In a stunning reversal, the controversial and unauthorized detour sign on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg is back on top, less than 24 hours after it came down! Is it a testament to the rejuvenating power of Kabbalah Energy Drink, the semi-truck trailer upon which it rests? The Kabbalah connection is a tad awkward, considering that the Hasidic community's behind the detour. But local resident and Kent bike lane opponent Leo Moskowitz explains that one of the co-owners of the parking lot had previously given his blessing to the sign, and it was only removed yesterday without his knowledge. Moskowitz assures us that not only is the sign back for good, but—fasten your seat belts—activists are working on an even bigger sign!
The heightened opposition to the bike lane, which has some residents and business owners chafing because of a loss of parking, seems to be making an impact. Local City Councilman David Yassky and other officials recently withdrew their support and asked the DOT to paint over the lane. And after consulting with the community, yesterday the DOT began replacing "No Stopping" signs on Kent with "No Standing" signs to allow the pick up and drop off of passengers. DOT spokesman Scott Gastel gave us this statement:
The lanes enhance safety in a neighborhood with one of the largest and fastest-growing bicycling populations in the City, and they are a key step in building the Greenway along the Brooklyn waterfront. The project was developed with the support of the community board, and we have worked closely with the community to address their concerns. We will continue to identify locations to increase parking along side streets in the near future.
But what about the DIY detour sign? Gastel previously said that, obviously, only the DOT can authorize a detour, while Moskowitz downplays the sign as merely "an advisory sign on private property, the way Burger King or McDonalds can put up a sign." The big question now is whether the city cares enough to step in and take it down, and whether we can get some photos of that showdown.