Bicycling in Brooklyn: The Red Hook Experiment

The Forum for Urban Design challenges designers to create a bicycle-friendly plan for Red Hook.

The Forum for Urban Design is soliciting ideas for a bicycle-parking garage by the elevated subway station near Red Hook, Brooklyn.

New York City’s controversial new Ikea opens tomorrow, and eager shoppers are already lining up to be among the first to enter the 346,000-square-foot box in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood (and possibly receive a free sofa, armchair, or gift card). Meanwhile, locals are understandably apprehensive about the estimated 14,000 cars a day that will begin clogging streets on weekends.

While Brooklynites watch to see if Red Hook will be ruined or revitalized (or neither), the Forum for Urban Design is reimagining it as the most bicycle-friendly neighborhood in New York. Taking note of Red Hook’s isolation from public transportation (the nearest subway stop is about a mile away), the Forum is challenging architects and planners to design a bicycle-parking garage, plan dedicated bike lanes, and identify possible funding sources for development.

Today it announced that, thanks to a donation from a local bicycle enthusiast, the prize money for the winner has been increased to $10,000. (Four finalists will also receive $1,000 each.) The eight-person jury includes Metropolis contributing editor and Red Hook resident Philip Nobel, who began dreading the new Ikea way back in December 2006.

The Red Hook Bicycle Master Plan Design Competition is accepting registrants until July 18. Final submissions are due September 26.

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