Spring 2004, p.5

The DOT Half Way to Fixing Brooklyn Side of Manhattan Bridge Path

Though the DOT's new plan will make cycling away from the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge safer, cyclists riding to the bridge on Jay Street will still face dangerous motorized traffic.

At the April meeting of Brooklyn Community Board 2’s Transportation Committee, the City Department of Transportation presented its new bicycling and walking access plan for the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge. The DOT will open the bridge’s new bicycling-only path on the north side of the bridge in July 2004. The agency plans to create a new bike lane on Jay Street from Sands to Tillary Streets to lead cyclists away from the bridge and new bike lanes on Navy and Sands Streets to lead cyclists to the bridge.

In spite of these improvements, T.A. is still concerned that motorists blindly exiting the bridge will strike one of the 1,000 cyclists and walkers using Jay Street every day. Jay Street is by far the most popular cycling and walking route to the bridge. T.A.’s 2003 Manhattan Bridge Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Study found that 80% of bicyclists and pedestrians use Jay Street to get to the bridge path.

The DOT should take the following steps to improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians using Jay Street to get to the Manhattan Bridge:

  • Install yellow, diamond shaped bicycle warning signs on the Manhattan Bridge off-ramp to alert motorists exiting the bridge that bicyclists are riding on Jay Street. These signs would be even more effective if they were emphasized with blinking yellow beacon lights.
  • Install shared lane pavement markings on Smith Street from Bergen Street to Fulton Street and on Jay Street from Fulton Street to Sands Street. The shared lane marking features a standard six-foot high bicycle symbol, but without bike lane stripes. In Spring 2003, the DOT tested shared lane markings on a six block stretch of University Avenue in Morris Heights in the Bronx. Both cyclists and the community have responded positively to the lane marking.
  • Convert the southbound buffered bike lane on Jay Street to a non-buffered bike lane and install a complementary northbound bicycling lane on Jay. Removing the buffer from the southbound lane will free enough street space to stripe a five-foot wide bike lane on the northbound side of Jay.
  • Study converting the southbound buffered bike lane on Jay Street to a physically separated, on-street, two-way bike lane. As part of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, the DOT installed a physically separated, on-street, two-way bike lane at the entrance to the Harlem River Greenway at 155th Street and Harlem River Drive.

Write to:
Commissioner Iris Weinshall
NYC Department of
Transportation
40 Worth Street
New York, NY 10013
www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/maildot.html 

Read the latest news on this subject.