Quick update on the campaign for a protected two-way bikeway on the Pulaski Bridge: We don’t know if DOT is going to implement one yet, but we know when they’ll make a decision. Yesterday, Assembly Member Joe Lentol sent out word that DOT chief Janette Sadik-Khan told him the agency will wrap up its feasibility study of the bikeway by March:
Although the response from Commissioner Sadik-Khan did not provide a definitive answer to the likelihood of the dedicated bike lanes installation, it did explain that the Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs unit is investigating the matter. The investigation will examine various factors, including the traffic conditions on the roadway, the structure of the movable bridge and the connections on the Brooklyn and Queens sides of the bridge. The investigation is slated to be completed by March 2013.
Lentol asked DOT to study the bikeway in October, after hosting a public meeting about the increasingly crowded conditions on the bridge’s narrow bike-ped path. DOT announced their feasibility study the next month, saying the main engineering challenge would be designing physical protection for cyclists that works on the drawbridge section of the roadway.
As Lentol noted in his statement yesterday, converting a southbound traffic lane on the bridge to a protected bikeway would also help control drivers’ speeds as they head off the bridge onto McGuinness Boulevard, which has a terrible safety record:
“I have long advocated for traffic calming measures on McGuinness Boulevard and this proposed bike lane would undoubtedly slow drivers down, while making the Pulaski Bridge safer for pedestrians and cyclists who travel along this road everyday. This bike lane is a common sense solution to a multi-faceted problem and I hope Commissioner Sadik-Khan’s investigation will result in the correct decision to make this bike lane a reality.”