The two-way protected bike lane on Chrystie Street is one of the most anticipated bike network improvements of the year, creating a much safer connection to and from the Manhattan side of the Manhattan Bridge [PDF]. Today, DOT officials and State Senator Dan Squadron joined advocates for an inaugural ride on the redesigned street.
The Chrystie Street redesign, which links the bridge to Houston Street, is one of several recent DOT projects that have yielded more cohesive protected bikeways on the East Side of Manhattan. Thanks to the Chrystie overhaul and new protected bike lanes on Jay Street, First Avenue and Second Avenue, and around the Willis Avenue Bridge, gaps on those East Side routes are much smaller at the end of 2016 than they were at the beginning.
“Now you will be able to ride from downtown Brooklyn over the Manhattan Bridge and all the way to the Bronx — nine miles — on protected bike lanes,” said Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “That is something pretty terrific in this city.”
The old, unprotected bike lanes on Chrystie Street were frequently obstructed by illegally parked cars, trucks, and buses. Early in 2015, Transportation Alternatives Brooklyn activist Dave “Paco” Abraham presented a proposal to upgrade Chrystie Street with a two-way protected bike lane. The concept quickly earned the support of Squadron and other local elected officials, as well as Manhattan Community Board 3.
This year DOT made impressive strides on the bike network. Taking stock of that progress, Trottenberg said the 18 miles of protected bike lanes installed in 2016 were a record for the agency. Other marquee projects included protected bike lanes on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst and Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side.
TA Executive Director Paul Steely White acknowledged the DOT team for its work across the city. “Part of being an effective advocate is knowing when to push and knowing when to really focus on collaboration and cooperation,” he said. “These are talented, committed civil servants who are making our streets safer and healthier.”