Riding high! Elevated bike lane coming to Ocean Avenue outside Brooklyn’s Backyard

Raise the lane: The city is planning to build an elevated, two-way bike path on part of an Ocean Avenue sidewalk bordering Prospect Park.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

The city plans to install a raised, two-way bike lane on Ocean Avenue along the border of Prospect Park as part of a grander scheme to ring Brooklyn’s Backyard with dedicated paths for cyclists.

The elevated bike lane would run flush against the sidewalk on the Prospect Park side of the avenue, separating bicyclists from traffic in the same way that the pedestrian pathway does, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation.

“The raised bike lane will create a dedicated and protected space for cyclists outside of the roadway,” said Lolita Avila.

The forthcoming lane will rise six inches off of the street, and take up two feet of space on the 30-foot sidewalk, according to a member of cycling-advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, who told this newspaper about the scheme after reps for meadow steward the Prospect Park Alliance announced the project at a March 19 meeting of the Prospect Park Community Committee — a coalition of more than 30 local groups that meets with the city about issues related to the green space.

Installing the lane will also require chopping down 56 trees along that stretch of Ocean Avenue sidewalk, but park keepers plan to replace the axed plants with more than 150 new trees as part of the larger $9.6-million project to repair sidewalks, create new entrances, and install amenities including lights and benches along Ocean and Parkside avenues, according to Transportation Alternatives member Michael Drinkard’s notes from the meeting.

Prospect Park Alliance leaders are overseeing construction of the raised Ocean Avenue bike lane, but the Transportation Department will handle the installation of the project’s other cycling paths on Prospect Park Southwest and Parkside Avenue, as well as new protected lanes on Flatbush Avenue, a separate effort that city reps last June discussed with the community committee, Drinkard said.

“I think its awesome that the park is going to be lined by protected bike lanes,” he said. “My feeling is most people at the park and the Alliance are really excited by it too.”

