New Bike Markings For Brooklyn’s Fifth Ave. This Month


Word has come down that DOT is now aiming to install its new Class III Shared Lane bicycle stencils on Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue before the end of November. The markings are an interesting innovation for New York City in that they direct motorists and cyclists to share the middle of the road as equals. Drivers aren’t supposed to blast their horns at cyclists riding in the travel lane and cyclists aren’t supposed to try to slip in and out of the door-zone between moving traffic and parked cars. The City, in other words, is telling cyclists: Go ahead and take the travel lane on this street. It is yours. What do you think?

  • david

    I love it in theory, let’s see what happens in practice. I may have the guts to ride down the middle of the road during off peak hours but come 8 AM when a school bus and Lincoln Navigator roll up behind me and blare their horns, I may not be able to risk a tap from vehicle that weighs more than 6 Honda Fits.

  • F

    I think that if you get a critical mass of cyclists riding down the middle of the travel lane often enough on particular streets then, eventually, motorists are going to get used to it, new cyclists will be drawn to the street and the system will reinforce itself and work increasingly well. In theory. And, perhaps (but hopefully not) after a few cyclists have become martyrs for the cause.

  • I have to say that while I feel very strongly about cyclist rights, I’m not trying to become a martyr out there. I think riding in the middle of the lane is actually safer most of the time. It makes cars switch lanes to avoid you instead of thinking they can squeeze by while the cyclist hugs the curb or parked cars.

  • It seems like it will mostly be an issue of educating drivers about the meaning of shared lanes. Any plan for that?

  • Peter

    I almost always ride in the middle of the lane in Brooklyn. It’s a matter of confidence. And after all, I can pedal pretty much as fast as they’re gonna be able to go anyway.

  • Chris

    Does anyone know how far south along Fifth Avenue the bike lane markings will go? Perhaps all the way to Bay Ridge?


Birth of a Class III Bike Route

Department of Transportation contractors put down the long-awaited Class III "Shared Lane" bicycle stencils on Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue this weekend. As I understand them, the markings are meant to do two things: Inform cyclists that Fifth Avenue is a preferred bike route. The more people who bike on Fifth Avenue, the safer Fifth Avenue will be for biking. […]

A CRISPier Way to Build NYC’s 200+ Miles of New Bike Lanes?

See the world’s first music video about shared-lane bike markings by Streetfilms Clarence Eckerson. At times over the last two and a half years I have done quite a bit of organizing and advocacy work to help get new bicycle lanes and shared-lane markings installed on Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, my neighborhood’s main bike route. Though […]

New “Shared Lane” Bike Route Design Spotted in Manhattan

New York City’s Department of Transportation is quietly experimenting with a new design for Class III bike routes on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Streetsblog tipster Jason Varone photographed the new, not-yet-finished bike stencils on Clinton Street between Grand and Delancey this morning. Often referred to as "shared lanes," Class III routes are put down in places […]

DOT Reply on Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue Bike Lane

Earlier this week we asked why the Department of Transportation had not followed-through on its promise to fix up the Fifth Avenue bike lane in Brooklyn by end of summer. Ryan Russo, the agency’s new Director for Street Management and Safety got back to us with this response: Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, between Carroll and […]