An evening commuter enters the Sands Street bike path at Jay Street, after descending from the Manhattan Bridge.
Last month, the long-awaited Sands Street bike path officially opened, giving cyclists a much safer connection to the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge. From what I can tell so far, everyone loves the new protected space between Jay and Gold, which separates bike traffic from all the trucks and cars accelerating onto the BQE. If you bike over the bridge from Fort Greene or points east and south, it's a huge improvement. And once the Carlton Avenue Bridge reopens, this path should be an attractive approach to an even bigger swath of Brooklyn bike commuters.
We've received a few emails from readers who think the path would be safer with a few not-so-dramatic changes, and it will be interesting to see if DOT tweaks the Sands Street approach to address these concerns. One trouble spot: At the intersection where the Sands Street path meets the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge, cyclists have to cross against southbound traffic on Jay Street and eastbound traffic on Sands. Many are doing it in one fell swoop, making a diagonal movement that can be pretty dangerous.
Here's my attempt at a triptych showing what this looks like as a cyclist exits the bridge. The curb cut you see in the third frame is the entrance to the Sands Street protected path:
Some readers might get on the cyclist's case here for crossing against one of the lights, but I think this behavior is going to be pretty common as long as cyclists are asked to wait through two signal phases and make two separate crossings. Read more...