Lafayette Avenue, a one-way thoroughfare running from Downtown Brooklyn to Bushwick, is getting a buffered bike lane along a mile of its length, but the proposed lane ends at Bedford-Stuyvesant.

First, what's happening: The DOT will take away one of two lanes of car traffic and replace it with a bike lane separated by a three-foot-wide painted strip (no physical barrier) from Fulton Street to Classon Avenue. The area's Community Board 2 voted to approve the plan on February 10th, the Brooklyn Paper reported. Lafayette runs parallel to DeKalb Avenue, and the presentation the DOT gave [PDF] on the latest proposal notes that the installation of a buffered bike lane along DeKalb through Bed-Stuy, Clinton Hill, and Fort Greene in 2008 increased cycling along the street nearly tenfold, from 161 daily riders to 1,029 daily riders, whereas the installation of shared-road arrows along Lafayette in 2012 barely budged, from 489 riders to 577.

Sharrows have also been shown to not do much for cyclist safety, unlike separated bike lanes.

"I feel like [sharrows] are a joke," said Maddie Flynn, a Bushwick musician who during warm weather bikes between her apartment and Downtown Brooklyn "all the time." "Even bike lanes themselves are ignored, so share-the-road arrows are even less of an incentive for cars to pay attention to you."

Nevertheless, the rest of Lafayette, from Classon to Broadway, is stuck with sharrows for the foreseeable future. Asked why, a DOT spokeswoman would only say that the agency is looking at options and could present plans to Bedford-Stuyvesant's Community Board 3 soon. However, history shows why planners there might be reluctant to propose a bike lane through Bedford-Stuyvesant.

When the city first proposed a Lafayette bike lane to parallel the DeKalb one back in 2011, both Clinton Hill's Community Board 2 and CB 3 gave the idea a cool reception, with opponents arguing that the B38 bus route needed room to maneuver, as did double-parked trucks, and transportation planners scrapped it before board members voted on it. Since then, a petition to reconsider garnered 1,600 signatures.

Meanwhile, CB 3 has become something of a graveyard for road-safety proposals. For example, in 2014 the board voted to block the creation of a Slow Zone, where the speed limit would be lowered and traffic-slowing features such as speed humps installed. The board has also opposed bumping out sidewalks at Fulton Street and Utica Avenue, and adding sharrows to Brooklyn and Kingston avenues.

CB 3 chairwoman Tremaine Wright told Streetsblog in 2014 that traffic safety "is not an issue in our community, by and large."

In 2015, Lafayette in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill was the scene of 98 crashes that injured 31 people, 19 of them vehicle occupants, 3 of them cyclists, and 9 pedestrians, according to NYPD data. In the same year on Lafayette in Bed-Stuy, the street was the site of 55 crashes that injured 29 people, 26 of them vehicle occupants, 1 a cyclist, and 2 pedestrians. Transportation Department researchers recorded 24 percent of drivers speeding along the portion that is getting a bike lane during off-peak hours.

And the city has established that it considers at least part of the rest of Lafayette critically dangerous. Either end of the street sits in areas designated as Department of Transportation Vision Zero "priority areas" due to their outsized rates of pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries.

Community board decisions are merely advisory, but in Wright's neighborhood and elsewhere, the DOT has a history of giving in to board opposition when it comes to road-safety plans.

Flynn, the Bushwick cyclist, said that the ride west along DeKalb's bike lane makes for smooth sailing, but zig-zagging on the way back to get onto the Willoughby Avenue bike lane is not so much.

"Dekalb Avenue is pretty great when you’re going through Bed-Stuy, but when you’re trying to get back from Downtown Brooklyn, it gets dicey."

She noted that there is no easy subway connection between Downtown and Bushwick—the DOT said the DeKalb bike lane has had no affect on the B38 by the way—and had she not been able to bike to a recent jury duty stint, she would have spent a significant sum getting back and forth.

She went on, addressing Community Board 3:

Considering how many people die all the time on their bikes, what is their issue with putting in bike lanes and saving people’s lives? This is the minimum you can do for cyclists in New York City.

The Fort Greene-Clinton Hill lane is supposed to be installed by this summer.