The Boerum Hill Traffic Task Force heard some good news at their monthly meeting last night. Just after telling Department of Transportation Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Joseph Palmieri they were interested in a bike share program in Downtown Brooklyn, they were told they just might be getting one soon.
A request for proposals (RFP) for a bike share program in New York City was issued late last year. The RFP does not specify the geographic locations for the program, but Downtown Brooklyn Transportation Coordinator Chris Hrones said Brooklyn is "absolutely" on the table.
"The winning bidder would propose the area, but we will work with them to get the bike share program where it makes the most sense," he said.
Councilmember Stephen Levin, whose office has sprearheaded recent traffic calming initiatives along with the Boerum Hill Association, said the bike share program would be welcomed.
"It would be my hope that they bring it to Brooklyn," he said.
One Boerum Hill resident and an avid cyclist Louie Fleck said bike sharing would be "wonderful."
"I love the idea of it," he said, adding that he would use the sharing system even though he has his own bike.
The bike share program is slated to launch in April, 2012.
Making the most out of Commissioner Palmieri's attendance, residents and elected officials or their staff raised many concerns related to Boerum Hill safety and transportation issues.
The task force, which , already has a set of resolutions they would like the DOT to look into. They include, among others:
- The installation of red light cameras, countdown lights and LPI's (leading pedestrian intervals) at major intersections on Atlantic Avenue
- The elimination of the 4 - 7 p.m. No Standing Zone on the west side of Atlantic Avenue
- The implementation of speed cameras on Atlantic Avenue
- A 365-day ferry from Atlantic Avenue to Manhattan
- The implementation of a 20-MPH zone across the neighborhood
- The implementation of a bike sharing program
- The expansion of the bike/ pedestrian path from the Brooklyn Bridge to Atlantic Avenue.
Palmieri listened and said his office would look into many of the residents concerns, including the notorious intersection of .
Some measures, like the installation of more red light cameras, cannot be taken under consideration because the number of such cameras is capped, Palmieri said. If Albany passes legislation allowing more than 150 at any given time, then the issue can be addressed. Palmieri said there are 200 in the city, but only 150 can be in operation at the same time.
Palmieri also said 1,500 countdown street lights are scheduled to be installed on thoroughfares the width of Atlantic Avenue within the next year.
As for a 20-MPH speed limit, the DOT is testing the pilot program in the Bronx this summer, and only after the pilot will other neighborhoods be considered for a change in speed limits.
The "20 is plenty" proposal is Levin's top priority.
"That would have a significant impact if done correctly," he said.