Lentol: Pulaski Bridge Bikeway Construction to Begin September 14

Construction of the Pulaski Bridge protected bike lane is now set to begin in a matter of days, according to Assembly Member Joe Lentol, and could wrap before the end of the year.

Coming, potentially sooner than expected. Image: DOT
The Pulaski Bridge bikeway may be back on track to wrap up in 2015. Image: DOT

DOT had announced last month that drainage design issues would delay the start of construction until next March, but that no longer seems to be the case.

Lentol says the complications have been resolved sooner than expected, and DOT will begin installation of the bikeway on September 14, potentially wrapping up by the end of the year.

DOT did not respond to an inquiry about the project timeline.

The Pulaski Bridge bikeway will provide relief for pedestrians and cyclists who currently share a narrow path on the west side of the bridge between Greenpoint and Long Island City. It will also calm traffic on the southbound side the bridge, which funnels traffic onto McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint and will have two lanes instead of three.

The project had already been delayed once after the initial timetable pegged it for completion last year. It looks like there won’t be a second major delay after all.

With Citi Bike arriving on both sides of the bridge this month, that’s welcome news to Lentol, who’s been a booster of the project since 2012. “I am delighted that this project could potentially be completed before the winter. We have been fighting for a long time for this dedicated bike lane,” he said. “I applaud DOT and the company fabricating the barriers for making this project a top priority.”

  • c2check

    I hope there are plans for the approaches/nearby streets; the Queens side is a bit confusing.
    (how about a contraflow bike lane on 49th?)

  • BBnet3000

    A protected bikeway you can only approach by high traffic shared lanes or via a circuitous and hard to follow route.

    #VisionZero

  • JK

    Agree on Queens side, plus need much better connection between Pulaski and Queensboro Bridge, lanes, signs, markings, everything. Doesn’t seem any better than twenty years ago — maybe worse because there is a lot more traffic in Vernon/Jackson.

    More so I’d like to see DOT come up with a three year plan for identifying and improving on-street connections to the bike super-routes like the East River Bridges, soon to be Pulaski Bridge, Bklyn Waterfront gway, Hudson River greenway. The city and state have invested a lot in these big bike routes, yet actually getting to them is often confusing and scary. (I’ve probably posted something to this effect 100x, but it remains a problem and something my friends new to everyday cycling always mention when they leave their normal riding routes.)

  • Shemp

    Actually route between Pulaski and QB is marked and OK via 11th St, 44th Drive and 23rd St. Worst part is Sharrows on 11th. Best is contra-flow bike lane southbound for a block or 2 on 23rd coming off of Qns Plaza N

  • Simon Phearson

    I see people salmon down that way all the time. It’s clearly a desire path. I stick to the apparently intended detour down to the intersection of Jackson and Vernon. It’s great because that also gives me the opportunity to stop at two lights or more recouping that distance.

    But I shouldn’t complain. Is there any bridge approach that fully works? Each one suffers from the same basic problem: it has to be sandwiched between (or within) facilities that serve drivers.

  • Simon Phearson

    If there ever were any markings directing Pulaski traffic onto 11th, they’re long faded by now. I think that’s probably the smartest way through if you’re headed to QB, but you have to be assertive to take it, because the curb and the remaining paint directs you away from 11th.

  • Bernard Finucane

    Vision Zero is an iterative process, not a big bang.

  • BBnet3000

    In what iteration does our bike infrastructure actually become usable by any decent portion of people to cycle comfortably? We’re still waiting for basic pieces of the network such as connecting the 2nd Avenue protected lane (now 5 years old) to the Manhattan Bridge.

  • c2check

    They don’t have to be as crappy (and confusing) as they are. The real problem is that nobody wants to do the work required to actually make them bike friendly. It could be done if we really cared to.

  • Bernard Finucane

    There’s plenty of reason for pessimism, but I have the feeling that the momentum is growing for better urban infrastructure in America. I am optimistic because it works so well and is so cheap. And every time a project is carried out, the momentum grows.

    I could be wrong I guess. It is worth keeping in mind that the positive changes in Europe did not happen overnight. For example I have watched the German pedestrian zones and shared streets growing step by step for years.

  • Daniel S Dunnam

    Joe Lentol is so awesome! Love that guy!

  • c2check

    In parts of America, sure. Sadly I’m not getting the feeling that NYC is part of that.

  • Matthias

    Agreed, I don’t bike it often enough to remember the way, and I get lost every time. It’s incredibly frustrating at best, and scary at worst.

  • GAAPGirl

    I live on the Queens side of this bridge. There’s barely enough for two bikers to pass each other, let alone adding pedestrians to the mix. This will be good for all.

  • GAAPGirl

    Bike lane lines are definitely gone but you can sometimes see the biker symbol.

  • Jonathan R

    The Queensboro Bridge is visible from the Queens base of the Pulaski. How lost can you get?

  • Matthias

    I get lost going from the Queensboro to the Pulaski.

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    When you get off the Queensboro, make a U-Turn and take that path to 21st Street. Make a left and a quick right, this will put you on Queens Plaza South. When you see the entrance for the upper roadway on your right, that’s 11th Street, make a left. That street goes straight to the Pulaski Br.

  • LimestoneKid

    I am so looking forward to this change.

  • Pursuant

    I’m happy, but this is just taking forever. In the meantime can they maybe do something about the wonderful Greenpoint bridge that dumps riders on VanDam with nary a bike lane?

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