After eight months of back-and-forth with DOT, Staten Island Community Board 1 voted for bike lanes and traffic-calming along the Van Duzer corridor [PDF], which has become overrun by drivers seeking a shortcut to avoid Bay Street. Only two members voted against the project.
Speeding is a big concern along what is essentially a north-south pair of one-way residential streets (consisting of St. Pauls Avenue, Van Duzer Street, Richmond Road, and Targee Street). With heavy congestion on Bay Street, more drivers are using these streets as cut-through routes. Neighborhood groups including CB 1 and the Van Duzer Street Civic Association wanted the city to act.
DOT’s project calls for a buffered southbound bike lane on St Pauls Avenue and Van Duzer Street between Victory Boulevard and Richmond Road. From there, Richmond Road would have a painted bike lane alongside two lanes of motor vehicle traffic.
Targee Street, which runs northbound parallel to Richmond Road, would get a painted bike lane until Broad Street, where at which a three foot buffer. DOT will mark northbound Van Duzer Street with sharrows until its last block, where a bike lane will connect riders to Bay Street.
DOT will also test out a new type of speed hump that accommodates buses and trucks for this project.
The project went through a round of revisions after DOT initially presented it in June. Among the changes that followed on-site walkthroughs with members of the civic association and CB 1 are plastic delineators between the bike lane and car lanes at two stretches with tight curves.
Notably, the back-and-forth didn’t resulted in a watered down project, as is often the case. Transportation Alternatives Staten Island organizer Greg Mihailovich said that Staten Islanders are typically skeptical of city agencies, but that the extensive back-and-forth with DOT helped win local support.
“The key takeaway here is that when they presented this last plan, everyone felt that DOT had actually listened to them,” he told Streetsblog. “For Staten Island, this is a big step that shows that DOT will listen to the community.”