Is the second try the charm for adding bike lanes to the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge? Image: DOT [PDF]
DOT has a plan to add bike lanes to the J. J. Byrne Memorial Bridge, which carries Greenpoint Avenue across Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens [PDF
]. The agency has also mapped out new striped bike lanes and markings in Sunnyside and Long Island City [PDF
], which would improve access to the bridge.
A similar DOT plan for the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge from 2010 would have changed the roadway from two car lanes in each direction to one, with buffered bike lanes on either side. DOT mothballed the bike lanes a year later after opposition from Brooklyn Community Board 1 and local trucking and industrial interests.
With two wide lanes in each direction, the bridge has remained a source of constant complaints about speeding. DOT says it has received requests for changes from Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Assembly Member Joe Lentol.
Bike planning workshops DOT hosted with Queens Community Board 2 in 2012 identified the bridge as a missing link in the network. On the Brooklyn side, the crossing connects to bike lanes on Greenpoint Avenue, which currently terminate at Kingsland Avenue at the foot of the bridge. About 600 cyclists cross the bridge on weekends and weekdays, according to DOT counts from June 2014.
The current DOT project calls for adding striped, unprotected bike lanes on both the Queens and Brooklyn approaches, with two lanes of car traffic maintained in each direction. On the bridge’s center span, the bike lanes would gain four-foot buffers. Two lanes for Queens-bound car traffic would be retained, while Brooklyn-bound drivers would merge into one lane before returning to two lanes as the bridge touches down in Greenpoint.
On the Queens side, as reported by the LIC Post, DOT is planning the second phase of bike network expansion in Sunnyside and Long Island City. Like the first phase, it will mostly consist of painted bike lanes and sharrows, though there is a short two-way protected bike lane proposed for Borden Avenue.