What Does Southern Brooklyn Think About Bicycling?

Livable Streets member Sholom Brody files an interesting report from southern Brooklyn, where volunteers with Transportation Alternatives’ Brooklyn Committee recently surveyed subway and bus commuters about their attitudes toward bicycling and bike infrastructure.

KingsHwy_Commuters.jpgBrooklynites wait to transfer to the bus from the Kings Highway subway station. Photo: Sholom Brody

Neighborhoods like Mill Basin, Marine Park, and Gerritsen Beach are far from the nearest subway line and also have "extremely limited bike infrastructure," says Brody. A network of safe streets for cycling could make biking more attractive and improve access to the subway, so the TA volunteers decided to sound out commuters waiting to transfer to the bus from the Brighton line at the Kings Highway station. They asked for opinions on bicycling, bike lanes, and bike parking (sorry, the survey itself is not online at this time).

While not everyone took up the offer to complete the survey, a significant number of people who filled it out expressed interest in a bike-to-train commute. Committee member Murray Lantner, who designed the survey materials, reports:

With some persistence I conducted 23 surveys in 90 minutes. 17 of 23
surveyed, including one skateboarder, wanted to see more bike lanes in
their neighborhoods. 12 of 23 said they would utilize a safe network of
bike lanes and bike parking to get to the Kings Highway Station. 10 of
23 said there was a moderate need for more bike lanes in their
neighborhoods. The rest mainly said there was little or no need for
more bike lanes.

An encouraging observation… younger people were more open to
taking the survey and they reflected a more positive attitude towards

The greatest concern for those interested in cycling was
having a safe place to ride and fear of getting hit by motorists.
Several people complained about cyclists running red lights and
endangering pedestrians. Many also worried about losing parking spots
due to any bike lanes. There was some interest in getting bike lanes on
Avenue T and Gerritsen Avenue and some people took the contact
information for their community boards and council members.

The local community board only meets "when issues come up," Brody writes, but TA members are calling for a meeting to present their results and prompt a public discussion.

In other news, Susan Donovan has started some compelling StreetsWiki pages to keep tabs on the Fare Hike Four, and the Alliance for Biking and Walking’s People Powered Movement Photo Contest is now open for public voting. Vote for your favorites before December 31.