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Posts from the Randall’s Island Category


Eyes on the Street: Randall’s Island Connector to Open in “Coming Weeks”

The Randall’s Island Connector is still fenced off, but not for long. EDC says an opening date will be scheduled “in the coming weeks.” Photo: Stephen Miller

The Randall’s Island Connector, a greenway link between the South Bronx and Randall’s Island, is almost complete. Bronxites are anticipating a ribbon-cutting any day now from the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which is building the project.

The new path crosses the Bronx Kill, a narrow waterway separating Randall’s Island from the Bronx. Without it, the only way to bike or walk from the Bronx to Randall’s Island is over narrow paths on the Triborough Bridge that include stairs, sharp curves, and a steep ascent to bridge level.

In contrast, the connector will provide a flat, direct crossing from E. 132nd Street in Port Morris to 330 acres of public parks and greenways on Randall’s Island.

Construction crews are currently finishing up handrail installations and minor fencing work, EDC says, before the city schedules a grand opening.

EDC wouldn’t give an exact opening date — but it should be soon. “As we put the finishing touches on the Randall’s Island Connector and schedule a grand opening event in the coming weeks, we are excited for the many opportunities that this neighborhood asset will provide for the community,” an agency spokesperson said.


East 106th Street Road Diet and Bike Lanes Head to Manhattan CB 11

DOT is proposing a road diet for East 106th Street. CB 11's transportation committee could vote on it as soon as next month. Image: DOT

DOT is proposing a road diet for East 106th Street. CB 11’s transportation committee could vote on it as soon as next month. Image: DOT

Running between Fifth Avenue and FDR Drive, 106th Street in East Harlem should provide a key bike connection between Central Park and Randall’s Island. NYC DOT is proposing a road diet and painted bike lanes [PDF] to improve safety on the street, and Community Board 11’s transportation committee could vote on the plan soon.

At 60 feet wide, 106th Street currently has two car lanes in each direction, even though one lane each way could handle the existing traffic. The connection to the Randall’s Island bike-pedestrian bridge at 103rd Street is also tricky to navigate. This is especially important since 106th Street is the most direct connection between Central Park and Randall’s Island, due to the prevalence of large super-blocks in East Harlem.

The present design contributes to the disproportionate share of traffic violence on East 106th Street. There were two  pedestrian fatalities in separate crashes in 2005, and a cyclist was killed at the intersection with Park Avenue in 2000, according to CrashStat. It ranks in the top third of Manhattan’s most dangerous streets, according to NYC DOT.

DOT is proposing a classic four-to-three lane road diet, converting the existing four car lanes to two car lanes, bike lanes, and a center median with left-turn lanes. At Second and Third Avenues, median islands would make intersections safer for pedestrians by turning one 60-foot crossing to two 25-foot segments.

Read more…


South Bronx Greenway Construction Gets Underway This Summer

SBxGwayLafayetteRendering_Slide.jpgA rendering of plans for Lafayette Avenue, with a planted median, standard painted bike lanes, and amenities along an expanded sidewalk. Image: NYCEDC
Construction is set to begin on the first stages of the South Bronx Greenway this summer, marking the first tangible results of a community-based, bottom-up campaign for more livable streets. The project will bring safer walking and biking and much-needed green space to neighborhoods where people-oriented streets are in short supply.

The redesigns of Lafayette Avenue and Hunts Point Avenue, as well as new waterfront park space at Hunts Point Landing, will all begin construction this summer, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Those streets will receive landscaped medians, expanded sidewalks, and new bike lanes. Work on Food Center Drive, which will include the first physically protected bike lane in the Bronx, is scheduled to begin this fall.

Implementation is close enough that people are getting excited about each construction truck that comes to the area, even though so far the crews are just doing regular road maintenance, said Miquela Craytor, the executive director of Sustainable South Bronx and a longstanding advocate for the greenway. 

Construction of the Randall's Island connector, which will eventually tie the South Bronx Greenway into the Manhattan bike network, is scheduled to begin in fall 2011, according to EDC. Adding a biking and walking path from the South Bronx to Randall's Island will give residents better access to the island's recreational facilities and provide a safe route to the new bike lanes planned for First and Second Avenue in Manhattan. When the connector is finished, said Craytor, the greenway will be between a quarter and a third complete.

What's about to be built differs somewhat from the original plans for the greenway, first put forward in 2006. In particular, plans to place pedestrian and bike paths along a median on Lafayette Avenue have been revised, with space for biking and walking shifted to the side of the street at the request of the Fire Department and the Department of Environmental Protection.

"We ended up putting quite a bit of that streetscaping to the sidewalk and expanding the sidewalk," said Craytor, noting that the center median will remain planted with trees and shrubs. She isn't particularly disappointed. "We successfully pushed back and ensured that the concept of slowing down traffic and narrowing the street was increased," said Craytor. "This will be an area for people, not vehicles."

More pictures below the fold:

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You Can be a Streetsblog Contributor Too

This photo comes to us from Bicyclesonly who is uploading photos (of, you guessed it, bicycles only) to Flickr and tagging them "streetsblog." By tagging your photos as such, they will automatically pop up on our newly revamped "Contribute to Streetsblog" page over there in the upper left corner of the screen. You can upload videos to YouTube and links to and tag them "streetsblog" also.

Regarding the photo above, Bicyclesonly writes:

One of the most pleasant Greenway routes in NYC is the Randall's Island Greenway Connector. Once the last segment of this route is complete, it will allow a car-free ride from the East Side Greenway to the new pedestrian/bicyclist ramp of the Triborough Bridge to Queens.


Eyes on the Street: Randall’s Island