In comments, reader JJ has a front-line report on the Kent Avenue repaving, which (as promised) started yesterday evening:
The transformation of Kent Ave. started last night. And kept me up most of the night as DOT crews tore up the asphalt between Broadway and S. 7th. Thank God!
Based on the condition of the street this morning, I can see why JJ didn’t get much sleep. This is more than just repainting the bike lanes – DOT is doing a full-on repaving.
JJ goes on to echo some of my own previous thoughts on the whole Kent Avenue tempest:
I’m glad to see some change, but the coming change is not the answer either. The bike lanes and no parking was a big mistake. It turned Kent Ave. already dangerous because of how people speed down it, into an open freeway… Kent Ave is not the West Side Highway, it’s not going to be the west side highway and the Brooklyn Greenway plan to make it into one was a mistake…
Indeed – the removal of parking on Kent Avenue has made the speeding (and passing) much worse. If you aren’t going at least 40, you have a good chance of being passed (either on the right or the left). DOT’s 2008 bike lane project did turn Kent into the West Side Highway (actually, it was already like that – the bike lane project just made it worse by eliminating all parking). The addition of parking and elimination of one lane of traffic should slow things down considerably.
What about pedestrians? how can the city have rezoned the whole waterfront for housing, on the other side of a truck route and not imagined that thousands of people a day might need to cross that street? The North side is still mostly without traffice lights to allow pedestrian crossing to the high rises and a state park — I mean come on get real.
Spot on – this is something I have been talking about since the bike lanes went in last year. The repaving of Kent Avenue that is going on right now is more than just painting new lines on the street – DOT is ripping up the street (a pretty new one, at that) to lay down new asphalt. They should be using this opportunity to put in an actual greenway, but they are not. But if DOT is not using this opportunity to put in traffic lights at at least three or four intersections between Grand and North 14th, they just don’t get it.