Friday, June 14, 2013

New Vernon Bike Lane mixed bag

The west side of Vernon Blvd is great for biking because there are almost no cross streets. I call it the low road to Brooklyn (as opposed to the Blissville / Greenpoint Ave high road). So the idea of an actual dedicated bike path (as opposed to an in-traffic bike lane) is great.

But... and this is a pretty big but, the official route includes a new detour through the park. Which this means that the majority of bicyclists, the kind actually trying to get somewhere, aren't going to use that part of it. So now bikes will be in the road with parked cars, less space, and cars being driver too fast.

So we're gaining a better bike path for most of Vernon Blvd but losing a bike lane for some of it. If that's the tradeoff, I'm willing to take it. But let's be clear: a bike path detouring through a park with people who don't respect bike lanes and paint saying "ahead peds to yield" is not a functional bike path at all, not for anybody but a Sunday recreational rider.

At the very least they should include "sharrows" on the street where there is no bike lane.

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