Buffed out! Protective buffer axed along bike lane outside 88th Precinct

Goodbye buffer: Markings protecting the the Dekalb Avenue bike lane outside Clinton Hill's 88th Precinct station house were scratched off over the last few weeks, in order to shift the peddlers' highway closer to moving traffic to allow room for cars parked perpendicularly on the sidewalk.
Brooklyn Paper
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Call it zero vision.

The city is putting police department parking ahead of cyclists’ safety by removing a buffer that protects the DeKalb Avenue bike lane and pushing the pedalers’ path next to traffic so precinct staff can leave their cars on the sidewalk outside Clinton Hill’s 88th Precinct station house, the leader of a safe street advocacy group said this week.

“DeKalb Avenue should become a protected bike lane, if anything,” said Caroline Samponaro of Transportation Alternatives. “The NYPD needs to be setting a tone on the street for Vision Zero and safety, so it’s disappointing that they’d be looking to make this particular bike lane less safe.”

The Department of Transportation will erase the striped buffer and shift the 5-foot-wide bike lane between Classon Avenue and Steuben Street closer to moving vehicles by the end of the week, according to a spokeswoman.

The change follows locals’ repeated complaints about police vehicles parked perpendicular to the lane and jutting out into it, which they said compromised riders safety by forcing them to swerve into traffic as they tried to avoid the parked cars.

The 88th Precinct’s commanding officer acknowledged the problem with Clinton Hill’s Finest parking their vehicles in the bike lane in a December interview with this paper, but said there’s not much he can do about it because he doesn’t want cops driving around the neighborhood for hours looking for spots.

There are 27 squad cars and approximately 50 vehicles that belong to commuting officers.

The precinct met with transportation department honchos last December to find a solution, and the buffer markings were scratched off over the last few weeks, as reported by Streetsblog.

But the city should be adding more markings, not taking them away, said Samponaro, who said officers who do not have a parking lot at the 100-year-old station house should just deal with stowing their cars elsewhere.

“If the problem is officers parking private vehicles, that’s something they’ll have to work out. There are any number of ways it can be addressed,” she said.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 5:57 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
Caroline Samponaro is dead wrong when she says “The NYPD needs to be setting a tone on the street for Vision Zero and safety".

The NYPD needs to be completely removed from Vision Zero and anything to do with traffic. We need speed cameras and red light cameras at intersections and we need to lay off a ton of useless cops.
June 23, 2017, 8:59 am
sorry to agree & disagree from Town says:
Officials Vehicles SHOULD NOT be parking improperly on our streets and sidewalks what are within the Publics Right-of-way.

And on our sidewalks - shame on you NYPD!

The streets and sidewalks are not for goverments storage of equipment.

Nonetheless, if cops private cars weren't permitted to park there, the overall requirements for parking could be cut in half. It's a disgrace that cops allow other cops to break the law. Time for the city to crack down on Captain's allowing this to happen on their watch.

However, as far as bikes go, they should never have been permitted to operate in city streets. They are all in harms way making it totally irresponsible.

The best way to improve bike safety in the context of Vision Zero is to have Zero Bikes on the city's streets.
June 23, 2017, 10:13 am
Resident from Brooklyn says:
Shame on DOT and the NYPD. This is not Vision Zero.
June 23, 2017, 10:53 am
Craig from Bushwick says:
Idle cop cars aren't doing anything. If cars sit unused most of the day, they should be parked in a remote lot. We need more cops on foot and bike anyway, interacting with people on the street, including on the way to work (not behind the wheel!)

If NYPD have any real dedication to making a safer city, they need to set an example by driving and parking legally like everyone else does (or should be, were NYPD enforcing driving laws more stringently...)

