Friday, October 2, 2009

Bike lane killing business

From the NY Post:

Pop’s Popular Clothing has been in business in North Brooklyn since 1949, weathering four wars, three recessions, and one rezoning. But the city’s constructions work on Kent Avenue, nearby the store’s 7 Franklin Street location, may force Pop’s to close its doors after 60 years on the waterfront.

The work clothing retailer sits adjacent to the Department of Transportation’s proposed redesign of Kent Avenue, which would add two bicycle lanes and cut traffic to a one-way northbound lane.

Pop’s owner, Steve Rosenberg, believes that the addition of the bike lane, which eliminated parking in the surrounding area last November, has prevented many of his most loyal customers, truck drivers, tradesmen, and construction workers, from visiting his shop.

“I’ve lost 70 percent of my business. Most of my customers come here by car or by truck,” said Rosenberg. “During the week, you cannot get a parking space here. You drive around for hours. Truckers do not come here anymore. My truck business is down to nothing.”

For Rosenberg, that is a major problem. He just completed a large order for Carhatt jeans and it’s Pop’s busiest time, when many construction workers come to restock on work boots and clothing they have worn out over the past six months.

“We get some orders over the Internet, but guys my age (over 40) don’t use the Internet,” said Rosenberg. “I’m going to keep supporting the business until I run out of money, and then I close down.”

“Recently I have heard a lot of our leaders speaking about the benefits that the small businessmen provide to our economy and how we need to help them in these extremely tough economic times,” said Rosenberg, in a letter to Mayor Bloomberg. “I do not solicit or request any help monetarily. I only appeal to let me conduct my business without the DOT making it impossible for me to perform my business.”


Anonymous said...

Huh, what recession?

Anonymous said...

I worked on Kent ave when there was parking and then had to go back to Kent ave. to work again and I could not believe that the Blooming idiot of a mayor had taken away hundreds of parking spots and put in bike lanes. Kent ave. is a very busy ave. and now very populated, thanks to all the new condos. I think they should give back the parking, not only for the store owners but for the people who live there. If the mayor wants people not to drive into the city, maybe he should let us folks who drive to the train or want to leave their cars home, have a place to park. He is definately fucking the small business owners. Can't shop if you can't park. Those metermaids are out in full force to give out tickets in a heart beat. I say DUMP BLOOMBERG IN NOVEMBER!!!!

Anonymous said...

eric? from ta?....surely you notice the closed hospitals that fund you lanes, and suffering business that take a back seat to your vital needs and tickets people get unloading grandma as you breezily go through stop lights?....someone?... anyone?

Anonymous said...

cb1 owns this disaster. They voted to not make an opinion or recommendation on the DOT plans. Insane. The transportation chair wanted it that way , because she and her minions wanted this bike lane at any cost.Toro wanted this so badly it nearly got her fired. (Too bad it didn't) So the opinions of Transportation Alternatives and other special interest (they call themselves community activists) gave DOT carte blanche to screw this up for a handful of bicyclists and the luxury condo owners that want less truck traffic.

Erik Baard said...

Wow, even before I saw my mispelled name invoked ignorantly by someone trying to blame hospital closures on bike lanes, I called the store. It won't save the world, but I'm biking down there to check out some pants I needed. The don't have my length but were terribly nice and said they'd order them.

As for the bike lane on Kent, I've never seen anyone ticketed for parking in them. That's a rarity throughout the city, including in cases where hazards are posed.

I'm not an urban planner, but if good businesses are suffering I'm sure in the give and take some sensible agreement will be reached.

Bike lanes are safety measures. They increase drivers' awareness of bikers and carve out some buffer -- a margin of error -- should a car swerve or a biker lose balance. On standard streets, often times a small bump in the road or an opened car door can be a death sentence for a biker. Bikers aren't after territorial pissing matches when they seek some part of the streetscape. Bike lanes are bike safety lanes and nothing more.

Erik Baard said...

And the ticket mentioned was for double parking, not blocking a bike lane.

I have encountered people blocking bike lanes and often noted to them, "it's a bike safety lane." But if I see that they are helping an elderly or handicapped person, I hold my silence and move along. I'll apologize if I'm made aware of the need after noting the lane use. Bicyclists come in all stripes and most are sane, nice neighbors. Or at least nice, if not sane. :)

Anonymous said...

bikers..... how hard is it to ride a bike ? why the hell do they need a five foot wide lane for a 2 foot wide bike... is ridiculous .....they dont bring business any where .... they dont help the city and this is all for cheap votes cheap crappy bouji biker votes.

if you had to register and insure a bike , if police actually gave bikers moving violation tickets and parking tickets. i wouldnt be as mad.

but no somehow the simple act of riding a bike requires a five foot wide lane that bikers "choose" to use. just like how they choose to obey stop signs and stop lights.

is truly makes no sense when motorcyclist which are wider go faster have a higher rate of fatality then bicyclist for the past god knows how many years are DOING FINE WITHOUT A MOTORCYCLE LANE. seriously think about it

you dont see pansy vespa riders bitching about motor cycle lanes

if you're going to ride man up and ride dont make it harder for us cause you cant ride you 2 foot wide bike with out getting scrred in traffic..

oh i forgot your bitching has already made it harder for us on kent ave and beyond

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The only way I like to see a bike in NYC is on a rack on a car headed to somewhere that it is safe (for the rest of us) to ride it.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Right. The bike lanes are killing his business. Not the recession or anything like that.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of cars and trucks still on the road, so I doubt it's the recession. Besides, if he survived the 1970s, he'd be able to survive now. Must be the removal of the blocks and blocks of parking that many businesses rely on.

Anonymous said...

All the new condo dwellers... er, sorry, "tower people" moving in and this guy can't find any business? Maybe it's not the lack of parking after all. Maybe it's just a simple matter of supply and demand. He could adjust his inventory to something that is more pleasing to the hipsters (as if Carharrt weren't!).

Anonymous said...

It would make sense that truck drivers would arrive by truck. If there is a bike lane there, they cannot park and go to the store. This is hard to understand?