The Bay Ridge & Dyker Heights Bike Network Is Now Complete*

Late last week, the NYC Department of Transportation finished striping bike lanes on 84th and 85th Streets in Bay Ridge. With that, the agency finished the expansion of the bike network in Bay Ridge & Dyker Heights.

The word “finished” is doing a lot of work here, of course! It would be most accurate to say, of the three projects from 2019 that impacted the bike network in those neighborhoods, the DOT has completed a second one to the extent that it said it would complete it.

There’s a lot of bureaucratic parsing and policy nerd lore wound up in that statement.

It doesn’t include Third Avenue, which was part of the DOT’s proposal but faced opposition from the community board, local business association, and elected officials. Nor does it include the protected bike lane on Seventh Avenue, the first on-road PBL in either neighborhood which is still four blocks shy of completion, pending state DOT work on the Gowanus Expressway. And sadly, especially considering the wide scale of engagement with people with a biking interest across the two neighborhoods, the initiative included no new protected bike lanes of its own.

Still though! It’s a district-wide expansion of the network in southern Brooklyn, whose cycling community has long been forsaken and delegitimized by city and civic leaders, and it gets Bay Ridge & Dyker Heights caught up to where neighborhoods in northern Brooklyn were in 2010. It’s worth taking stock of a project that bucked the trend!

And it wouldn’t have been possible without your support and determination in engaging at the bike network workshop and multiple community meetings. Every single person had an impact. You did something that hadn’t been done in southern Brooklyn before!

Project Timeline

  • March 2018
    • NYC Department of Transportation presents east-west connector plan to the leaders of southern Brooklyn community boards — proposal to stripe lanes from Bay Ridge to Marine Park, along 84th and 85th Streets and Avenues S and T.
    • The plan effectively died with the leaders of the Community Boards 11 (Bensonhurst) and 15 (Sheepshead Bay).
  • June 2018
    • DOT presents substitute plan for CB10 only — proposal would have connected to the dead-end sharrow lanes in Bath Beach via 92nd Street without any through connection to points beyond.
    • In opposing the plan, CB10 submits a genuine invitation to DOT to perform a holistic review of bike network needs through the district.
  • December 2018
    • DOT representative briefs members of CB10’s transportation committee on the planned workshop.
    • Approximately 25 residents with biking interest also attend and give their perspectives to the committee.
  • January 2019
    • Bike network workshop is held at the Shore Hill Apartments, led by DOT representatives.
    • Around 70 people attend, at least 50 of which were enthusiastic members of the local cycling community.
    • DOT continues to collect feedback via a project web portal.
  • April 2019
    • Prior to the presentation of the 7th Avenue protected bike lane proposal (which was developed by a different team at the DOT), bike program representatives provided an update on the broader network project
  • May 2019
    • DOT representatives submitted their proposal for a district-wide network expansion
      • Proposal is for network of Class 2 (solid painted stripe) lanes with some Class 3 (sharrows, not dedicated lanes not legally different from any other car lane) elements.
      • No protected bike lanes are offered
      • DOT representatives stress that no private car storage is removed by the plan
    • The proposal is received warmly by the committee, which announces its intention to hold a separate hearing
  • June 2019
    • DOT representatives re-present the proposal to a large public crowd that included 32 speakers, many of which came from the bikelash community and delegitimized bikes either as a means of transportation, or overall.
    • The committee only has five members present, not enough for a quorum, but makes the recommendation to oppose most of the proposal, to be taken up by the full board. These recommendations are echoed by the full board later in the month.
    • Three elected officials – State Senator Andrew Gounardes, Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus, and Councilmember Justin Brannan – voice their support for all of the plan except Third Avenue.
    • The DOT announces their intention to move forward, excluding only Third Avenue.
  • September 2019
    • DOT contractors begin striping lanes. By the end of the fall, DOT finished 10th Avenue, Ridge Boulevard, and Bay Ridge Parkway.
  • May 2020
    • DOT finishes striping the remaining lanes – 11th Avenue, 64th Street, 66th Street, 84th Street, and 85th Street.