Eyes on the Street: A Sign of Respect

new.jpgLooks like there’s a new preferred bike route from the Brooklyn Bridge to the west side of Manhattan, and DOT’s signs and markings division wants you to know about it. The sign in this shot, snapped by Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson at the foot of the bridge, looks more like what you’d see from behind a windshield than from beneath a bike helmet.

Clarence reports that, for a moment at least, he felt like he’d been put on equal footing with drivers. It may be a small step, but this newfound attentiveness to directional signage for cyclists sure beats bent over pedestrian safety signs, and hard-to-spot share-the-road signs.

  • hey Clarence,
    Where does this sign point you to? When I go this way I usually just make a left on Chambers to connect to the Greenway. There are always several other cyclists doing the same during my morning commute.

  • Liam

    There is another helpful one on broadway that tells bicyclist when to turn to get on the brooklyn bridge.

  • Clarence

    It appears they want you to go one block north of Chambers and hang a left on Reade. Then take that new bike lane until it ends at Hudson and then scooch back over and use Chambers.

    This is essentially two very short blocks longer in length, but safer and less maddening then Chambers and in the end I don’t even feel it is any longer time wise.

    I have always used either Chambers or Reade depending upon the way I feel in the AM. If I want more solace I take Reade. If I want to people watch, rumble into potholes and jump metal street plates and get stopped by traffic agents when though it is my light because they are waving cars thru…well then I take Chambers. 🙂

  • bob

    I have noticed these signs all over the place in lower manhattan… There is a sign denoting “East Side” with bike picture on Washington and West 10th… similarly, there is a sign at Prince and 6th Ave telling you the best way to get to the West side highway…

    they are great…

  • Sainsbury

    The DOT painted the Reade Street bike lane over the Winter. Now that there’s more bike traffic it appears they want to divert it. Chambers is always a mess. So, it makes sense.

    I have tried the Reade Bike lane. Much better since paving the cobblestones. But, I find it more less direct. The extra two blocks don’t concern me. It’s all the delivery trucks, taxis, etc. that block the lane. Then crossing intersections seems slower since Chambers lights take priority.

    I find it better to act like a car. Much safer, more visible. Riding in the margin invites trouble on Chambers. Of course, if riding in the middle of the car lane is uncomfortable then Reade is probably better.

  • jeremy

    Why don’t make Chambers Street the bike line? And eliminate parking. That would make far more sense.

  • mfs

    These are all over Brooklyn too.

  • Davis

    These signs should be a different color than the standard green motorist-oriented road sign.

    Berkeley, California, for example, has branded its bike boulevards with purple signs and markings.

    On my bike, I would probably never even notice this sign. A green sign, to me, is for cars. I’m just not looking for this out on the road when I”m riding.

  • Stu

    I tend to go south, around down Park Row to Barclay, up Church, and then over to the Greenway on Murray Street. It’s not very direct, especially since it involves going south when I’m going north, but it avoids Chambers, at least. The intersection at Chambers and the West Side Highway is awful.

  • Max Rockatansky

    I like heading south also, Chambers is a little too Death Race 2000 for me. Although I tend to ride it going back to the bridge. I guess it’s really the traffic coming off the bridge that bothers me more than Chambers.

  • Josh

    Up to Reade, across to Hudson, down to Chambers and then over to the highway is the way I’ve been going for a while now and it works quite well, especially with the lane striped on Reade. Unfortunately I haven’t yet found a better way to go back than just riding across Chambers (which is one reason why I usually work back across and down diagonally and go home over the Manhattan Bridge).

  • Max Rockatansky

    Open question – any ideas on the best route to Rockefeller Center from downtown Brooklyn?

  • marco

    here in switzerland, a new road sign policy has started. It includes road signs for pedestrians, cyclist and even rollerbladers.

    if you want to see how is it like, just check:
    http://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/welcome.cfm

  • Ed Ravin

    The first time I saw one of these signs was on Dyckman Street in 2003 – just after the temporary Manhattan Greenway was built, showing people how to leave or enter the Harlem River Greenway.

  • Mike

    Never saw the problem with Chambers. At least during rush hours, it’s so crammed and traffic is always held up at one light or another that you can just scoot up the side – either along the sidewalk, which is miraculously clear most of the time (since the road is so narrow) or outside of the moving lane along the center line. To me it feels so traffic calmed (due to its congestion) that it’s one of the least stressful parts of my commute. Just have to be on the look-out for pedestrians crossing mid-block popping out from between cars.

  • Brooklyn

    Mike, I disagree. While on the bike, I have no problem watching out for potholes, traffic or pedestrians individually, but I find that on Chambers between Broadway and West Side Highway I have to constantly watch for all three at the same time. Makes, at least, for excessively stressful and unpleasant riding.

    Followed the sign off the bridge on Sunday and took Reade for the first time — what an absolute pleasure by comparison. Turned right on Hudson to go uptown — the Greenway’s for schmucks anyway.

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