New Bike Markings for North Greenpoint

Tipster Ryan Lee sends along some photos of new bicycle lanes being marked on Manhattan Avenue in North Greenpoint, Brooklyn today. He writes that the new lanes stretch from Ash St. to Greenpoint Ave. on both sides of the street and bike boxes are going in at the intersections.

As always, you can find lots of other Eyes on the Street contributions — and submit your own — right here.

  • Grendel

    Classic DZBL. Move the stencil three feet left and turn it into a sharrow and then maybe you’ll have someything.

  • Jason A

    Riding on Manhattan north of Greenpoint Ave. has always been fine – it’s southern Greenpoint that is a gridlocked mess. I know the community (i.e. the vocal, car driving minority) would never go for it, but there really shouldn’t be any curbside parking on Manhattan south of Greenpoint Ave. It’s a bad joke how long it takes buses to crawl through that stretch of Manhattan – and that street is much too dangerous for cyclists during the day.

  • graham

    That’s s bike lane for bike lanes sake; a waste of paint. The traffic volume on Manhattan north of Greenpoint is so low and the street so wide, that a lane (that will not be respected and hence has no road-diet type impact) is totally unnecessary. I’m sure, however, it will get the Mayor and the DOT one step closer to meeting their mileage goals.

    Same goes for the new lanes on Greenpoint Avenue between McGuiness and the Greenpoint Bridge, except in that case they’re not just a waste of paint but an invitation to tragedy as well. That section of road has such high truck traffic and speeds that drawing cyclists there with a bike lane seems near criminal to me.

    I’m all for more bike lanes, but make them count not in miles, but in meaning.

  • Car Free Nation

    I may be missing something, but shouldn’t ALL streets, except highways, have dedicated lanes for cycles. The lanes clearly signal to the auto drivers that bikes have a right to be there, and reduce the tendency for the cars to speed.

    They also improve the overall connectedness of the biking infrastructure, and send a signal to potential cyclists that they have dedicated space on the roadways.

  • graham

    Car Free Nation,

    Ideologically and ideally, yes. Practically, the City has pledged a certain number of miles of bike lanes by certain fixed dates. My fear is that the administration will make their lane-mile goals by installing less than useful lanes in low-hanging-fruit areas that in the long term won’t make cyclists safer, their commutes that easier, or encourage new riders.

  • Jacob

    Graham,

    You worry that these lanes won’t make commuting easier. I disagree. With G service as crappy as it is, there are a lot of potential bikers that may be encouraged to start biking this route to save time, especially now that more of their route is in a bike lane. While these lanes are being installed on less congested streets, they are far from lanes to nowhere, since they connect directly to 2 bridges, several existing bike lanes, and the future Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.

  • Graham,

    To push your point forward a little bit more, the 2008 Calendar on the NYC DOT’s Bike Network page shows that the new 8th and the addition to the 9th avenue separated bike lanes are being counted as new route miles towards the 200 mile, three year goal, even though both lanes were already marked as bike routes. I suppose the improvements merit some credit, but it did strike me as a little bit of double-counting.

  • GG
  • graham

    Jacob,

    The Manhattan Ave lane is a redundancy in the network put in for lane miles only. There are sharrows on Franklin, which is a better and more popular street for cycling than Manhattan, and the sharrows extend further north and south and connect both bridges as well.

    As for the Greenpoint Avenue lane, as I said earlier, it’s simply too dangerous to use and no sane cyclist will. That stretch of Greenpoint Ave connects the LIE with LIC and Greenpoint. It has a truck-stop size gas station on it for crying out loud. And as the area it transverses is entirely industrial, I don’t really see a thoughtful case for G connectivity there either.

    I’m not saying that these bike lanes are bad. Bike lanes are very rarely bad for all the reasons we all know. I just think they could be better. I don’t think the the City should get away with passing off rump as sirloin or sh*t as shin-o-la.

  • Graham, I have to vehemently disagree about Greenpoint Ave. Yes, it’s an awful road, but it’s a necessary link between Brooklyn and Sunnyside. I rode the industrial stretch of Greenpoint Ave last night, and the bike lane really is effectively channelizing traffic. Drivers were driving slower than before, and of course the surface is better too.

    The bridge, on the other hand, is a disaster. The bike lanes cut off right at the bridge, whose sidewalk is missing essential curb cuts. (Officially cyclists are supposed to walk their bikes on the sidewalk, or ride them on the street, but the street part of the bridge involves 80mph drag racers, so no sane cyclist would ride there.)

  • rlb

    Frequently riding between Greenpoint and Sunnyside, I have to say that the bike lane on Greenpoint near the Greenpoint ave bridge is the most dangerous place I ever bike. Two lanes of cars come speeding down the bridge, and all of a sudden one of those lanes is a bike lane. The buses don’t care. Nobody parks along the road there, so cars frequently speed into the bike lane for passing. There’s no other place where I spend so much time looking over my shoulder. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
    It was much safer before the bike lane was put down.

  • I used to regularly commute over the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge from Woodside to Soho. I always rode in the roadway, but it never felt particularly safe. I got off Greenpoint as quickly as possible in both directions.

    I haven’t ridden there since they painted the new lanes. My main point is that there are people in Sunnyside and Woodside who’d commute to Lower Manhattan if it weren’t for that stretch of Greenpoint with the LIE and the bridge. The corridor definitely serves a population; I’m just not sure the lanes would be that much of an improvement.

  • Ryan Lee

    I don’t really understand why there’s opposition to these lanes being marked.

    The lines being painted connect Greenpoint ave with Manhattan Ave which in turn connect with Eagle and Freeman. The lines extend the current Franklin lanes from Freeman up to Ash, which run back to Manhattan Ave and also lines are being drawn to connect Clay and Paidge. And, at the end of Ash is a site along Newman that’s part of the Brooklyn Greenway. The lines being laid run up Manhattan past Ash to the waterfront, both North and South.

    In short, this is an extension of the network laid out in the 2008 map.
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/bike/mapfront.pdf I’m not sure if the lanes will lead to the Newton Creek Nature Walk or if lines are being painted on Provost (running into Greenpoint), but I’ll keep an eye on it. I imagine will know in a few days. You should also note that there is a proposed lane for Manhattan Ave South of Greenpoint.

    I would suggest taking a ride up here to see where the lines are going and what a great newtwork this is that is being built. It’s a nice step for the neighborhood. I live up here, bike these streets every day and find it a welcome improvement. Yes, some of these are quiet streets. Yes, Manhattan South of Greenpoint Ave is more congested than the Northside. But in addition to progress in building the bike lane network and delineating public space for mulitple modes of transport, this may help curb the double-parking other forms of car abuse that do exist North of Greenpoint on Manhattan.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Greenpoint Ave Bridge Plan Adds Bike Lanes With Fat Buffers

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The proposed redesign for the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Queens. Image: NYCDOT Here’s a look at NYCDOT’s plan for the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge [PDF], which would give cyclists traveling between Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Sunnyside, Queens a safer and more comfortable ride by installing bike lanes with extra-wide buffers. The project recently got […]