Biking in the New York City should be filed under extreme sporting, but NYC’s Department of Transportation (DOT) is attempting to curb the dangers of biking by upping the number of bike lanes and connecting already existing lanes throughout the city. The battle of the Prospect Park West bike lane in Brooklyn has been widely publicized, but there’s another battle currently underway over how to handle bikers on the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge. Greenpoint Avenue is a heavily used truck route with some 26,637 commuters each day, and while there is not an official report on the number of cyclists, estimates from some transportation groups put the number of daily riders around 500.
The proposed lane would be a part of the already started $5.8-million resurfacing project for the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, which runs over Newton Creek and connects Brooklyn and Queens. The original design would have taken the 4-lane bridge down to two lanes for vehicles, which would then provide two lanes for cyclists as well as a large 9-foot buffer between them and the cars.
Currently, the bike lane on Greenpoint Avenue ends just before the bridge which puts cyclists into the mix of vehicular traffic where the street widens from two lanes of traffic to four. The intersection is prone to both vehicular and pedestrian collisions. The plan would put the intersection on a road diet and increase safety for more sustainable transportation – but it could also add to the already congested throughway which is one of the biggest issues facing the DOT.
Transportation planners will hold several meetings with residents and business owners in the area to talk about potential designs. With New York City’s aim to increase bicycling commuting over the next few years coupled with its devotion to increasing the already expansive bike network, this proposal would be great, not just for cyclists, but also for pedestrians and drivers. Some residents and store owners say they don’t see many bikers on the bridge, but maybe this is a case of “if you build it, they will come.”
Via Brooklyn Paper