New Bike Lanes in Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn Still Waiting
In the Fall, the New York City Department of Transportation installed new five-foot wide bicycle lanes on two popular cycling streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The northbound Berry Street lane runs 1.5 miles from Broadway, under the Williamsburg Bridge, to Guernsey Street near the north end of McCarren Park in Greenpoint. The northbound Manhattan Avenue lane runs 1.32 miles from Broadway in East Williamsburg to Engert Avenue, on the east side of McCarren Park.
City DOT officials say that the agency installed the new bike lanes to reduce chronic speeding by narrowing the travel lanes. When motorists see a bicycle lane and that the road is a little narrower, they tend to slow down and drive more carefully. The agency installed the new lanes without removing motor vehicle travel or parking lanes. As it wraps up work on the new Williamsburg Bridge bicycle and pedestrian path, the City DOT should install bike lanes and signs that lead cyclists between the Berry Street bike lane and the new path entrance/exit at the corner of South 5th Street and South 5th Place, three blocks from Berry Street.
In the Summer 2003 issue of Transportation Alternatives Magazine T.A. reported that, as a result of the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project, the City DOT planned to stripe ten more bike lanes to serve the popular cycling neighborhoods around Downtown Brooklyn. In October 2003, T.A. requested an installation timeline from the City DOT, but the agency has remained mum. We can only speculate on where the plans are sitting within the agency’s bureaucracy.