Pedestrians, Bus Riders, and Cyclists Get a Better Bronx Hub

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These DOT photos [PDF] show off the revamped Bronx Hub — the shopping district and transit nexus in Melrose that just received a slew of livable streets improvements. Planters, surfacing, and a few strategically placed concrete islands demarcate pretty substantial new swaths of pedestrian space, including a block-long plaza (shown above and in bird’s eye view below). There’s also a short stretch of exclusive bus territory and some interesting bike lane treatments. Follow the jump for more pics.

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hub_overview_before.jpg

The plaza area shown pre-makeover, when it was traffic territory.

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Is this bike route treatment an experiment in diverting car traffic while allowing cyclists to ride straight through? We have a request in with DOT to see if cyclists are supposed to dismount before entering the plaza.

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North of the plaza, planters and pedestrian refuges set off space for people on foot. Note the planters in the bike lane buffer on the left (Melrose Avenue).

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How about sending a Fox 5 news crew to interview satisfied pedestrians?

Photos: NYCDOT

  • Nice! I remember riding through there a few times during the summer – this is a big improvement.

  • Rhywun

    That’s similar to what I’ve long wished would happen to Times Square.

  • vnm

    A transformation that benefits the vast majority of the users of an intersection. What a breath of fresh air. Congratulations and great work to all involved.

  • someone

    i just wish those planters on melrose were actually made form cement . . . they are just cheap plastic!!

    i rode my bike there a couple of weeks ago and a car clearly had driven into one pushing it as far as the next planter – not a nice situation were a cyclist in the not=so-protected bike lane. a little more to the right, and the car would have hit the inlucky cyclist with the planter and lord knows what else!

  • someone

    oops “not a nice situation were a cyclist TO BE IN . . . . .”

  • Ian Turner

    Although planters are not as good as bollards at stopping cars, they have two important advantages for NYC: They are cheap to install, and they are a lot easier to get past the Art Commission.

    As far as protecting cyclists, it’s true that a speeding car can push a planter several feet, but the situation is better than it seems. Except at unusual intersections, cars will never hit planters directly into the bike lane; they will always be at an acute angle. And getting hit by a planter is a much, much better situation than getting hit by the car itself.

  • Joan

    Very cool. I’ve been wondering whether the bollarded lane on Melrose is intended to be a contra-flow bike lane. Cyclists think so, and are using it that way, but it’s a little cryptic – there are no pavement markings or signs to confirm that it’s ok to ride uptown, against traffic, for that one block. Maybe DOT is testing the theories of the late and great Hans Monderman?

  • Ben

    I had a chance to walk around the plaza with some of the people involved with developing it. Kudos to everyone involved. They’re not done yet. There’s more plans for the plaza: a Roberto Clemente statue, and possible sidewalk cafe style tables and chairs, etc. (After the little house, which is used by MTA bus drivers between shifts if removed). The main problem with the planters being plastic is that they are surprisingly easy to move. One person can drag a planter around by themselves. This has led local merchants, and even city workers, to move them around as they see fit, for vehicle access, snow plowing etc. It’s still a work in progress! Getting local merchants to take care of the planters is important too.

  • ac

    Hi Ben
    Do you have any idea as to when the city plan to teardown the MTA hut and build the Roberto Clemente Plaza.
    The planters are plastic,still much better than what the whole neighborhood use to be,the planters still keep the traffic away from the pedestrian.

    A.Chopra

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