Tremont Avenue in Line for New Cross-Bronx Bike Route

DOT's plan for Tremont Avenue will install a number of treatments, primarily dedicated lanes and sharrows, to create the first east-west bike route in the western Bronx. Image: DOT
DOT’s plan will add painted lanes and sharrows to Tremont Avenue in the West Bronx. Image: DOT

Last month, when Council Member Ritchie Torres lambasted DOT’s deference to community boards over street safety projects, he anticipated a fight over the agency’s plan for bike lanes on Tremont Avenue.

DOT presented its design for the western segment of Tremont Avenue to Bronx Community Board 5 on January 20 [PDF] and, the following day, presented the design for the eastern segment to Community Board 6 [PDF]. The project follows up on a 2014 request from Torres for a Tremont Avenue bike route spanning the width of the South Bronx, though it only covers the section between the Harlem River and the Bronx River.

The redesign calls for painted bike lanes and sharrows along a 4.1-mile stretch of Tremont Avenue between Cedar Avenue and Boston Road. Once the new designs are implemented, Tremont Avenue will be the northernmost crosstown bike route in the West Bronx.

DOT has identified Tremont as a Vision Zero priority corridor. From 2010 to 2014, 10 cyclists, 33 pedestrians, and 36 motor vehicle occupants were killed or severely injured in the project area. The proposal includes safety improvements at multiple intersections: Sedgwick and Undercliff, the Grand Concourse underpass, and Tremont’s intersections with Grand Avenue, Jerome Avenue, Park Avenue and Crotona Avenue.

Most of the route will be painted bike lanes, with sharrows accounting for a little less than a mile. Moving east from Cedar Avenue, the design consists of a shared lane before shifting to dedicated lanes that run from MLK Boulevard to Morris Avenue. Beginning at the Grand Concourse underpass, cyclists will again have to share a lane with cars, but DOT is installing traffic-calming treatments, including narrower motor vehicles lanes and curb extensions.

DOT's redesign includes a short stretch of protected bike infrastructure between Anthony and Valentine Avenues. Image: DOT
The design between Anthony Avenue and Valentine Avenue. Image: DOT

It’s not protected, all-ages bike infrastructure, but Torres welcomed DOT’s plan as a marked improvement over the existing conditions. “I see [this project] as a down payment, as laying the foundation for an eventual bike network that spans all of Tremont Avenue.” he told Streetsblog.

He commended DOT for responding to his request, but reiterated his desire that city officials not let community boards stand in the way of public safety. “We should notify and engage the community boards but I reject the notion of giving them veto power.” he said. “As far as I’m concerned elected officials are far more representative than even community boards. DOT has the political backing here and DOT… to its credit forged ahead with the project enthusiastically.”

  • BBnet3000

    http://i.imgur.com/PXWXfYs.png

    If the driver of the red SUV opened their door at the wrong time this girl could have been knocked to the ground in front of that minivan and injured or killed. This is not Vision Zero appropriate. Note that the cross-sections in the presentation also show cars passing about 1′ from people cycling, which is apparently to be encouraged.

    A prominent NYC safe streets activist just today called the placement of sharrows in the doorzone “malpractice”: http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2016/02/sharrow-safety-bike-infrastructure-lane-chicago/460095/

    Sharrows are not an appropriate treatment for main roads, but if they are going to be used at all they should be in the center of the lane. This is what all relevant standards and guidelines from the likes of the FHWA and NACTO recommend.

  • AnoNYC

    When initially saw this headline, I almost jumped for joy.

    Then I whimpered.

    Painted lanes and sharrows on East Tremont Ave?

    PATHETIC.

    It’s a speedway when it isn’t gridlocked.

    I honestly would love to see parking removed and real BRT implemented along East Tremont Ave with the authorization of bicycle usage within the bus lanes.

    Getting across town in the Bronx is a huge problem because of congestion. We need to create efficient bus routes, low stress bicycle lanes, and later rapid transit connections.

  • Bernard Finucane

    That Valentine Ave intersection is a complete mess. It should be a roundabout.

  • Bike Guy

    You should reach out to VHB, the huge planning firm doing plenty of bike stuff (like the Providence, Rhode Island Master Bike Plan). I was at a workshop they led in NY, and they said this photo is exactly where you want the Sharrows. Not in the center of the lane. Can’t remember the name of the VHB guy who argued this, but he was an active member of the League of American Bicyclists.

  • BrandonWC
  • JamesR

    Fordham Road is just as bad. I do the Bx12 SBS from Inwood to Fordham Metro North a few days a week, and the bus is almost always operating at crush capacity. Sometimes, I’ll end up taking the local just to avoid the terrible conditions on the SBS. It’s like a rush hour 6 train on rubber tires.

  • AnoNYC

    Inwood/Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway would make for an excellent rail rapid transit line.

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