyn says:
the headline should read:
Classon Avenue getting bike lane and thousands of entitled motorists will park in it.
May 12, 2017, 4:20 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
A bunch of "petitioners" that may, or may not, be actual people matter more than the folks that actually live there. Welcome to authoritarianism. Give the oh so tolerant left some power, and watch them turn into snarling dictators, yet again.
May 12, 2017, 6:50 pm
Winnie from Bed-Stuy says:
As someone who commutes daily on Classon, this is a great improvement. But dropping the lane in favor of sharrows is really unfortunate--these are all around the major intersections (Eastern, Atlantic, Fulton) which are the most difficult sections to navigate.
May 12, 2017, 6:59 pm
Jackson from Fort Greene says:
Dedicated bicycle lanes should always take precedent over parking.
May 13, 2017, 9:39 am
Bonnie from Bed Stuy says:
Why don't they dig an underground tunnel for the bicycles? They would be safer, and it would not affect parking at all.
May 13, 2017, 10:10 am
Morris from Williamsburg says:
Streets are for motion, not stationary objects.
May 13, 2017, 10:59 am
Linda from Greenpoint says:
Parked cars should be required to pay as much to occupy street space as dumpsters.
May 13, 2017, 12:27 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I would really like to know if those who petitioned for this are actually from that neighborhood and not a group of bike zealots just demanding for it from somewhere else. It's not a lie that those from Streetsblog and Transportation Alternatives have a history of flooding local community boards and other events just to push for what they want even if it's not their area just like Bleeding Kansas in trying to make it a slave state, and I suggest you research that to understand what I mean by that analogy. On a side note CBS 2's Emily Smith did a report about bike lanes and claims that many of them go unused for the most part and is creating traffic where there wasn't much before, and I suggest you click the link below and watch the video to understand on that.
May 13, 2017, 4:10 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Only people from the neighborhood or from random towns in Westchester may provide input on this bike lane.
May 13, 2017, 4:44 pm
Joshua from Fort Greene says:
@ Henry & Tal, Neighborhoods aren't gated communities.
May 13, 2017, 9:34 pm
Chris from Clinton Hill says:
Tal I live on this block (Lexington Ave) where she was hit, am I driver that only parks on the street and I was part of this petition. I can't believe I haven't been on this website in a very long time and yet he I see your same paragraph I've seen for years and years. Seriously what is your damage? Such a sad existence you must have.
May 14, 2017, 12:55 am
Ken from Fort Greene says:
The reason bikers are dying in accidents with cars is in part because the bikers are causing the accidents by not obeying the traffic rules. The streets were designed for cars and trucks, not bikes, yet Trans Alt and Streetblog and other lobbyists are trying to get cars and trucks off the streets altogether. Their fanaticism and control over the DOT are getting bikers like Loren Davis killed.
May 14, 2017, 1:48 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Chris, I just personally don't think that cyclists need a special infrastructure to get around, just follow the traffic laws and everything will be alright. I don't see what's wrong with that. Then again, bike zealots always have this belief that they are always holier than thou attitude in that rules don't apply to them. As much as you try to deny it, there is a call for cyclists to follow the rules. Sometimes, I feel the bike zealots miss the point as much as they keep on missing all the traffic lights and signs they keep riding through. As for Ken, I do agree that such groups should concentrate on getting their kind to follow the rules rather than constantly defy them. When the cyclists continue to do this, they are placing themselves into harm's way yet they still blame everyone but themselves for such things.
May 14, 2017, 3:17 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
See, when I was a wee pudgy turd I was picked on a lot. Mostly because of my weight problem but also because I was caught with my boner in our pet dog. These bike messengers made me ride my bike after they removed the seat. I was mad at first but I really liked the way the post felt in my anus. Then my mother caught me and punished me with a bowling pin. Many decades later and I'm still in her basement getting "pegged". And I blame the cyclists for everything I have failed in life.
May 14, 2017, 9:41 pm
Cyclist from Brooklyn says:
Tal, stop pretending you care about my wellbeing.
May 15, 2017, 8:33 am
Wesley from Brooklyn says:
Tal, Ken, it was proven that the lady killed there was obeying the traffic laws; now she's dead. Is that "alright" Tal? Cyclists break laws yes but so do drivers every bit as much. Only difference is drivers routinely maim and kill. The numbers have shown the majority of ped and cyclist deaths were mostly if not completely the fault of the driver. And no, these streets were not made for cars and trucks; they were made for people. These streets existed long before cars and trucks. In fact bicycles were using these streets many decades before your beloved automobiles.
May 15, 2017, 11:30 am
Ken from Greenpoint says:
why are must of bikers knuckleheads ?
May 15, 2017, 4:47 pm
Ken from Greenpoint says:
Why I no talk good computer time?
May 15, 2017, 4:52 pm
Boris from Bed-Stuy says:
I bike on Classon, past Lauren Davis's ghost bike, daily. With a painted bike lane, the street will be a little less terrifying.
May 15, 2017, 5:42 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
The more difficult it becomes to park, the more people with cars leave and quit coming.

