Town will set up bike lanes on two Decrease East Aspect streets when the East River Greenway closes in coming months for a serious flood-remediation undertaking.
The Division of Transportation plans to current the proposal for everlasting protected bike lanes on Avenue C and on the intense finish of Houston Avenue to Neighborhood Board 3’s transportation committee assembly subsequent month, a spokeswoman stated. The lanes will run on Houston from Second Avenue to the waterfront and on Avenue C from Houston north to twentieth Avenue, enabling cyclists touring from under Houston on the existing bike lanes on Pike and Allen streets to attach with the bike community additional north, in response to an official with information of the plan.
The DOT’s proposal for the bike infrastructure comes as town is ready to start the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, a four-year, $1.45-billion scheme to lift the peak of the East River Park to keep off climate-linked flooding. The park holds a part of the greenway, a 9.4-mile mixed-use path that features as an necessary north-south route for bike commuters and leisure cyclists. The undertaking will shut the park and its a part of the greenway — about 2.5 miles of shoreline — in stages starting in the spring and lasting until at least 2025. (The timeline acquired pushed again from a fall begin due to the coronavirus pandemic.) Cyclists have lengthy voiced issues that the undertaking would shunt them onto unsafe metropolis streets.
“It’s clear these protected bike lanes might play a essential position in saving the lives of my constituents. And they’re coming at this essential time, due to the laborious work we put in to make sure town made large commitments for our native parks, streets, and NYCHA developments,” stated Council Member Carlina Rivera, who with fellow LES lawmakers negotiated the bike lanes as a part of a package of community benefits to ameliorate the park reconstruction for residents.
Native cyclists, who have agitated for protected bike lanes on several Alphabet City avenues due to the hazard of these streets, expressed cautious optimism concerning the DOT’s plan.
“I’m trying ahead to Avenue C dwelling as much as the worldwide commonplace of a protected bike lane, versus the prevailing discontinuous painted lanes, which have been fully ignored by drivers for years,” stated native biking activist Sophie Maerowitz.
Maerowitz stated, nonetheless, that security issues ought to drive the DOT to expedite its proposal.
“What occurs if the group board asks for an amended proposal earlier than approving, and the DOT has to attend months till its subsequent presentation?” she stated. “If there’s a niche in time between the East River path closing and the brand new lanes coming in, an unlimited variety of cyclists and micromobility customers are going to be with out secure passage on the East Aspect, which is terrifying given how a lot visitors violence we’ve seen this 12 months alone.”
Within the final 12 months, CB3 has skilled 1,994 car crashes, killing one pedestrian and injuring 142 cyclists, 147 pedestrians and 323 motorists, according to Crashmapper. Houston Avenue (a truck route) is the epicenter of many crashes and has seen an epidemic of rushing through the pandemic, locals report. Different harmful arteries within the confines of the group board embody Canal and Delancey streets (a protected bike lane on Pitt Avenue, which is the continuation of Avenue C south of Houston Avenue, was in the works earlier this year). Neighborhood Board 3, which encompasses 1.7 sq. miles and about 165,000 residents, runs from Third Avenue east to the FDR Drive, and north from Brooklyn Bridge to 14th streets. The greenway was utilized by about 2,000 cyclists day by day earlier than the pandemic biking growth.
Native biking advocates initially had pushed to get a protected bike lane on Avenue B which, not like Avenue C, will not be a bus route. But the city made Avenue B an “open street” in the summer as part of its pandemic social-distancing measures. Now the main focus is to make Avenue B a everlasting open road, much like the effort to maintain Berry and Driggs streets in Brooklyn open completely and a similar approach on Queens’s 34th Avenue, Maerowitz stated.
Native volunteers have taken possession of the open road on Avenue B (and their barricades are lovely!) https://t.co/api0JQ01xc
— Transportation Options (@TransAlt) July 7, 2020
The resiliency undertaking has provoked controversy because it was introduced in 2018 as a measure to regulate the form of catastrophic flooding that inundated the Decrease East Aspect throughout 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. Residents protested the four-year closure of the park even because the adjoining freeway, the FDR Drive is to remain open for car visitors. The East River Park runs from Corlears Hook under the Williamsburg Bridge as much as about 14th Avenue and comprises ball fields and an amphitheater, amongst different leisure services. However the concessions town made to the group, native teams against the undertaking sued to cease it; the suit was thrown out.