Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. wants better bike infrastructure on the Grand Concourse.
In his “State of the Borough” speech on Thursday, Diaz said a bike lane on the Concourse is among his 2016 policy goals. “We’ve made improvements to the Grand Concourse, and we will bring a dedicated bike lane to this iconic roadway,” Diaz said.
The Grand Concourse extends about five miles from the southwestern tip of the borough to Mosholu Parkway. Below 162nd Street there are no bike lanes. Last year a cyclist was killed crossing the Concourse by Franz Sigel Park at 158th Street.
Above 162nd Street the Concourse has a central roadway and service roads. The service roads have buffered bike lanes next to curbside parking, but they’re faded and prone to blockage by double-parked cars. Converting those bike lanes to a Queens Boulevard-style design should be a relatively simple matter.
DOT is expected to put forward a redesign of the Grand Concourse soon. It is one of four “Vision Zero Great Streets” slated to receive a combined $250 million in capital improvements over the next few years.
Transportation Alternatives’ Bronx Activist Committee has been pushing for a “complete street” redesign of the Grand Concourse, organizing monthly “Complete the Concourse” rides and winning the support of council members Ritchie Torres and Andy Cohen. With Diaz on board for improved bike infrastructure, political support is aligning nicely.
Diaz spokesperson John DeSio confirmed that he has decided to support safety improvements on the Grand Concourse, and that the ball is in DOT’s court to move forward with a proposal. “A lot of the Grand Concourse doesn’t [have bike lanes] and we want to make sure we have a safe and consistent means to cycle up the Grand Concourse,” he said.