According to bicycle accident data recently released by the city, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have Brooklyn’s greatest share of the most dangerous intersections in the borough for cyclists. Among the 62 serious bike injuries in Brooklyn during 2008 and 2009—the most recent years for which stats has been published—25 occurred in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene.
The Brooklyn Paper crunches those numbers, noting that about half these accidents took place on city-designated bike routes. The intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Navy Street lead the way with four accidents in 2009 alone, despite the painted bike lanes on Navy. Also making the list with three accidents each were the intersections of Navy Street an Tillary Streets, and DeKalb Avenue and Washington Avenue.
Why all the bike accidents? National Transportation Research Center analyst Diane Davidson tells the BP:
“Bike lanes don’t necessary improve safety at an intersection,” she said. “You still have to conduct a turning motion and the stripe doesn’t extend where streets meet. … It can provide a false sense of security.”
More likely to blame is the bottle-necking of cyclists and motorists headed to and from the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, many of whom drive through Fort Greene and Clinton Hill to reach their respective on-ramps.
And as the owner of Lafayette Avenue bike shop Bespoke Bicycles Cassidy Vare points out, these new statistics only include a share of all bicycle crashes, since many riders don’t file police reports after crashes. Maybe it’s time to revive the Lafayette Avenue bike lane plan a little early.
(Photo: Ghost Bikes)