Bikes can operate safely on city streets as they do in many other cities, but we need safe bike infrastructure. It's disgraceful the NYPD is not supportive of that.
June 23, 2017, 11:23 am
James from Bed Stuy says:
Samponaro is a Transportation Alternatives fanatic who advocates for thr worldwideelimination of cars. She hates cops, too. She thinks cops should have to ride bikes. Commute to work by bike. Answer 911 emergencies by bike. Arrest criminals and transport them to jail by bike. Thank God the DOT has come to the defense of the 88th! Samponaro and crew have targeted the 88th for a long time. They've taken long play videos of biking down Dekalb and always screaming about the angled NYPD parking at Classon. NYC eould cheer if all the bikers left for Copenhagen. Please leave, bikers! On the other hand, we treasure the NYPD. Without the NYPD there's no NYC. They save this city every day. Thank you, NYPD! And thank you, DOT for defending the 88th's parking rights.
June 23, 2017, 11:38 am
driver/pedestrian from Fort Greene says:
I drove by the 88th last night, coming down Classon and turning left onto DeKalb. It feels really unsafe, a disaster ready to happen.
June 23, 2017, 11:39 am
OED from NYC says:
Will our local journalists ever learn the difference between "peddle" and "pedal"? I've seen this error in the Daily News and the Post too.
June 23, 2017, 11:50 am
Adrian Horczak from Ridgewood says:
Police should not be breaking the rules. They enforce the rules so they should set the example. It is illegal to park on the sidewalk! Is it too much to ask cops to take public transit or bike to work? They are supposed to risk their lives to protect New Yorkers. They can't deal with the subway like most of the people they should be protecting.
June 23, 2017, 1:54 pm
Uptowner from Brooklyn says:
More corruption from the NYPD. They act like they are above the law and then wonder why the whole city hates them. Shameful.
June 23, 2017, 3:12 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Better be careful, Uptowner. You might hurt their "morale," which is the first word you ever hear out of their mouths when someone points out how lazy and corrupt they are.
June 23, 2017, 3:43 pm
Chris from Bushwick says:
James, if the safety of your fellow New Yorkers on bikes -- and sidewalk access to disabled New Yorkers -- is less valuable to you than some made-up "right" to parking, why don't you leave NYC instead? Might I suggest the suburbs where there's plenty of pavement for parking?
June 23, 2017, 6:56 pm
James from Bed Stuy says:
Why don't you leave? You wouldn't be missed.
June 23, 2017, 11:46 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
The cops from the 88th need to stop speeding up Classon sirens blaring just to get back for a cup of coffee and donut.
June 24, 2017, 12:09 am
Chris from Bushwick says:
I'd be happy to buy you a one-way ticket, James. You know what we call people who care more about parking spaces for cops than human lives? Psychopaths.
June 24, 2017, 12:43 pm
James from Bed Stuy says:
Chris, you are typical of bikers: Nasty. We won a fight against you and yours last year on Clinton Ave. The neighborhood in all its diversity fought Transportation Alternatives in all your snottiness and elitism and non-diversity. All the bikers were hysterical, hostile and white. Also new to the neighborhood. You come here and decide you're taking over. You bring your white suburban attitude with you. You're not popular. We kept you from turning Clinton Ave one way for cars two way for bikes. Now you've lost your buffer on Dekalb. You're losing around here. Go back to the suburb you came from. Moe back by bike!. You'll be happier where everyone's like you, white and elitist.
June 24, 2017, 1:43 pm
Walking Target from Bay Ridge says:
At the 68th precinct (Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights) community meeting Wednesday night an attendee complained about sidewalk bike riders in the neighborhood. The commander said they were just about to launch a crackdown on them. Have encountered two of them since then, and yes, they were over twelve years of age. Bikers do whatever they please wherever they please.
June 24, 2017, 2:31 pm
Anthony from Clinton Hill says:
Crooked cops parking all over the sidewalk is yet another reason most New Yorkers hate the NYPD.
June 24, 2017, 3:04 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Although I do agree that the police should be setting an example for following rules, that still doesn't excuse cyclists from breaking the rules themselves. I do agree with Craig that a remote lot or even a garage should be built, but I have a feeling that Transportation Alternatives will oppose even that knowing their history of having an anti-car bias. James does make a point about bike zealots flooding many meetings and trying to act as if they are the majority when they really aren't not to mention how they transplant themselves while the opposition is pretty much homegrown. In all honesty, even with all the bike lanes, they are barely used according to studies not to mention the lowest of city commuters according to the US Census Bureau at just under 1%. Please explain why exactly do they need a special infrastructure that taxpayers find to be wasteful to get around when they can just simply follow the traffic laws for free? Just reading recent letters in both the NY Post and NY Daily News shows how much the bike zealots are considered a major lobbying group just to get whatever they want despite being such a small group. One other thing, bike lanes don't guarantee any safety for cyclists, plus they aren't a get of traffic laws free card either for them. What they really do is reduce the number of travel lanes needed for vehicles to get around, which is what is causing some of the congestion in the city, but the bike zealots over on Streetsblog, Transportation Alternatives, and any other website devoted to their kind just tends to be apathetic towards everyone else. Then again, I won't be surprised if they use the congestion their needs created to promote congestion pricing just by creating the very congestion hence the Bloomberg Way.
June 24, 2017, 6:28 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
I'm going to have to side with the pigs on this one.
June 24, 2017, 6:32 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
Parking the cars perpendicular to the curb saves a lot of space.
Otherwise the cops who drive to work would be taking up the parking spaces that local residents count on. And there is not enough parking space to begin with.
