Locals: DOT botched Slope bike lane due to parked car it could have easily moved

Stubbed tow: In lieu of towing this Subaru Forester, the city simply built a protected bike lane around it, trapping the car and rendering the new safety feature useless to cyclists.
Brooklyn Paper
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This agency gets the job done — almost!

Department of Transportation employees last week installed much-anticipated bike lanes on a stretch of Ninth Street in Park Slope — except for on the pavement beneath a lone parked car, which they simply painted around in order to finish laying the pedalers’ paths and new parking lanes beside them that separate cyclists from moving traffic.

But the Transportation Department, which last month pulled a similar workaround when it repaved a Downtown street except for a patch beneath a dumpster on the road, could have easily solved the problem instead of creating a new one, said bewildered locals, who blasted officials’ patchwork process.

“The city could certainly have towed the car around the corner to the nearest available spot,” said Eric McClure, chairman of Community Board 6’s Transportation Committee. “It seems kind of ridiculous to leave it there.”

And by completing the parking lane next to the bike lane between Seventh and Eighth avenues without removing the red Subaru Forester, which is still parked in its spot, the agency only made a bad decision worse, according to another resident, who noted that other vehicles now box in the car, preventing cyclists from safely cruising — and officials, or its owner, from easily removing it.

“They couldn’t move it if they wanted to!” said Sloper Robert Levine. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Transportation Department workers on Friday began painting the new Ninth Street lanes between Prospect Park West and Third Avenue as part of a project to make the road safer after a driver hit and killed two kids crossing it at Fifth Avenue in March.

But the Subaru’s owner — whom Gothamist revealed is Women’s Health magazine editor Liz Plosser following its initial report on the car’s problematic parking — claimed in a since-deleted social-media post that officials didn’t provide enough notice of their work on the street where she stowed her ride before leaving town on vacation.

“Just learned that our car is parked atop a brand new bike line, which the city created 48 hours after we left town for a week-long vacation (naturally with no warning, signage),” read the caption of her Instagram post.

Transportation Department spokesman Brian Zumhagen, however, claimed the city posted notices about the job they day before it began — but whether Plosser saw signs or not, the agency should have towed the car in order to complete its work, according to another Brooklynite.

“Even if she had a perfectly good excuse and made an honest mistake, why wouldn’t you tow the car where you had to do the work?” said Stanley Greenberg, a member of cycling-advocacy group Transportation Alternatives who lives in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.

Last month, when this newspaper asked transit officials how they would fix the spot on Boerum Place they didn’t pave because of the dumpster, employee Paul Sharp of the agency’s pavement-management unit said the Transportation Department — which is responsible for issuing permits for such receptacles — would require the dumpster’s owner to pay to finish the job.

But a rep did not answer when asked if officials will similarly charge Plosser to complete the new bike lane, instead only saying workers may remove her car this week if she does not first.

“We’ll work to remove the vehicle if needed this week,” said Alana Morales.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Posted 12:00 am, August 30, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
It's ridiculous that the car owner can go on vacation and just store her private property in on our public streets for free.
Aug. 30, 2018, 9:56 am
Alma de Cubano from the Slope says:
Two the freaking car, and protect the people who don't abuse our city streets by using them as a parking lot.
Aug. 30, 2018, 10:43 am
Tyler from pps says:
Well, those were two over-the-top comments... She parked legally. If there was no parking there, she wouldn't have parked there.

They can tow / relocate cars easily, just like when there's a filming permit and someone doesn't move their car. It's not impounded, just relocated nearby.
Aug. 30, 2018, 10:50 am
Burt Rodriguez from Sunset Park says:
No one is surprised that the awful driver behind this was a women. Does Estrogen make you unable to use the part of the brain that controls driving a car?
Aug. 30, 2018, 11:24 am
DC Glanzman from Park Slope says:
If you have a car, but no contingency plan for moving it while you aren’t there, you are a bad neighbor.
Aug. 30, 2018, Noon
NattyB from Greenwood Heights says:
@Tyler: "She parked legally. If there was no parking there, she wouldn't have parked there."

Not true. Friday was alternate side parking day and she left for over a week knowing that her car would be illegally parked for two alternate side parking days.

But in general, you should never leave your car for so long on the street without moving because road repairs happen so frequently around here, you never know what might happen. Also, this 9th street bike lane installation had been in the news for a long time. When you choose to keep a car on park it on public streets that it's on you to try to be in the loop for things like this. So while it's reasonable for her to not know exactly when it was going in, I find it very hard to believe she had no idea that it was going in altogether, especially since 9th street on the other side of 7th ave had already seen its partial installation, that any reasonable person would feel comfortable leaving their car for that long.