I suspect many of the bike zealots can't afford cars. There is a jealousy factor to it.

If the city wants to run off one income bracket for a lower one, then go for it. They will be left with the wealthy and their minions of servants (who ride bikes).
May 15, 2017, 6:38 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
With the bike lane, bikers will magically follow all the rules of the road!
May 15, 2017, 8:32 pm
samir kabir from downtown says:
Perhaps if cyclists followed traffic laws, they would not get run over.
May 16, 2017, 6:36 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I suspect many of the car owners can't afford to live in the desirable dense urban and walkable neighborhoods, and so they resent bike lanes. There's a jealousy factor to it.
May 16, 2017, 7:57 am
Whiners with cars from Rent controlled basements says:
When will the bikers follow the rulez???!!!!?!?!?!?!!!11111111. This one time a bicyclist rang his bell at me and I was so terrified! And another one zipped past me on a 40lb. citibike and was nearly almost close to hitting me because I was standing on the street instead of the sidewalk where I should have waited for the light to change. I'm so scared and hateful but I park on the street for free!!!!11111!!11
May 16, 2017, 9:28 am
NN from Boerum Hill says:
This is a very good idea. I hope they'll also bring back the plan to add one on Clinton Avenue too.
May 16, 2017, 12:15 pm
Alan from Crown Heights says:

Brooklyn is far older than the automobile, so it is rank falsehood to claim the streets were designed for cars.

Why do you think it's so hard to park here?
May 16, 2017, 12:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Here are some recent letters from the Daily News about bike lanes, and please don't shoot the messenger, which happens to be me.

Pedaling politics

Manhattan: Voicer Greg Ahl asks, “When will someone in this administration make ending traffic congestion as important as bike lanes?” The answer: When the de Blasio administration stops yielding to a very strong bike lobby, Transportation Alternatives. While small businesses continue to close on the Upper East and West sides of Manhattan, where bike lanes were installed and pedestrians confront scofflaw bicyclists with little or no enforcement, none of our government officials have done anything to correct this. Quite the opposite. The majority of New Yorkers who walk, take public transportation and drive have seen our streetscape devolve into chaos and will hold the current administration responsible at election time. Winston Cooper

Wheely unfair

Brooklyn: I was not able to make it to a recent public hearing on protected bike lanes on Fourth Ave. As a small business owner, I can attest to the mess New York City traffic is. Statistics reveal that the average commuter loses $2,533 a year being stuck in traffic. That adds up to $16.9 billion in losses to the city a year. My company does 24% less business than 10 years ago due to the lost time traveling from site to site. Traffic congestion drives up the cost of everything you purchase. I have not seen traffic this bad since the 1970s, when the term “gridlock” was coined. The reduction in lanes on Fourth Ave. a few years ago extended the time to travel from 65 St. to Atlantic Ave. from 11 minutes to 33 minutes during the morning rush. Ninety minutes to two hours to go from Bay Ridge to midtown Manhattan during the morning rush is a disgrace. According to the Census Bureau, only 0.8% of commuters bike to work. When will someone in this administration make ending traffic congestion as important as bike lanes? Greg Ahl
May 16, 2017, 4:04 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
All of the data, every single study done by professional engineers proves that I am completely 100% wrong.

However I still come back to spew the same garbage and random anecdotes each and every time.

I also don't live or work, nor have ever been to Brooklyn.
May 16, 2017, 4:25 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I haven't seen my penis in 7 years and there isn't a bike sturdy enough to carry my morbidly obese frame.
May 17, 2017, 9:46 am
Tal from Barzilai says:
But my mom still loves me. She throws food down the stairs and lets me crack the window open on weekends.
May 17, 2017, 10:04 am
Tal's Mom from Pleasantville, NY says:
No Tal, I don't love you. You're the bastard son of a hundred hobos. I only keep you around because the state won't allow me to have a dog, because of that whole peanut butter incident. Hey man, whatever me and my pets do in our home is our business. Well, I guess I shouldn't have slathered my lady bits with peanut butter and have the dog lick it off behind the denny's.
May 17, 2017, 10:15 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
For a bunch of people that claim to know how to save the world, there seems to be a shortage of facts, and whole lot of 10 year olds stomping their feet and spewing nonsense.
May 17, 2017, 3:12 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
I'm really this dumb everyone.

Seriously, I am.
May 17, 2017, 4:08 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Seeing these impersonations of me really does show how low these bike zealots can really go not to mention how little they can be taken seriously, but that's the bike zealots for you.
May 17, 2017, 4:13 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
All of the data, every single study done by professional engineers proves that I am completely 100% wrong.

However I still come back to spew the same garbage and random anecdotes each and every time.
May 17, 2017, 5:15 pm

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