Eyes on the Street: Fresh Paint on Prince

A tipster sends this shot from earlier today of a newly-painted bike lane on Prince Street.

After the jump, DOT bike program coordinator Josh Benson answers a question from a City Room reader about painted lanes.

Q: I’ve seen green paint in the bike lanes in some neighborhoods (like Brooklyn Heights). How do I get them painted in my neighborhood? — Posted by Adamsky

A [Benson]: The high-visibility green bicycle lane on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights is an experimental treatment we are testing on bicycle lanes where the potential for bicycle/motor vehicle conflict is high. It is our belief that the green markings will improve motorist awareness of bicycle lanes at key conflict points. Test locations include curbside bicycle lanes, such as Henry Street and Adams Street in Brooklyn, and Prince and Bleecker Streets in Manhattan and complex intersections such as Ninth Avenue and 14th Street in Manhattan. We are continuing to collect data on how the high-visibility green treatment affects driver and cyclist behavior as well as the durability of the treatment itself. If the treatment proves effective and durable, it will be integrated regularly into new bicycle lane projects to highlight points of potential conflict to motorists and cyclists. 

  • buford puser

    That’s great!
    I hope they expand this city-wide; this will be great for NYC motorists, because it will act as a visual cue to help them find all those great new double-parking/loading zones DoT has been creating all over town.
    One question, though: why are these new parking spots & lanes all marked with those pictures of bicycles?

  • Kurt

    I didn’t know Tiffany & Co. made bike lanes. Classy!

  • mfs

    So here’s the thing- they did that last year and only a few months later it didn’t look like there was ever paint on the lane. Did it wash away? Did they take it off?

    One waggish comment: as I rode by the workers painting this on Tuesday, they had orange barrels out to protect them from auto traffic while working- and not a car dared park or drive in the bike lane! The workers definitely deserve such protection- I think the users of the lane do as well.

  • Mark Walker

    Orange cones are nice, but bollards or jersey barriers are better. More stopping power.

  • There have been orange plastic barrels dividing the middle segment of the Centre Street bike lane from motor vehicle traffic since it was installed last year. They work like a charm. True, they don’t protect against an out-of-control car careening into the bike lane, but that’s a pretty rare event.

  • Damian

    They really need to repaint lanes every few months. Once the paint gets faded, drivers pay even less attention to it.

  • gecko

    #3 mfs, #4 Mark Walker, #5 BicyclesOnly, During the transit strike they had orange cones and one-half million cyclists overnight.

  • araqnid

    wow, those are even more day-glo than the ones we have near here in Hillingdon! imho they’re a nice hint to car drivers, and also to pedestrians on shared-use paths.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Yeah seriously! Stick with one color please!

    And not this one!

  • Michael1

    I’ll go with Mark Walker on bollards, I think the cast irons ones would work. Not a jersey barrier, they’re too thick.

  • Marty Barfowitz

    Come on, “New” DOT. These lanes are a joke and you guys know it. This is nothing more than a day-glo double-parking zone. There’s no reason why we can’t test out an inexpensively constructed separated bike path on Prince Street. Anthony Weiner is going to be mayor soon. Do you really want to see your legacy be scraped away by snow plows between now and then? Now’s your chance. Build some freakin’ infrastructure that’s going to stand the test of time and be hard to get rid of. This painted bike lane will be all but gone 19 months from now. So will you guys. Now’s your chance.

  • Lucas

    I agree with Marty. Why not put in a foot high + foot wide concrete curb to prevent cars from parking + getting in rider’s way?

  • Hilary

    No we don’t want jersey barriers or anything that creates visual blight or “chutes”. Pedestrians want to be able to use all of the street when it’s possible. Making it completely inaccessible to them other than at crosswalks is tantamount to creating a highway. The barriers must be porous (like bollards) or low enough to step over easily. The special surfaces used on shoulders to alert drivers that they’re off the lane might even work (though I’ve never known if the sound was audible outside the car.)

  • juno, your case worker

    bollards next to a bike lane? please devote an extra five neurons to that idea. picture yourself biking in such a lane at a decent pace, next to bollards. you go to pass another bicyclist, or to swerve around a pedestrian who has stepped into the lane or a wrong-way bicyclist, and now you catch your pedal on a bollard and have a nasty wipe-out, right into the traffic next to you.

  • Ed

    Dang I accidentally stepped in the wet paint trying to lock up in front of the Apple Store. Now there’s a footprint in the bike lane. Sorry :-\

  • michael1

    Juno, you think that wouldn’t happen on a raised curb? Besides, bollards are already in place on 9th Avenue bike lanes in the buffer zone, though they’re extremely thin. It’s to prevent cars from parking on the buffer zone. Here, however, we’re dealing with moving traffic. A car car go right through those flexible bollards, which is why I say cast iron. Besides I think the chances of conflict are slimmer between peds and wrong-way bikes than that of cars, and even if I did hit a bike or ped, it’s 10x better than hitting a car. I’m still with Mark Walker.

  • rich

    This is the greatest thing any one could have come up with. I have rode NY streets, no respect. Watch out cabbies we’re taking over.

  • Michael1

    Actually, I’ve ridden in Manhattan traffic and it’s not half bad. I feel that the cars are paying attention to bikes more. Cabs don’t give a damn to a car, let alone a bike.

  • Fendergal

    Any physically separated bike lane that’s narrower than a car lane, to me, would be a very dangerous place. Especially on a street with narrow sidewalks like Prince. It’d be filled with pedestrians faster than you can say “on your left.”

  • Bollard Baby

    Bollards can be smooth, fat rounded things — nothing to “catch” your foot or your bike on. They can work like jersey barriers to deflect you back into the lane. I imagine they could even be rubber so you could be nudged like a cushion. And the spaces in between are safety hatches, if for some reason you have to escape the bike lane for the street. I don’t see why you (Juno et al) are so hung up on them.


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