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Traffic safety advocates hope for completion of the Underhill Avenue bike boulevard

Underhill Avenue bike lane project remains in limbo
Underhill Avenue bike lane project remains in limbo 02:07

NEW YORK -  Underhill Avenue in Prospect Heights was in the process of a redesign project that would bring the community a connected bike lane, running half a mile from Underhill Plaza to Eastern Parkway. It's a stretch of road with a long history of crashes. 

The plan was to change some two-way streets to a one-way and implement traffic calming measures like shortened crosswalks and diverters in the middle of the road. 

The project was mostly complete when it was suddenly put on pause in September. Then, the Department of Transportation put up signs linking pedestrians to a survey to find out what people think of the plan. 

Gib Veconi, chair of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, tells CBS New York's Hannah Kliger that the sudden decision left them hanging. 

"This is a project that had more than two years of community engagement. I mean, five on-street workshops over those two years, more than four presentations to the community board," he recalls. 

Proponents of the redesign, like Jackson Chabot, Director of Advocacy and Organizing at Open Plans, are anxious for a resolution. 

"Please complete the project. And when you do, then come back and ask the same questions and really get a better understanding of what people think," Chabot says.

However, Raul Rivera, a TLC driver who runs a social media group called NYC Drivers Unite, says this can make traffic much worse. 

"People need to know what's going on because what happens is these streets are being closed, we're losing access to our streets and then people find out when it's too late. So they don't need to rush this," Rivera explains.

Rivera says it can also create problems for garbage trucks and emergency vehicles. 

On Feb. 5, the mayor defended the delay and said he plans to make a decision soon. 

"I had them give me reports from FDNY, NYPD to make sure in no way we were going to impede on movement of traffic for emergency vehicles," Mayor Eric Adams said.

Months after the survey was conducted, the results have still not been released, and the project remains in limbo. 

Neither City Hall nor the Department of Transportation replied directly to CBS New York's requests for comment. 

Have a story idea or tip in Brooklyn? Email Hannah by CLICKING HERE.

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