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Bicycle Infrastructure

Dispute Over Kent Avenue Bike Lanes Keeps Rolling

11:23 AM EST on January 5, 2009

The reinstalled detour sign on Kent Avenue. Photo via Gothamist.

The controversy over the new bike lanes on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg (which recently resulted in the ouster of livable streets activist Teresa Toro as chair of the CB1 transportation committee) was chronicled in the New York Times over the weekend:

New York City has created more than 100 miles of bicycle lanes in recent years to encourage and accommodate the number of people who, compelled by a desire to preserve the environment or preserve their bank accounts, have taken to getting around on two wheels.

But the effort to turn the city into a place that embraces bicyclists has clashed with a long-entrenched reality — New York is a crowded, congested urban landscape where every patch of asphalt is coveted.

Gothamist has been following one of the most surreal aspects of the Kent Avenue drama—the ups and downs of the very unofficial "detour" sign pictured above, part of the anti-bike-lane campaign. On private property, it advises drivers that school buses will block the street and the bike lane while picking up and dropping off children. As of Dec. 31st, it was back up. As Gothamist writes, "The big question now is whether the city cares enough to step in and take it down."

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