The Ocean and Parkside avenue project is still in its design phase, but the Parkside Avenue component is not fully funded, according to alliance spokeswoman Deborah Kirschner, who said officials hope to complete it by fall 2021.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 3:26 pm, March 27, 2019: An earlier version of this story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Transportation Alternatives member Michael Drinkard's name. It was incorrectly published as Drinkage.
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Wilbur D. Horse from Sesame Street says:
First of all, it's "border," not "boarder." Second, cyclists ALREADY look down on us little people, so they don't Need an elevated roadway!
March 26, 2019, 11:56 am
Kevin A. Gaul from Prospect-Lefferts Gardens says:
This is fantastic & surprising news. I usually cut through the park to commute to & from work & school, so these planned bike lanes will definitely make navigating around the park easier for me and other cyclists, especially since the counter-clockwise bike lane on the autobahn within is one-way only. The Flatbush Ave stretch between Grand Army and Empire Blvd. was in desperate need of a bike lane, as well.
March 26, 2019, 12:48 pm
Virginia says:
If it’s the “backyard” why is it in the middle? That’s a courtyard!
March 26, 2019, 1:17 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
More bike lanes means safer streets. Keep it up!
March 26, 2019, 1:24 pm
Gerard from Brooklyn says:
Another waste of money.
March 26, 2019, 3:19 pm
Ripley from Clinton Hill says:
I like it better to keep the bicycles on the street side of the curb as they are on Prospect Park West and not mess with the trees. Article does not explain why they are proposing an unusual design here. A drawing or diagram would help to explain this plan.
March 26, 2019, 3:22 pm
BooHoo says:
Gerard from Brooklyn = Another waste of skin.
March 26, 2019, 3:35 pm
Robert Moses from Randall’s Island says:
Oh look, gersh is drunk and ——posting again.
March 26, 2019, 3:45 pm
Funky Andre from PLG says:
But what about Bongo Man? Where will he go?
March 26, 2019, 4:11 pm
Francine from Huddersfield, NJ says:
I hope they will be handicap accessible!! Asking for a friend. Not all of us are interested in running up and down the stairs. I don’t feel like lugging my 270 lbs up some creaky old staircase!
March 26, 2019, 5:10 pm
Henry Finkelstein from Sheepshead Bay says:
There is already a bike path circling completely the inside of Prospect Park. What we really need is a protected pedestrian path to safe guard us walkers from the pedal pushers. Just another stupid deBlasio scheme and a waste of time and money
March 26, 2019, 5:43 pm
BooHoo says:
Oh look, Robert Moses is still dead LOL!
March 26, 2019, 5:44 pm
Robert Moses from Randall’s Island says:
Yes I am, but you had best keep your bikes off my bridges and highways.
March 26, 2019, 6:27 pm
BrooklynBus from Brooklyn says:
Just imagine the uproar if someone wanted to chop down 56 trees to add some parking spaces. But no one blinks an eye when it’s for bikes.
March 26, 2019, 7:26 pm
Henry Finkelstein from Sheepshead Bay says:
You would not believe the uproar the Parks Department made when one of their trees caused the sidewalk in front of our home to totally uplift by several inches causing a tremendous safety hazard ,even to the pedal pushers. They would not cut it down. We had to make major changes to our property and in the end we had to foot 1/2 the bill. I did not blink because i expected this kind of hipocracy. BBB is right on target for this one.
March 26, 2019, 7:48 pm
Resident from Brooklyn says:
Why are they taking space from pedestrians?!?! Take it from motorists and build it in the parking lane. This is ridiculous.
March 27, 2019, 8:22 am
Tyler from pps says:
It's almost like all of the whiners commenting here didn't read the article or have very poor reading comprehension.
March 27, 2019, 8:39 am
Rob from Williamsburg says:
I hope the put in bollards to prevent motorists from driving on it. That's a big problem on the new elevated bike line on Flushing near the Navy Yard.
March 27, 2019, 8:53 am
Copy editor from Brooklyn says:
It's Michael Drinkard, not Drinkage.
March 27, 2019, 9:31 am
Joe a lifetime resident of Brooklyn from Midwod says:
Please explain how you can have a two-way bike lane with a two foot wide path. I believe that to help defray the cost, the City should have cyclist pay a license fee to use the path. Car owners pay a registration fee to put a car on the street and have to have a driver’s license, for which they pay a fee, in order operated the vehicle. Cyclist should also pay a fee for this exclusive roadway. The cost of this private road would be best used on education and healthcare.
March 27, 2019, 9:36 am
Allan from Sheepshead Bay says:
Axing 56 healthy trees is a disgrace but where is the uproar at removing trees on park land. But cyclists are relentless in making everything about themselves and couldn't care less about the elderly and disabled pedestrians as they appropriate more real estate for themselves. But they are well organized and communities only have themselves to blame for their success.
March 27, 2019, 9:54 am
Doug G. from Park Slope says:
"But cyclists are relentless in making everything about themselves and couldn't care less about the elderly and disabled pedestrians as they appropriate more real estate for themselves." This just isn't true. Many bike advocates, myself included, are outraged that the city won't just take space from the road and turn it into a protected bike lane instead of stealing space from pedestrians and axing these trees. I also run around the outside of the park all of the time and the last thing I want is even less space. We're all in this together whether we get around by foot or on bike. Unfortunately, the city is too afraid of pissing off drivers.
