In Progress: Better Bike-Ped Access on the South Side of Grand Army Plaza

Crosswalk on steroids: The pedestrian connection between the greenmarket area, shown during a recent food truck rally, and the central public space of Grand Army Plaza is about 100 times more visually prominent after the addition of these huge zebra stripes. Photos: Ben Fried

Earlier this week we showed some before-and-after shots of the pedestrian improvements on the north end of Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. Here we’ve got a batch of pictures from the south end, by the entrance to Prospect Park. These pictures are already a little out of date — DOT has put down an epoxy-and-gravel surface on the pedestrian area where the greenmarket sets up every Saturday — so keep in mind that this isn’t the finished product. I think you’ll still get a good feel for how much of a difference this DOT project will make for pedestrians and cyclists.

Thanks are due again to the folks at the Grand Army Plaza Coalition, who’ve been pushing for changes like this for five years.

Walking from Prospect Park to the Bailey Fountain in the center of GAP now looks like something you're supposed to do.

For cyclists, GAP is quickly becoming a much more functional hub, with bikeways leading into and out from the area in all directions. The addition of a greenway connection on Eastern Parkway, projected to be finished next year, will complete the spokes in the system. A two-way, circular protected bike route on Plaza Street (currently a one-way bike lane) would fill out the hub, though plans for that segment have been on hold.

The additions on the south end of GAP provide much improved bike connections between Plaza Street, Prospect Park West, and the loop road inside Prospect Park. Readers report that the new signal timing makes for slow bike trips across the south end of GAP — a shortcoming that can hopefully be addressed soon. Here’s an early look at the new stuff:

Chevrons point the way to and from the north end of the PPW bike lane.
The bike and pedestrian connections across Union Street.
A segment of protected bikeway, looking toward Plaza Street West and Union Street. We're hoping the traffic light pole anchored in the bike lane is a temporary construction measure.
The view looking the other direction, toward the Brooklyn Public Library.
Facing back toward Union Street again. The redesign routes westbound cyclists over an existing sidewalk. On a busy weekend afternoon, there was lots of foot traffic and bike traffic, and plenty of space to go around.

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