A Short, Simple Bike Lane on Franklin Ave Got Snarled at Brooklyn CB 9

The stencils are in jeopardy. Image: NYC DOT
The stencils are in jeopardy. Image: NYC DOT

The Brooklyn Community Board 9 transportation committee endorsed a seven-block bike lane on Franklin Avenue earlier this month, but now it looks like a procedural snafu may scuttle the bike connection between Eastern Parkway and Empire Boulevard.

DOT reps told committee members that a repaving next month is an opportunity to extend the Franklin Avenue bike lane, which currently ends at Eastern Parkway [PDF]. CB 9 had rejected that plan in 2014, but last month the transportation committee voted 6-0 for the project with four abstentions.

Before yesterday’s full board meeting, however, committee member Karen Fleming called the vote into question, according to emails obtained by Streetsblog, since 11 people are needed for a quorum. (Fleming herself had abstained.) CB 9 Chair Musa Moore agreed to pull the project from the agenda.

With just weeks to go before DOT repaves the corridor, that could delay the bike lane installation another year.

At last night’s full board meeting, committee chair Fred Baptiste said that instead of installing a bike lane, DOT will devote that five feet of street width to extra-wide parking lanes, according to Transportation Alternatives organizer Erwin Figueroa. New crosswalks are still set to be installed at Union Street and Carroll Street.

“We are discussing internally the best way to move forward so markings can be installed, making Franklin Ave safer and efficient for all users,” a DOT spokesperson told Streetsblog.

An unprotected bike lane is a basic improvement that adds a bit of definition to where cyclists and drivers should travel on the street. Those treatments should be the default in the Vision Zero era. Instead, a procedural snafu at the local community board might put this off another year.