March 27, 2019, 10:02 am
Tyler from pps says:
Joe - Did you ever imagine that "and take up two feet of current sidewalk space" doesn't mean the bike lane will be 2 feet wide? Can you imagine how it might be wider than that and that description still being true? ..... "Car owners pay a registration fee to put a car on the street and have to have a driver’s license, for which they pay a fee, in order operated the vehicle." And NONE of which pays for the city streets. The city streets are paid for by EVERYONE. All taxpayers (city sales tax, city property tax, city income tax), not just the drivers.
March 27, 2019, 10:25 am
Ro from Park Slope says:
The city did away with so many of the elevated trains and even some highways (remember the West Side Highway?). Now we go backwards for bikes.
March 27, 2019, 11:48 am
Henry Finkelstein from Kings Bay says:
There is no room for a pedal pusher path on Ocean Avenue itself adjacent to Prospect Park unless they remove the parking lanes which are needed for the fancy shmansy housing on the side of the park. Lets remember that almost all of us in the city are pedestrians most of the time. Remember us.
March 27, 2019, 12:32 pm
I_Live_Here from prospect lefferts gardens says:
It's not safe for pedestrians to be at the same level, and adjacent to bikers. It's a different story within the park, where there is a lot less congestion all around. This is significantly different than the original proposal presented to our community board. Why haven't they come back to us? How in the world do you come up with an idea like this that is both expensive and a safety hazard? Or did you decide to only consult the bikers, who probably said they didn't want to ride next to cars and buses? Of course the easiest answer to that is ride right next door in the park, and make that lane 2 way, especially now that cars are banned. Are we doing these bike lanes for a purpose, or just to spend money the DOT has and can't think of anything better to do with, like fix sidewalks and potholes?
March 27, 2019, 4:24 pm
SnarkelFest from Park Slope says:
Wow these comments. It's a bike path, chill out already. There's plenty of room still for your stupid cars.
March 28, 2019, 11:23 pm
Bob Marvin from Prospect Lefferts Gardens says:
This proposed bike lane won't be protected during the evening rush since car parking isn't permitted then. Better, IMO, to build it up against the park's perimeter fence or to make a two way bike lane on the park drive. Either would be much safer and woudn't require cutting trees down.
March 29, 2019, 2:48 pm
Peter Pyle from Prospect Park says:
There is already a pedal pusher path on the inside of the park going all around the inner circle. It used to be for automobiles but not now. Another bicycle path is not needed. What is needed is a protected Pedestrian path.
March 31, 2019, 11:05 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Once again the biking scofflaws rule the rooste. As I mentioned in an earlier thread, attack the issue not the person taking a legitamate perspective. Going back to my points about philosophy, peple that don't seem to like those such as myself who can disproove their statements with actual facts where they are just throwing talking points that I can easily refute. These are people who believe that it's the weapon that makes them stronger when in fact that isn't always true. Eventually, they will come to a point where even their own weapons can't save them. The truth is that it's not the weapons that makes the person stronger, it's the one who uses them. An example of someone who had to learn it the hard way was King Phillip II, who was the king of Spain, when having the Spanish Armada against England's Queen Elizabeth I in 1588. Before then, Spain was said to have the most powerfull navy at the time especially when they have sailed to numerous corners of the globe in conquering lands. Many of thought that trying to fight the armada was asking for a tombstone b/c of how powerfull they were. However, the fleet was not prepared for the English Channel, and their ships were too big for a body of water with such a low depth for them. Although the English fleet had smaller ships, it was easier to get by and with the cannon, they didn't even have to board the enemy fleet but just fire from their own. Some of those who helped fight for England in that battle included explorers such as Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Franciss Drake managing the fleets. As Elizabeth walked out on the cliffs of Dover, she saw the armada on fire in the humiliating defeat on Spain. It showed that even the greatest had their demise. How it relates to my point is that some just can't seem to take it when someone can find a way to poke holes in their statements by finding facts and other stats that disproove theirs' when they don't even come up with anything to back them except for repititions. Also, the reference of the Spanish Armada is to show that even the greatest can just be human at sometimes in that nobody is invincible and there will always be a clink somewhere in that armor. On a side note, joggers are to bikers as bikers are to motorists, but at least joggers don't kill people when they bash into you like bikers do. Don't blame me b/c I am stating the facts with cold cartesian logic, as befitting a nerdy leftist.
April 3, 2019, 10:20 am

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: