Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycling

CB 2 Committee Votes to Bring NYC’s First “Green Wave” to Prince Street

Prince Street in Soho is a candidate to receive the city's first "green wave" -- traffic signals timed to align with cyclists' travel speeds -- after a vote of support from the Manhattan Community Board 2 transportation committee.

On Valencia Street in San Francisco, a "green wave" was so popular it was ##http://sf.streetsblog.org/2011/01/06/green-wave-becomes-permanent-on-valencia-street/##made permanent in 2011##. Photo: Bryan Goebel

Prince Street sees some of the highest bike mode-share of any NYC street, but the signal timing doesn't synch up with comfortable cycling speeds, leading to red light-running. A green wave would re-time the progression of traffic signals so that drivers and cyclists can travel smoothly at a pedestrian-friendly 10 to 15 mph. In San Francisco, the treatment has proven popular on Valencia Street, a major bike route.

Members of CB 2's transportation committee were very supportive when proponent Ian Dutton showed them a presentation about the concept [PDF], but they also said that the street is already cluttered and they didn't want too much additional signage. (In an effort to keep drivers from rapidly accelerating only to stop at the next block, signs are usually posted to inform them of the slower timing.)

Although a green wave on Prince may not retime stop lights at high-volume cross streets like Broadway and Lafayette Street, it would still improve on the current stop-and-start timing for cyclists while calming car traffic.

A green wave has been discussed since bike lanes were first proposed for Prince and Bleecker Streets in 2007, but DOT and the community board have so far taken little action to make it a reality. Dutton's presentation to CB 2 does not include Bleecker, though he noted that because it's an important route for cyclists traveling south and east from Ninth Avenue, Bleecker might also be a good candidate for signal retimings.

On December 6, CB 2's transportation committee approved a resolution supporting the green wave, 10-0, with one absence. Supporters are cautiously optimistic.

"It’s hard to tell what will happen when it comes before the full board at its next meeting," committee chair Shirley Secunda told Streetsblog in an email. The full board will take up the matter on December 20.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Eric the Relic: In Blaming Dead Pedestrians, Adams Seizes Long-Discredited and Hateful Messaging

It's a time-honored car culture tactic: If you can’t or won’t protect pedestrians, make them take the rap.

July 25, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines: ‘We’ll See You in Court, Gov.’ Edition

Today's the day that City Comptroller Brad Lander and his team of legal eagles will start the fight to save congestion pricing!

July 25, 2024

Hochul Must Put Up or Shut Up on Congestion Pricing, New Senate Transportation Chair Says

Gov. Hochul must produce a "100-day plan" to replace the $16.5 billion MTA funding shortfall created by her decision to cancel congestion pricing.

July 24, 2024

DOT Begins Safety Upgrades for Atlantic Av. But Locals Want More

Some changes are coming for Atlantic, but they're not enough, say street safety advocates.

July 24, 2024

MTA Contractor Scrambles to Refund Fake Charges After OMNY ‘Upgrade’ Goes Awry

Cubic is working to issue refunds to riders improperly charged thanks to the glitch, a spokesman said.

July 24, 2024
See all posts