Eyes on the Street: Protection for Cyclists on Bruckner Boulevard

bruckner_barrier
via @jonorcutt

DOT crews were out on Bruckner Boulevard yesterday putting in Jersey barriers to protect a new two-way bike lane. The bikeway will run for half a mile between Hunts Point Avenue and Longwood Avenue, the first phase in what should eventually be a link between the Bronx River Greenway and Randall’s Island. For the time being, it will terminate at Longwood, with sharrows pointing to the less-stressful Southern Boulevard.

The bikeway is part of a package of improvements that will help people safely walk and bike between the neighborhoods around Bruckner Boulevard, which many must cross to access the 2, 5, and 6 trains. It’s one of the most dangerous streets in the Bronx: Between 2009 and 2013 there were almost 600 traffic injuries at the five intersections covered by this project [PDF].

The bikeway on Bruckner Boulevard should extend south and connect to Randall’s Island. Image: NYC DOT
  • IlIlIl

    Bikeway with pedestrians…k.

  • Matthias

    This is excellent. It’s really wrong that the only river crossing in the area is a big highway, but this is a step in the right direction.

    If the idea is to create a ped/bike shared space, why not use both sides of the median? It’s really too narrow as depicted.

  • BBnet3000

    It’s fine as long as there is a low volume of both. Not sure what to expect here. I wonder if the designers did it based on expected volumes or just did it because they don’t know any better. There is plenty of space along most of this route for separate cycling and pedestrian paths.

  • AnoNYC

    I don’t expect much pedestrian traffic here with the exception of the Hunts Point Ave/Bruckner Blvd intersection which desperately needs the proposed reconfiguration.

    On the other hand, this route won’t be very useful for bicyclists until being completed. Once it is however, it will be a very useful route for those coming from/going to the East Bronx or bordering areas.

  • AnoNYC

    This will be most useful once it spans the entirety of Bruckner Blvd. I hope that this may somehow connected to the Willis Ave Bridge via Bruckner Blvd in the not too distant future too. Bruckner Blvd between St Anns and the Willis Ave Bridge needs calming and a protected lane there would be great.

    For a Manhattan bound or reverse commuter, a protected connection at least to the Tri-boro pedestrian/bike entrance is very important.

  • AnoNYC

    I agree that the buffered zone on the opposite side should also be Jersey barriered.

  • HamTech87

    And how about looking at the Henry Hudson Bridge? The photo-toll system has eliminated the need for so many lanes on the bridge’s lower level, leaving plenty of space for a Jersey Barrier-protected 2-way bike lane. Currently, cyclists have to dismount and walk their bike on the narrow pedestrian path or face ticketing.

  • dolo

    how would you cross over from the bronx river to the greenway. i know the concrete park side of the brucnker leaves you adjacent to the hunts pt station . i guess cyclists will cross over at hunts pt ave?

  • AnoNYC

    If coming from points north (Concrete Plant Park) you’ll need to cross the narrow sidewalk on the Bruckner Blvd drawbridge with illegally parked cars and awkwardly placed street lamps/bridge gaps/railing. Continuing west, you would enter a short two two protected bicycle lane before either jumping into the gauntlet that is Bruckner Blvd or ride along the shared but often crowded sidewalk. At the East 163rd slip you’ll have to merge through the traffic in order to continue down Bruckner Blvd to Hunts Point Ave, where you will make a left along with heavy traffic (pedestrian and autos) under the elevated section. You then have to wait for cross traffic and pedestrians to cross Hunts Point Ave.

    To improve this stretch the city must:

    •Widen the pedestrian/bicycle walkaways on the BB drawbridge and reposition the awkwardly placed street lamps, remove the awkward railing which intrudes in nto the walkway, and fill in the 3 inch gaps along it.

    •Evict the auto maintainance business positioned at the west end of the bridge or at least require them to keep the sidewalk clear.

    •Extend the two way protected bicycle lane to the newly renovated plaza and designate the eastern edge to bicycle traffic. The slip is going to be tricky because of the merge.

  • dolo

    its really a clusterf*** there. thanks for the response.. i commute via parkchester to queens early morning so i have been taking the bruckner from whitlock to the tri boro.. in the morning its not to bad but i try to avoid it in the afternoon. although i am trying walnut to 141st to southern blvd and thats not too bad sans the bumpy streets and catching the lights..

  • AnoNYC

    An alternative route with less traffic is utilizing the south side of the BB drawbridge into Hunts Point via Whitter St. You can ride Garrison Ave down to Legget Ave. You’ll need to make your first left is at Bronx River Ave rather than Concrete Plant Park assuming you start along Westchester Ave however. This prevents having to double back a block if you use the park because it would leave you on the west side of the river (Can’t access the South path from the north walkway on the west side due to the Bruckner Expressway being at grade).

    I live south of you and I currently just prefer the north drawbridge walkway because I need to get to Westchester Ave but I am Manhattan bound. Worst part of that section is East 163rd St for me via the slip. East 163rd could use parking protected bicycle lanes, the traffic moves very fast when it’s not congested. East 163rd and Westchester Ave also needs to be reconfigured, low visibility intersection that needs calming.

    Let me just highlight again that I personally see the East 163rd slip very problematic for southbound bicyclists via Bruckner Blvd. The two-way protected lane must be extended down and the city needs to make the eastern edge of the plaza a mixed bicycle-pedestrian path at least.

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DOT crews installing a new barrier-protected bike lane on Bruckner Boulevard between Bryant Avenue and Faile Street. Photo: Twitter/NYC DOT

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