Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cyclists Are Moving Targets on Navy Street

Posted By on Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 8:58 AM

The Navy Street footbridge.
  • The Navy Street footbridge.

In August Gothamist got some scary video of an unlucky cyclist moments after he'd been hit in the head with a brick thrown by some teenagers on the Navy Street footbridge linking the Walt Whitman and Ingersoll houses in Fort Greene, but at the time it seemed to be an isolated incident. But in the intervening months more incidents have occurred along the winding street, with cyclists riding in the lanes passing beneath the mesh-enclosed bridge being hit by various projectiles launched from its fence-less entrance ramp.

A series of incidents at the bridge—which passes over a crucial link for Brooklyn cyclists headed between DUMBO and the Manhattan Bridge and all points east—this year has included riders being hit with beer bottles, a golf ball, apples, rocks and water balloons, the Brooklyn Paper reports. Cyclists passing the bridge can neither see those throwing things at them, nor chase them as the entire roadway is fenced in.

Yana Walton, who was riding past the bridge when she was hit by some rocks, said: "It’s definitely deliberate — but I don’t think it’s a ‘community vs. bikers’ thing. It’s a bunch of bored kids."

Incidents have become increasingly infrequent with the cooling weather and reduced number of cyclists passing the bridge, but an 88th precinct spokesperson says, "We are working with the housing complex to increase patrol near the footbridge."

The Navy Street footbridge sits in what, according to recent census data, is the poorest part of Brooklyn.

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