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Photo courtesy of DOT
Photo courtesy of DOT

A new bike lane is finally growing in Brooklyn,

According to The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), it will begin work on installing its long anticipated bike lanes along Seventh Avenue, which includes Park Slope, Greenwood Heights and Sunset Park.

According to the DOT, it will enhance safety and mobility on Seventh Avenue by installing bicycle lanes on Seventh Avenue between 20th Street and Carroll Street, providing shared lanes from 23rd Street to 20th Street and between Carroll Street and Park Place. Bicycle lanes will be also be installed on Park Place between Seventh Avenue and Carlton Street.

Community Board 7 (CB7) voted in favor of the plan.

“For the Seventh Avenue plan, we approved it between 15th and 23rd Streets,” CB 7 District Manager Jeremy Laufer told this paper. “We heard from several folks. Some are against and some are for. Our board members took a couple of months to weight this because I think they weren’t sure at first and when we first voted, there was no majority opinion. Then a month later, we had a re-vote, and there were fewer abstentions and our board was for it.”

Laufer states that the board was never against the installation. “Our board has not turned down any bike lanes since we started voting on them, although we have asked on occasion for some changes to be made to some of them,” he said. “In this case, we didn’t as for any changes to be made.”

The DOT states the move will “install bicycle lanes, calm traffic, reduce speeding, and maintain vehicular traffic capacity.”

The implementations made this month will also include painting the lanes.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited Fourth Avenue protected bike lane first announced by the DOT in March — set to include several neighborhoods, including Bay Ridge and Sunset Park — is still a work in progress.

“It’s a study right now so nothing has been determined,” Laufer said, adding that, on Thursday, May 11, there will be a related workshop as M.S. 136, Charles O Dewey School in Sunset Park.

Back in March, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg stated that the agency would work with affected communities to help to develop the new plan for Fourth Avenue — some three years after an extended planning process — with the intention of making the strip safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The DOT has also contended that a Fourth Avenue bike lane would be a critical north-south thoroughfare from 65th Street to Dean Street, connecting Bay Ridge, Sunset Park and Park Slope to Downtown Brooklyn.

“The chance to redesign one of New York City’s ‘Great Streets’ may only come about every 50 years, and so it’s critical we get it right,” Trottenberg said in March. “The dramatic surge in cycling, combined with safety changes that have dramatically improved Fourth Avenue’s safety and livability, have simply transformed the way Brooklynites see this street.”

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