This Week: Upgrading the Chrystie Street Bike Lane

There’s no shortage of livable streets events this week. Preparations for Citi Bike expansion continue with presentations and planning workshops in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and street revamps are on the agenda for the Upper West Side, DUMBO, and Brownsville.

In one intriguing development, the Manhattan Community Board 3 transportation committee is expected to take up the idea of improving a key link in the city’s bicycle network — the Chrystie Street bike lane. Chrystie Street currently provides access to the Manhattan Bridge with a worn-down painted lane that’s frequently blocked by double-parked vans, trucks, and buses. Turning it into a two-way protected bike lane running alongside Sara Delano Roosevelt Park would be a huge upgrade.

Here are the highlights — many more events are listed on the full Streetsblog calendar:

  • Today: The Manhattan CB 6 transportation committee will discuss and possibly vote on a resolution pertaining to Citi Bike expansion in the district, which covers several East Side neighborhoods, and the committee will hear from the 13th Precinct on transportation issues. 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday: At Brooklyn CB 1 (Greenpoint and Williamsburg), DOT and NYC Bike Share staff will discuss Citi Bike expansion. Also, DOT will present the proposal for improvements on Maspeth and Kingsland avenues. 6:30 p.m.
  • More Tuesday: For the second time, DOT will present plans for changes to the Lincoln Square bowtie to the Manhattan CB 7 transportation committee. The committee will also discuss 20th Precinct crash data, and NYC Transit will make a presentation on the M60 and M86 routes. 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday: The Manhattan CB 3 transportation committee is expected to take up a resolution urging the city to upgrade the Chrystie Street bike lane to a two-way protected lane alongside Sara Delano Roosevelt Park. The committee will also debate the location of a Citi Bike station in Confucius Plaza and hear from DDC concerning Safe Routes to Schools. 6:30 p.m.
  • Also Wednesday: Kidical Mass NYC will hold a strategy session for its first ride in Upper Manhattan. 6:30 p.m. RSVP requested.
  • Thursday: DOT and bike-share personnel will be on hand when Manhattan CB 8 (Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island) holds a Citi Bike community planning workshop. 6 p.m.
  • Also Thursday: DOT will hold a second public workshop to gather feedback on safety issues along Linden Boulevard between Kings Highway and South Conduit Avenue at Brooklyn CB 16. 6:30 p.m.

Keep an eye on the calendar for updates. Got an event we should know about? Drop us a line.

  • J

    Awesome! Christie Street is a disaster, but has a ton of use. Fixing this vital connection would remove a major obstacle to bicycling between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

    They should know that with a better connection, bike traffic there will surge, so the new path should be made wide enough for heavy use.

  • stairbob

    The bridge path itself is also already a bit of a bottleneck at the busiest times.

  • Eddie

    If there’s a bi-directional lane on Chrystie, cyclists will be required to use it, and will be ticketed if they ride in a traffic lane.

    I’m all right with the bi-directional lane as long as there’s a 10 mph speed limit. There are a lot of racer-wannabes who ride 20-25 mph on Chrystie, and they should not be allowed to share a bi-directional bike lane with slow cyclists. It would be a disaster waiting to happen, especially at night if one rider doesn’t have a front light.

  • Adrian

    I guess I’m a racer wanabee, because I cycle pretty fast on Christie. I do it because 1) I want to be ahead of traffic so I don’t get cut off by right-turning vehicles at Broome and (especially) Hester who NEVER check for bikes; and 2) the physical state of the bike lane area is so appalling that it’s almost a necessity to cycle in the car lanes, and hence I go fast so as to avoid annoying drivers too much.

    I hope they put a bi-directional lane in, and would gladly cycle slower in an environment where I’m not competing with cars. I don’t see how this would be any different from the Manhattan bridge path though, where slow cyclists mix with “racer-wannabees” without any significant accidents that I’m aware of….

  • BBnet3000

    Its really not as wide as it should be, like a number of very expensive built-out paths in NYC.

  • BBnet3000

    Good infrastructure allows fast cyclists and slow cyclists to use the same paths comfortably. This is why 1st and 2nd Avenues are not good infrastructure.

  • BBnet3000

    The existing two-way path to the Manhattan bridge is often a bottleneck during busy times.

    When its busy, coming from the east (Canal from Allen) its hard to figure out a way to find a place to wait to go onto the bridge when the crossing is already clogged with people coming from Christie.

  • Eddie

    So as a faster cyclist, would you feel safer in a bi-directional protected lane than a striped lane, assuming that the street were repaved?

  • D’BlahZero

    A bi-directional bike lane along the east side of the street could do a lot to improve cycling on Chrystie, especially at the intersection with Canal. Unfortunately, as others have pointed out below, the intersection of the bike path, Canal and Forsyth is a nightmare. It’s already beyond capacity much of the time. Any increase in bike traffic generated by improvement on Chrystie will make for dangerous entry and exit at the Manhattan Bridge, I fear. It would be wonderful to close Canal to motor vehicles between Chrystie and Forsyth!

  • linstur

    Has anyone ever seriously proposed banning daytime truck deliveries (restricting them to night and early morning) or a high fee for daytime deliveries? So much of the traffic mess and bike-infrastructure-challenges feel exasperated by delivery trucks.

    Similarly – charging a fee for cars to park overnight on the street – even a nominal fee – might get a significant number of cars off the streets. Imagine a NYC with no delivery trucks and vastly fewer parked cars — and a bike lane on every block.

  • You are absolutely right about that. Deliveries should be allowed only between 10:00 or 11:00pm and 6:00am. As a daily rider of East Broadway, I can tell you that this sensible policy would solve much of what plagues the bike lane on that street.

  • Eddie

    I think it would make more sense to have a bi-directional bike lane on Forsyth, which has far less traffic than Chrystie. Also it would offer more convenient access to the bridge. The only difficulty would be routing through the pedestrian plaza between Canal and Hester. But why not, considering that there’s a bike path through Herald Square and Times Square?

  • D’BlahZero

    The bike paths through Herald and Times Squares are hardly worth emulating. They are so full of pedestrians as to be unusable for cycling. I’d also be concerned any configuration the city came up with for that last block would be too narrow even if it did reasonably repel foot traffic. It could make for smother transition to/from the bridge, though.

  • Adrian

    I think a bi-directional lane on the East side of Christie actually makes most sense. That way you wouldn’t need to cross 4 lanes of heavy traffic coming south on 2nd Avenue to stay in the bike lane, and they should also be able to put a straight entrance onto the Manhattan bridge, without the stupid downhill/uphill hairpin bend that’s currently there.

  • Simon Phearson

    I’d like to get a campaign going where every dedicated non-driver in this city keeps tabs and reports any car that has been parked on the street (without having been moved) for seven days or more. Section 4-08(m)(9) of Title 34 of the NYC Rules prohibits such “street storage” of vehicles, even in residential areas without other parking restrictions. The only reason I haven’t started reporting offenders on my street to 311 is the conviction that they’ll do f-all about it.

  • linstur

    You could give them all “informational” tickets – let them know the law. Streetsblog could also run photos; or do an Instagram feed – create a long-term photographic record. The city should up the tickets amounts – make it hurt. And pour the money back into infrastructure for the rest of us!

  • BBnet3000

    It’s not a problem for a person with a handtruck to cross a well-designed protected bike lane.

  • Cold Shoaler

    “So much of the traffic mess and bike-infrastructure-challenges feel exasperated by delivery trucks.”

    Like this spot on Adams a couple times a week at the peak of the morning rush? I have no idea what you mean.

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