Bike & Ped Improvements Slated for Manhattan Bridge Approach


DOT plans to build a physically-separated two-way bike lane on this one block stretch of Canal Street at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. The project also includes pedestrian safety fixes.

The Manhattan approach to the Manhattan Bridge, where Chinatown and the Lower East Side come together in a jumble, has long presented one of the most confusing streetscapes in the city. Pedestrians, bicycles, cars and trucks compete for space in a chaotic rush of traffic that often feels dangerous and unnavigable.

Now the city’s Dept. of Transportation is going to do something about it.

In a presentation given to the Community Board 3 transportation committee back in July (download PDF here), the DOT proposed several major improvements to the area, including sidewalk extensions, pedestrian refuge islands and decreased crossing distances for those on foot. Pedestrian safety improvements for two schools in the shadow of the bridge, IS 131 and PS 124, are a key part of the plan and have already been put in place.

The committee unanimously approved the proposal.

Perhaps the most dramatic element in the project is a "complete intersection" redesign for Canal St. at Forsyth St. This is where the bridge’s newly reopened northside bike path currently ends, at a blind corner that practically guarantees conflict with pedestrians and cyclists riding the wrong way along the one block stretch of Canal St. leading to Christie St.

The DOT’s plan will separate bike and pedestrian flows with a fence and provide a one block physically-separated bike path (with bicycle traffic signals) on Canal St. The DOT press office did not respond to questions about the project and would not say when it would be completed.

A DOT source says that it is difficult to say when the project will be completed now that it is in the hands of the sometimes slow-moving Dept. of Design and Construction (DDC). A similar fate has befallen the Sands Street bike safety improvements on the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge. Announced on June 14, 2005, the project appears to have stalled since being handed off from DOT to DDC.

Top photo: Geoff Zink. Plan and photographic rendering were pulled from DOT’s presentation.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Safer Bowery, LES Bike Lanes Clear Manhattan CB3 Committee

|
New bike routes will provide safer connections on the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge, in an attempt to divert cyclists from Delancey Street. Image: NYCDOT NYCDOT unveiled a slate of pedestrian and bicycle improvements to the transportation committee of Manhattan Community Board 3 last night. Presenters asked for votes on two street safety projects: […]

DOT Plans Safety Upgrades at Foot of Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown

|
Choked with car and truck traffic, the Manhattan Bridge ramps around Canal Street are a danger zone. DOT has a plan to tame some of the chaotic crossings for people on foot, which the Manhattan Community Board 3 transportation committee voted in favor of last night. Seven pedestrians and nine motor vehicle occupants were seriously injured at the intersection […]

This Week: Verrazano Bike Path, Safer 155th Street

|
This week, speak up for complete streets in Chelsea, safety fixes at a major intersection in Washington Heights, and a bike-pedestrian path on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. And don’t forget, The Streets Ball is next Thursday, the 23rd — get your tickets while you can! Here are the highlights. Check the Streetsblog calendar for the full slate […]

DOT Deploys “Street Safety Managers” to High-Volume Bike Routes

|
Wondering what’s up with the people holding stop signs in the bike lane today? NYC DOT’s press office just sent out this explanation: New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced that DOT Street Safety Managers (SSM) are assigned to key bike and pedestrian corridors and bridge paths in Manhattan to […]

Tonight: Important Complete Streets Meetings in Manhattan and Queens

|
Tonight’s a big night for livable streets events, with community board meetings on proposals for Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, and Long Island City. Plus, join Streetsblog at ARTCRANK if you’re looking for some fun. Key community board meetings tonight are: Manhattan Community Board 2’s transportation committee will consider a resolution requesting that DOT […]