New Bike Stencils Completed on the Lower East Side

As on Brookyn’s Fifth Avenue this weekend, it looks like DOT has finished installing the new Class III bike route stencils on Clinton and Delancey Streets. If you ride this route, let Streetsblog know what you think of these.

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  • The Delancy markings are somewhat unique due to the characteristics of that area: angle parking on both sides, irregular traffic control (hard to see the stop signs), and the area around Pitt is awash in illegally parked police and fire vehicles. So the lack of a defined lane strikes me as bad (it looks like a recommendation, not a lane). It’s not a bad recommendation since it is a low traffic area, and since so much traffic is funneled to the FDR crossing at the east end (jogggers, walkers, etc) I think drivers are reasonably aware.

    On the other hand, it’s not a great long route option. If you were heading south on the East River, you would be better picking up the path at South Street at Montegomery. Except there is no good south routh (Pitt would make the most sense, but it’s reverse flow up to Grand, and still more private vehible parking hell from the Police/Fire station). And if you were going north, turning up Pitt to C to 21st St would be better, since both north and south routes out of the park have improvement issues (too narrow north at 14th and unimproved just south of Grand).

  • ddartley

    I’m sort of worried by this—“they give us bike lanes,” to put it informally, but only in the most ineffectual places.

    I do travel that stretch of road periodically. And, I grant, only in the early evenings, so I don’t know what it looks like during morning rush or midday.

    But when I’m there, almost no moving cars use it. Small wonder, since it’s alongside the bridge ramp. It’s used by cars almost exclusively for its parking spaces. So it’s nice that it’s calm, but I don’t think it needed any further calming.

    IMO, Class III markings would be much more useful elsewhere, especially if “we” are only going to get a finite number of them! So my fear is that this is a symptom of still not wanting to inconvenience motorists. I hope I’m just being paranoid.

  • ddartley

    Oops–I didn’t mean to call them “lanes,” which I know they’re not.

  • I get the distinct impression that the individual in charge of this program at DOT is ignorant about biking in Manhattan. An experienced cyclist in Manhattan would know that very few cyclists use this part of Delancey Street on a regular basis. A better idea would be to put the stencils on Delancey Street from the end of the bike path on the Williamsburg Bridge to Essex or Allen Street, since so many bike commuters ride from Brooklyn to Manhattan on that part of Delancey Street in very heavy traffic.

  • ddartley

    I’m sorry I missed the discussion that followed the story here about these markings appearing on 5th Ave.

    Now I have seen such markings in Times Square, and sure enough, I have a problem with them.

    They still cater to motorists. The markings are on the edge, which encourages cyclists to “keep out of the way.” That is dangerous. How can a car and a bike “share” a lane whose width is designed for one car? This “pushing cyclists to the side” caters to motorists, and makes them compete with cyclists for a too-small amount of space. In places like Times Square, where cars can’t bloody move for all the traffic anyway, cyclists need encouragement to *take* a lane. Marginalizing them (literally, that is) fosters dooring, sideswiping (uncommon, I know), and conflict with pedestrians.

    I mean, come on, has anyone tried to stay in the “bike lane” as they ride downtown through Times Square? Good luck. It’s impossible because of huge clusters of pedestrians standing in them (don’t blame them), and cars, you know, SHARING them.

    The City needs clear “take the lane” instructions in certain areas; otherwise what’s the use of these new markings?

    Yeah, share the *road*, but not one lane!

  • sabina

    It looks like a bike LANE on Grand St (starting somewhere east of Clinton and going to at least Essex) might be happening. There is a “sketch” of a lane on the road as of like 2 days ago. This lane would conflict with all the cars turning to go on the bridge though, so it won’t be a big improvement.

  • Sigh. Get those cars off me. These sharrows are not helping.

  • I take this route almost every day…I used to go uptown all the way from the Manhattan bridge to 78th street on 1st Ave. But the car fumes were killing me. I went to photograph these new stencils a month or so ago for Streetsblog, and I followed them to the East River Greenway. I agree with all the negatives comments here about the stencils, however – I do enjoy my ride much much more now (until the Greenway ends and I get spit into traffic hell). We all know the cars are dangerous for bikers…but I mind their fumes more than anything else.

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