And to wit, it's not surprising that someone with 21 prior ASP tix happens to be the only person to leave their car on 9th street while the bike lane was getting installed.
Aug. 30, 2018, 1:05 pm
Homey from Crooklyn says:
You have to be a masochist to own a car in this
frigging city. It's a nightmare.
I'm so glad I can get by without one.
Aug. 30, 2018, 1:19 pm
Tyler from pps says:
I would be all for bringing back the Stickers of Shame for alternate side parking violations... Why did they stop that again?

However, the argument that you should magically know when the most unpredictable things happen. What if she was only gone for 3 days? They should have relocated the vehicle with a tow truck. Bringing back the crew to fix the paint job is a lot more expensive.
Aug. 30, 2018, 5:25 pm
Vizion zero from zero Vizion says:
They should have paved right over the car.
Aug. 30, 2018, 7:22 pm
Chico Sanchez from Bronx says:
Bigger news story - woman figures out how to park a car. She didn’t move it because she had no idea how to get it back into a spot.
Aug. 31, 2018, 6:01 am
Ken from Greenpoint says:
Vizion zero from zero Vizion says: are you still on welfare Government benefits ?
Aug. 31, 2018, 11:16 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
On the subject of bike lanes, this letter tells the truth about their usage and don't shoot the messenger.

Just lane stupid

Brooklyn: I would just like to add to comments made by fellow Voicers Lance Lovejoy and Joe Makowski regarding the bike lane nightmare on both Queens and Woodhaven Blvds.: Let’s not forget that the local community boards initially voted against having bike lanes installed along these corridors, but our all-knowing birdbrain mayor circumvented the will of the people and put them in anyway. I hope and pray every day he gets hit and run over by a bike himself.

Joseph Savino
Aug. 31, 2018, 12:46 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
If you consider being locked away in a mental facility being on government benefits, then yes Visison Zero is on the dole.
Aug. 31, 2018, 2:21 pm
Vz from Zv says:
Hey ken, did you learn English yet? I never was on public assistance,unless you consider Henry fords fat ugly wife paying me to stick it in her fat and stinky as public assistance.
Aug. 31, 2018, 4:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
In all honesty, that's probably a lot more usage for the bike lanes than all the bicycles using them.
Sept. 1, 2018, 2:05 pm
Gary from BROOKLYN says:
Hey Tal, I imagine you’ve never actually ridden a bike let alone in Brooklyn. Why are you so preoccupied about issues in Brooklyn? Honest question, not condescending.
Sept. 1, 2018, 3:09 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Gary, it doesn't take a special insider to know what is going here. For the record, I'm not against the use of bicycles, just those who believe they deserve everything just for riding one. Majority of the bike lanes in the city are hardly ever used despite how much such bike zealots have pushed for them, which makes them feel like a waste of space. There were even those who placed cameras to see how much they were used and found out that very little were in them. I never get why it's so important to cater to such a small group such as them especially when they less than one percent of NYC commuters. BTW, a flash mob from Transportation Alternatives doesn't count and that's probably what Paul Steely White uses to claim that many support the bike lanes even though those living in the neighborhoods tend to oppose them for the most part. One other thing, there who don't live in Brooklyn and support the bike lanes yet nobody calls for their censorship as they do for mine, which my guess is that some of you just don't want to hear from the opposition, plus I don't call for censorship on those who disagree with me, so knock it off with that especially when you all had your say on this.
Sept. 3, 2018, 1:49 pm
Gary from BROOKLYN says:
Tal, again I ask;
I imagine you’ve never actually ridden a bike let alone in Brooklyn. Why are you so preoccupied about issues in Brooklyn? Honest question, not condescending. These issues do not affect Pleasantville, why do you need to chime in with made up nonsense and anecdotes?
Sept. 3, 2018, 5:27 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Gary, I already answered it, now I want to know why do you bike zealots constantly demand for me to be censored just for disagreeing when I don't do that to any of you for not taking my side.
Sept. 4, 2018, 11:17 am
Gary from BROOKLYN says:
Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, Tal.
Sept. 4, 2018, 6:37 pm
Gary from BROOKLYN says:
Tawana Brawley from Sharptonville, the fact that you gleefully call yourself "Tawana Brawley from Sharptonville" tells me just how racist you are in a dog whistle kind of way.
Secondly, what I have learned about you:
1) You don't really know what the 1st amendment says, if you did you would understand why "Democratic attacks on free speech" is an idiotic statement regarding the 1st amendment.
2)"support of the MS13", this statement is even dumber than the first.
3) You spew even dumber comments than the previous and I don't have the time nor energy to explain it to you. I know enough about you already to realize I'm a better person and you feel the need to blame others for your shortcomings. Good day, stupid. Oh, and your idiot president has been have a pretty bad week, just about every week.
Sept. 4, 2018, 8:34 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville. NY says:
Nice try Gary, but I don't tend drink anything that has alcohol in it.
Sept. 5, 2018, 1:59 pm

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