Kent Avenue: The Saga Continues

The Kent Avenue bike path was not the most hotly debated item at last night’s Brooklyn CB1 meeting. That distinction belongs to the rezoning plan for the area known as Broadway Triangle. But DOT’s team still encountered some skepticism from North Brooklyn residents concerned about truck traffic. The revised plan [PDF], which calls for a two-way protected bike path on Kent with one-way auto traffic, would divert southbound trucks along a different route.

By all accounts, the new plan enjoys the support of former opponents, including the
Satmar Hasidic community and businesses along Kent that would see loading zones return. While
supporters may have had the numerical advantage last night, they were not the loudest.

"DOT could barely get through its presentation," reports TA’s Wiley Norvell, with lots of heckling coming from residents of North 11th Street (which is already a truck route but would receive diverted traffic). The meeting had already been going on a few hours by the time public comment on Kent Avenue started, Norvell said, and not that many people testified. "A lot of people who were there to speak in favor felt a little browbeaten."

There was no vote on the agenda last night.

No one is dismissing the issue of truck traffic, which could be mitigated, in part, by stricter route enforcement. But the latest plan is the product of an already long and contentious public process. "DOT came up with a design that satisfied those concerns," said Norvell. "There’s never a perfect scenario that leaves everyone grinning ear to ear, but there’s always a safest scenario."