As for the bikes- who cares? They are a small minority. Maybe they have brain damage from the car fumes?
June 24, 2017, 6:37 pm
Walker, biker, driver from Brooklyn says:
What Transportation Alternatives fails to see is these police stations were designed with the horse and buggy, and as the population has increased, and more fleet of police cars are used ALL the police stations are not set-up for their staff to park their cars, and there is no parking for the fleet. Call this REALLY BAD CITY PLANNING, but what does city planning do...oh, they sell their soul to REBNY. As empty lots are near by they could be used to solve this issue, the city, HPD who owns some of the empty lots for decades won't let NYPD park in the lots. That's because the tail of two cities inexperienced staff in the Mayor's office who are a bunch of shrills, with no prior experience in city planning, transportation or community relations do not see this problem. I say this because have you ever seen the resumes of the Deputy Mayor & Mayors Chief of Staff? Oh, just because you worked for BDB when he was public advocate doesn't mean you are qualified to work for the Mayor. Even worse is Caroline Samponaro from TA needs to open her eyes and see this. TA staff need to walk, or take a bike ride and see the same issue at all the police station in the 5 boros. How about we support the NYPD and help them and realize there is a parking issue at ALL the precincts. It's zero vision thanks to the novices at TA & city hall.
June 24, 2017, 8:44 pm
Tuna Walters from Queens says:
The problem is that there are too many bicycles. They should put a tax on them. If there weren't all these bicycles, we could easily fit 2 or 3 times the cars on the street. People need to sometimes remember that they have to give up some things so that the cars can drive.
June 25, 2017, 5:57 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Just wait til you see the condos the Mayor has planned for Rikers Island once he closes it and put the felons on your block!
June 26, 2017, 9:18 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Walker, biker, driver, you are only preaching to the choir here by saying that. Placing lots or garages is something that TA will never support. The main reason is because on or off site parking to them feel only promotes driving, which is why they view only garage or surface lot as an eyesore or blight to their view. That also explains why they are against parking minimums in residential property even though it would mean fewer cars parking on the streets and looking for spots in some areas. Overall, they are just against everyone who drives altogether and believes that the car culture would just disappear tomorrow even thought it won't. I won't argue with you on city planning, but we need to remember that much of it does predate the invention of the motor vehicle, which most Americans didn't have until after the turn of the century, which lead to the widening of roads and creation of highways to help them move more efficiently because the original ones couldn't handle them. Until proper parking is done for police cars and other emergency vehicles, many will have to accept the way they park due to the lack of space for them. However, this doesn't mean that I support placard abuse, which I feel should be looked at as well and the police are among the biggest on that group. Unfortunately, TA does live in their own bubble where they believe that their needs especially for bicycles outweigh the needs of just about everyone else without thinking about others in their considerations hence Paul Steely White and other members known for having an anti-car bias.
June 26, 2017, 3:11 pm
Rocking but no rolling from Brooklyn says:
Mr. Pleasantville, very true. TA and their millennium staff fail to address handicap accessibility all around the boros. Have you ever tried getting around NYC with a cast on your leg? Or, tried to take an elderly person to a doctors office? Parking for drop off for patients is ignored by most doctors, and TA youthful staff have no clue to how senior citizens or the disabled get around town since it's all about bike riding for this organization. Yes, TA is in their on bubble when it comes to the residents who do need cars to get around due to disabilities.
June 26, 2017, 11:14 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Agenda 21 wants you all on the bus comrades.
June 27, 2017, 1:28 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Rocking, the whole nature of TA is being anti-car. They just hate anyone who drives altogether even if the very motor vehicle is electric, hybrid, or even energy efficient. Just recently, they hosted an event over at the MCNY known as Streetopia in claiming that they are taking back the streets back from motor vehicles, which I find to be a bad idea especially on a huge level. Their claim is on that this works well in Barcelona, but they need to understand that NYC isn't Barcelona especially for having such a higher population that it has. Another reason why I feel it's a bad idea is because it will just relocate traffic to roads that can barely handle what's there now during peak hours, so now imagine this on a normal basis, which is why I was against making Broadway on both Times and Herald Squares into pedestrian plazas. More importantly, making the claim that it can always be removed if it fails is much more easier said than done, because that very group along with other politicians, groups, and individuals that support it will find ways to keep it just by fudging data that will work in their favor. The truth is that for a densely, populated city such as NYC, motor vehicles are needed for numerous externalities considering the lack of space hence much has to be brought from elsewhere and something like congestion pricing will hurt such business not to mention the need for vehicles for both emergency and transportation purposes as well meaning that it's not just private vehicles only that are on the streets. Overall, TA is out of touch with anyone outside their viewpoints.
June 27, 2017, 3:17 pm
Justin from Brooklyn says:
@Rocking but no rolling: I've travelled all over the globe and I'm always surprised how totally wheelchair inaccessible all the subways are here, especially compared to most other huge cities around the world. Seems like we can do a lot more for the elderly and the disabled than what we are doing now.

