A new southbound bike lane running 3.5 miles between Williamsburg and Crown Heights on Wythe/Franklin Avenue is scheduled for completion in August 2008.
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This is very exciting for me because I currently have no southbound bike lane between my house and friends in Williamsburg. There is a northbound lane all the way from my house to Williamsburg on Bedford and the difference between my southbound and northbound trip is tremendous. I always feel like I'm going to be pummeled by a truck any second on Franklin.
As of today, only a four block section on Franklin has a bike lane. We still have two weeks of August left so there might be progress, BUT the NYCDOT website has taken the Franklin/Wythe progress map down, so this could mean they were just kidding. (If you want to inquire about the bike lane please call the Brooklyn Borough Commissioner, Joseph Palmieri, at (718) 222-7259.)
Tell the commissioner the Franklin/Wythe bike lane isn't just important for me. It's important for local business, particularly Bristen's Eatery, a 'new soul food' cafe at Franklin and Sterling in Crown Heights. What's exciting is that this weekend Bristen's is starting their bike rental program in anticipation of the Franklin/Wythe bike lane.
I am not sure who their target audience will be, hopefully bored kids in the neighborhood, but it might be family and friends visiting local residents. I know that about a month ago two of my friends visited and wanted to rent bikes for a Sunday afternoon but it proved too cumbersome to find a rental agency close enough in Brooklyn.
The rentals come with repair and safety accessories and some bikes can even be rented up to 3 weeks.
So if you live in the area, or want to come visit me in Crown Heights, you can rent a bike and eat some waffles.