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Civic Group Wants Bike Stands Out, Stop Sign In At Dutch Kills Intersection

dutch kills centraal bike corral

May 9, 2016 By Michael Florio

The Dutch Kills Civic Association is calling on the Department of Transportation to improve safety conditions at what it says is a dangerous intersection.

The association wants the DOT to implement a series of safety measures at 39th Avenue and 29th Street, including a stop sign, increasing visibility for pedestrians as well as removing a bike corral.

The DKCA will host a rally at the intersection on May 13th at 6:30 p.m. Elected officials and DOT representatives have all been invited.

Thea Romano, President of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, said that cars often speed through the intersection and make hazardous turns.

“Apparently Vision Zero has not entered our little corner of the world,” Romano said.

She believes that a stop sign would put an end to this.

“Cars would have to come to a stop and cannot speed through,” she said.

However, calls for a stop sign are likely to fall on deaf ears, since the DOT decided earlier this year that this location does not qualify for one. The agency conducted a stop sign study before it came to that conclusion, a spokesperson said.

Romano also believes that the bike corral, which was put there as a solution to the traffic issues, should be removed.

“All it does is put more people in the intersection,” she said. “It takes up [parking] and does not improve safety conditions.”

Romano said the association is in favor of bike racks, but they do not believe this is the proper location.

However, the DOT spokesman argued that the installation of the bike corral helps to slow left-turning vehicles at the intersection, enhancing safety for pedestrians.

Dominic Stiller, former President of the Dutch Kills Civic Association and current Community Board 1 member, believes that the bicycle corral serves its purpose.

“Cars have to slow up and make wider turns,” Stiller said.

The bike corral is located in front of Stiller’s bar/restaurant, Dutch Kills Centraal, next to the outdoor seating.

“The corral makes it safer for pedestrians and those who sit at the restaurants outdoor café,” Dutch Kills Civic Association member and Stiller’s wife, Jean Cawley, said. “I feel more comfortable, especially with my child, at this intersection due to the bike corral.”

While Stiller is in favor of putting a stop sign at this location, he believes the Dutch Kills Civic Association is using the traffic conditions as a measure to reach their goal of removing the bike corral.

Community Board 1 opposed the installation of the bike corral in October 2014, when Stiller was arguing for it. Despite these recommendations the DOT went forward with this plan.

“They are more concerned with parking spots and have to realize that there are a lot of cyclist in the community,” Stiller said.

“A lot of the people who park here are not from the community,” he said. “They drive here from other neighborhoods, park and jump on the train from Manhattan.”

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Fed Up with Clueless Bike Haters

This group is crazy. Stop sign, fine, no problem with that, but to suggest that a bike corral needs to come out is nuts. It day-lights the corner making it easier for everyone to see each other, and as the DOT pointed out, it slows drivers making the turn. Their objection to the corral has nothing to do with safety, it has to do with their bias against bikes. The owner of Dutch Kills, a restaurant located on a bike lane, had been trying to get a corral for a while because it would help his business. Why is this group interfering with a business which benefits by expanding bike parking. Instead of a single car at that spot, obscuring everyone’s vision, 8 bikes can park there and you can easily see through the space to the other side. Really a silly silly move by this group.

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Anonymous

“They are more concerned with parking spots and have to realize that there are a lot of cyclist in the community,” Stiller said.

Maybe a lot, but not enough to justify taking away parking spots.

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Fed Up with Clueless Bike Haters

It IS parking. This provides parking for 8 customers instead of 1.

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