Williamsburg bike lane continues to cause concerns
Williamsburg is still on the warpath over some harmless-looking bike lanes.
In the latest chapter, the city’s decision to reroute traffic from busy Kent Avenue has fanned worries that an onslaught of trucks will be plowing down residential streets.
“When you have trucks rumbling and tumbling down the street, it makes it not so desirable,” said Burak Kasapoglu, project manager of a condo being built on North 11th, where traffic will be rerouted.
The city is redesigning a set of bike lanes on Kent and removing precious parking along the neighborhood’s waterfront. Bike paths will be moved to the west side of Kent, parking spots will be placed next to them and the thoroughfare will be converted into a one-way street running north.
That’s forcing the city to reroute the traffic off Kent onto the increasingly residential streets on the north side of the hipster enclave. Trucks will have to turn through a series of streets and cross Bedford Avenue, the neighborhood’s main drag, to get to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
“It’s creating a booby-trap,” said Meredith Chesney, 45, a resident and local business owner.
Kent Avenue is now “heavily utilized” by trucks and up to 785 vehicles ply along the road per hour, according to city planning documents.
The city Department of Transportation will add truck route signs and encourage local drivers to stay on the main truck thoroughfares, spokesman Montgomery Dean said.
“DOT worked extensively with the local community on the details of this project,” Dean said.
About 150 residents and business owners signed a petition against the “reckless” plan. But changes to the bike lanes — which attract hundreds of cyclists a day — will begin this summer, Dean said.
The bike lanes will eventually morph into a greenway stretching along the Brooklyn waterfront, and proponents think residents will embrace the design once the landscaping is complete.