The improvement of bike lanes on Oriental Boulevard in the Manhattan Beach section of Brooklyn has infuriated local residents, even though the New York City Department of Transportation believes that the new signs are simply replacements of existing signs that will reduce pedestrian accidents and improve rider safety.
Civic leaders have complained about the bike lanes for several years, saying that speeding drivers often ignore the lines. They have urged the DOT to move the bike lanes to Shore Boulevard, leaving Oriental Boulevard to motor vehicles. They say that the new signage indicates that the DOT has ignored their proposals and intends to keep the bike lanes on Oriental Boulevard.
The community is very concerned about speeding, and believes that the existence of bike lanes simply encourages scofflaws. A four-year old boy was killed last year on Oriental Boulevard by a speeding driver.
The DOT says that the installation of bike lanes has reduced bike and pedestrian accidents city-wide. The agency cites its recent Pedestrian Safety Report and Action Plan, which indicates that streets with marked bikes lanes are 40 percent safer for pedestrians.
Source:Sheepshead Bites, “DOT Installs Bike Lane Signs On Oriental Blvd, Infuriating Manhattan Beach Civics“, by Randy Rojas, Jan. 9, 2012.