Park Row Security Zone to Reopen With Protected Bike Lane and New Pedestrian Space

NYPD has treated Park Row near its 1 Police Plaza headquarters as a checkpoint since 9/11. Now the street will get a two-way bike lane and 10,000 square feet of painted sidewalk from Worth Street to Frankfort Street.

Image: City Hall
Image: City Hall

City Hall announced today that a segment of Park Row in Chinatown that’s been an inhospitable security zone since 9/11 will be reopened with a protected bike lane and wider sidewalks, adding a link in the Lower Manhattan bike network and improving access to and from the Brooklyn Bridge.

DOT plans to start work this fall on adding a bi-directional bikeway and 10,000 square feet of pedestrian space to Park Row between Worth Street and Frankfort Street.

Due to its proximity to 1 Police Plaza, for years Park Row has been cordoned by NYPD checkpoints, closed to general motor vehicle traffic and unwelcoming to people on foot and on bikes. Chinatown residents and business owners have long urged the city to restore public access.

From a City Hall press release:

DOT has developed preliminary plans to connect the eventual Park Row bike path with the existing bike network via Frankfort Street, including the newly completed protected lane adjacent to City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge. On the north end of the project, DOT plans to study connections to Chatham Square and the existing bike path along East Broadway in Chinatown.

“Park Row is a critical connector in lower Manhattan that connects the area to Chinatown,” said Mayor de Blasio in a statement. “After years of effort, I am proud that we have arrived at a design solution that strikes the right balance: increasing access through this corridor while at the same time maintaining the safety around one of our most sensitive locations, One Police Plaza.”

NYPD will remove or relocate concrete barriers, guard booths, and shipping containers from the project area. Certain tour bus companies may be allowed to use the street, City Hall said. Otherwise, private vehicle traffic will still be prohibited. The above rendering, released by City Hall, shows the bike lane lined with parked NYPD vehicles.

Local representatives including Council Member Margaret Chin, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and Assembly Member Yuhline Niou welcomed the change in a press release from the mayor’s office. The city will present the project to local community boards over the coming months, and it’s expected to be completed next spring.

  • William Farrell

    This looks like a great improvement. While they’re at it, they should connect Frankfort/Dover to the East River Greenway so that there is direct access to the Brooklyn Bridge from there.

  • BikeGuyEmoji

    This makes taking a lane on the Brooklyn Bridge for cyclists a no-brainer. There’s a closed exit ramp leading directly to Park Row. Does anyone have a status update on DOT’s Brooklyn Bridge study? It seems that would be a good way to formalize the idea.

  • Brian Howald

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

  • JarekFA

    Lol, that bike lane will be NYPD private car parking. We know this. C’mon.

  • William Lawson

    Within seconds.

  • Damn! I have had to go by bike to lower Manhattan many times since moving to Jackson Heights. This would have made dozens of trips easier. Hopefully I will get to make many on it once open!

  • Adrian Horczak

    If the DOT would plan a regional bike network then it would do that and combine it’s bike projects. There are a bunch of bike projects all with the goal of moving cyclists from central Queens into Manhattan that are set to eventually happen. They are the Queens Boulevard bike lanes, 43rd St bike lanes, Queensboro Bridge South Outer Roadway, and Manhattan crosstown bike lanes. Instead bike lanes are designed separately from each other and many times are not properly connected. There’s a ton of missing SHORT links in the bike map.

  • Boeings+Bikes

    This is exactly what I proposed to Margaret Chin’s staff and Chinatown leaders 8 years ago: A ped/bike connector from downtown/WTC-area to draw tourists to Chinatown’s businesses, then still slowly recovering post-9/11. The issue is an agenda item on the Manhattan CB3 September Transportation Committee meeting (unfortunately, I’m out of town):

    Transportation & Public Safety / Environment Committee
    Tuesday, September 12 at 6:45pm — Downtown Art, 1st Floor Theater – 70 East 4th Street
    […]
    4. DOT Presentation: Proposal for Park Row Access & Connections

  • BikeGuyEmoji

    Good point. DOT already has a decent method of communicating a bold vision in their approach to Queens Blvd. They stated how much of the road they wanted to redesign and what they wanted on it, even if they didn’t show off designs for every block right away. By presenting the project in the form of ‘phases’, DOT set expectations. It is actually how subway expansions are described. DOT could design a line of PBL’s connecting various streets, break it into phases and commit to build a phase every year.

    In any case, I’d like to see some proposals for what to do at the bottom of the South Outer Roadway in Queens. The Manhattan side doesn’t need much work at all.

  • Vooch

    We also should think of protecting our President. Fifth Avenue remains vulnerable to car bombs. despite the best efforts of the CT men and women of the NYPD.

    Making Fifth Avenue Car Free from 58th to 34th would eliminate the possibility of car bombs.

    It’s a sacrifice New Yorkers are willing to make because it protects our President and makes us safer.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    More likely the ped area. They’ll parallel park along the wall and halve its width.

  • JarekFA

    “Look at all that space they have.” So they can store their cars.

  • Vooch

    a good phase one

    phase two should be removethe blight of the FDR and restore the pre-existing street grid

  • snrvlakk

    This person is a genius. And I am NOT referring to our Glorious Leader. This is a brilliant approach.

  • HamTech87

    I’m sure some idiot will argue that bicycles are terrorist threats. I recall this argument being made for keeping the Hudson River path away from the cruise ships on the west side.

  • Simon Phearson

    Yeah, without some kind of physical obstacles more or less cemented into the pavement, the NYPD is going to expropriate this public space at will. That pedestrian space will need several planters; the bike lane, a concrete curb, and maybe a steel bollard at the entrance points.

    There’s a spot in my neighborhood where the precinct officers just park in the intersection. Like, in the middle of a painted turn lane. No cares whatsoever.

  • Some Asshole

    Great news. Much better than detouring through Worth Street or Pearl Street.

  • Bernard Finucane

    It is pretty sad that their own rendering shows several illegally parked cop cars. The are so entitled they have no concept of shame.

  • They have forgotten who works for whom.

  • HamTech87

    I’m not clear how one would get from the City Hall bike path (the one that crosses City Hall Park) to this new path. Any ideas?

  • Vooch

    it’s going to be tough not driving my Escalade on Fifth but it’s worth it to keep our President safe.

  • AMH

    They may even park at right angles to the wall.

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    Take Park Row to Spruce St and make a U-turn in front of Pace University, as if you’re going to the FDR Drive. That’s Frankfort St, which continues between Pace and the Brooklyn Br. You’ll see a split and a street on the left with an NYPD checkpoint. That’s Park Row N/B, which, like many streets around Police Plaza pre-9/11, were normal thru streets.

  • snrvlakk

    I just wish we had more fine, patriotic New Yorkers like you willing to make this kind of sacrifice.

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