Bike Corral Critics Petition to Get Parking Spot Back

Longtime residents call bike racks part of a gentrification trend that feels "more like a takeover than a partnership."


Update: Jan. 22, 5 p.m.: The Transportation Committee of Community Board 8 will be discussing the bike corral tonight, Tuesday, January 22 at 7pm at CNR-Center Light Healthcare Center (727 Classon Avenue, between Park Place and Prospect Place).

Update: Jan. 16, 10:38 a.m.: A petition has been started in support of the bike corral and is available at Little Zelda, 728 Franklin Ave. bet. Park and Sterling. Organizers say signing in person is best, but for those who can't get over there, they can sign an online petition. Questions can be sent to littlezelda.bk@gmail.com.


Just five weeks after innovative on-street bike racks were installed on Franklin Avenue, two area residents have launched a petition campaign has been launched to get it removed.

The DOT installed the “bike corral” in front of Little Zelda on Franklin Avenue between Park and Sterling places in late November. The corral replaces one parking space with eight bike spaces and two large planters.

The city’s bike-friendly Department of Transportation has installed at least nine bike corrals since 2011 including four in Brooklyn. Franklin Avenue’s corral could have the distinction of becoming the first to be removed.

Constance Nugent-Miller, whose family has lived in the neighborhood for two generations, started the petition with Karen Granville, who lives a few doors down from Little Zelda. Currently the petition has “about 224” signatures, Nugent-Miller said.

Nugent-Miller says the racks can be moved to the sidewalk and that the spot is needed for cars—especially since the B48 has returned after a two-year hiatus last week, eating up several more spots on the congested strip.

Nugent-Miller, whose family has lived in the neighborhood for two generations, said the dispute over the bike corral is about more than just a parking space.

“This is way beyond just a bike rack,” she said in an e-mail. “There are so many more subterranean issues at play here.”

Nugent-Miller, who lives on St. John's place between Franklin and Bedford and owns a second building on Bedford near Park Place, said the corral has “divided Franklin Avenue merchants” and “awakened longtime residents” who feel the racks were imposed upon by the area’s newer merchants and residents.

“I live in that community no one ever spoke to me,” Granville said at a Community Board 8 meeting last week.

“A lot of the residents feel that gentrification is more of a takeover than partnership,” Nugent-Miller agreed following the meeting.

But Kate Blumm, who opened Little Zelda with her husband last year, said the decision to install the corral came with unanimous support from the board’s Transportation Committee and overwhelming support by the full board.

Blumm, who with husband and Zelda co-owner Michael De Zayas, collected over 200 signatures in support during the application period, said the racks were approved by the Transporation Committee after a presentation by the DOT and much discussion and consideration of the issues, including the loss of the parking spot.

Blumm argues that the corral makes the street “neater” since there will be fewer bikes chained to lampposts, that the planters will make it greener, and that it offers eight times as many parking spots for potential customers as a single car parking place would.

She added that “it would have been expedient for the petition-filers to participate in that discussion instead of airing concerns after the corral was installed,” but Nugent-Miller and Granville say they would have been glad to, if only they had known about them in advance.

Those interested in signing the petition should e-mail Nugent-Miller at cnugentmiller@yahoo.com.

Bill lombard January 20, 2013 at 08:02 PM
I just moved from Wisconsin, I'm a self declared artist and street performer. My parents are paying my 2800 dollar a month rent so I can perpetually stay in my Peter Pan stage . All long time residents, we are cooler than you, we need our bicycles to flagerantly violate traffic laws and blast through red lights with no regard for you. Now that I'm a resident it's my neighborhood. So please move away as I price you out as I buy my 12 dollar fair trade cappuccino.
Jerome January 20, 2013 at 09:14 PM
I am a longtime resident (26 years) and do not have enough money to own a car. I rely on my bicycle to save money on the subway and to get to a job that's hard to get to. I like bike corrals like this.
Rob Witherwax January 22, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Don't forget: this issue will be addressed at tonight's CB8 Transportation meeting, 7PM at CNR (727 Classon Ave).
Franklin Shopper! January 22, 2013 at 10:42 PM
This is silly. How many meetings is the board going to have over something they approved and worked with the community to install a long time ago. I'm sorry that people don't like this, but the time to speak up was at one of the other two public meetings. While I appreciate the board giving people the chance to speak about this it is a tad ridiculous to eliminate eight parking spaces over fears of gentrification! I'm not rich and guess what? I can't afford a car!!!
Linnea August March 29, 2013 at 05:16 PM
@tracy applewhite, whether you think bicyclists should ride on the sidewalk or not doesn't really matter. It is illegal for bicycles to be ridden on the sidewalk, and the NYPD enforces this rule (much more than they enforce cars speeding, which actually does kill people.)


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