Cars take up vast amounts of space compared to most other modes of transportation (walking, cycling, busses, trains & subways) so having the city incentivizing other modes of transportation makes perfect sense.
June 27, 2017, 11:02 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Point to Barcelona when you have the manners discipline and observance of traffic rules that Barcelona, Munich and Amsterdam have.
June 28, 2017, 8:48 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Justin, I hate to break this to you, but motor vehicles, as much as you dislike them, do serve a purpose where bicycles pretty much don't. BTW, it's not just private users, but also emergency services, transportation services, delivery companies, and utility workers that use motor vehicles as well. Closing off roads will affect them as well. Also, not everyone is fit to ride a bicycle let alone be able to live close to everything where a car isn't needed to get around much like you do, so please understand those that are less fortunate as you are. More importantly, the purpose of streets is for transportation purposes, not recreational purposes, which is why I'm against closing them off to vehicular traffic in anyway or form, plus there are places for recreational purposes called parks, so I suggest making better use of the public space that already exists now before creating more of it by taking it away from others. I won't argue that other modes of transportation are important, but that doesn't mean that such needs must outweigh the needs of others. Groups such as Transportation Alternatives and even Streetsblog doesn't seem to understand that not everybody can get around the way they can, and I feel that they focus more on the effects of those who choose to drive rather than the causes. Another reason why I feel that they will always get their way is because of their lobbying power despite being a minority since bicycle commuters make less than 1% of overall NYC commuters according to a recent study in the US Census Bureau.
June 29, 2017, 6:49 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I also hate to break this to you but I enjoy making love to farm animals. Groups such as Transportation Alternatives and Streetsblog needs to understand that not everyone can avoid bestiality.

Another reason why I feel they will always get their way is when I violate my pet pig it cannot get pregnant despite being a less than 1% species match because my mother and father are also part pig and also cousins.
June 29, 2017, 9:34 pm

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