There are two big community board votes this week, both on Wednesday.
The Manhattan CB 4 transportation committee will decide whether to endorse a protected bike lane for Sixth Avenue from 14th Street to 33rd Street. DOT brought this plan to the table in response to years of community advocacy. CB 4 was among the local community boards that asked DOT to study protected bike lanes on Midtown avenues and has a record of backing street safety improvements, but a strong show up support will help push this project through.
Update: This meeting has been postponed until December 16. In Brooklyn, the CB 9 transportation committee will again take up a street reconstruction project that will add public space and make it safer to walk at two intersections on Empire Boulevard: at East New York Avenue, Remsen Avenue, and Utica Avenue; and at Franklin Avenue and Washington Avenue. From 2009 to 2013 there were 490 injuries at the two locations combined — an average of one injury every three days — including 29 serious injuries. The CB 9 transportation committee has supported the plan, but the full board tabled a vote when some board members and residents complained the redesign would interfere with their personal driving habits.
Community board votes are supposed to be advisory, but DOT rarely moves forward with a safety project over a board’s objection. It’s crucial that CB 9 and DOT hear from people who want a safer Empire Boulevard.
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