Pulaski Bridge Bike Lane OK’d by DOT Traffic Study; Engineering Review Next

A protected bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge — calming traffic heading to McGuinness Boulevard and providing much more breathing room than the bridge’s narrow bike/ped path alone — has cleared a significant planning hurdle. In a letter to Assembly Member Joe Lentol [PDF], DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said that the proposal meets traffic analysis requirements, and that an engineering study and recommendations will be made by the end of the year:

DOT says an engineering study is underway for a protected bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge, and the agency will make recommendations by the end of the year. Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/bitchcakes/2776436728/##*Bitch Cakes*/Flickr##

Since December, we have analyzed traffic data and we are confident that one Brooklyn-bound lane can be removed from the Pulaski Bridge without an adverse effect on traffic flow… However, there are some engineering questions remaining about how to properly design and install such a bicycle path on the bridge. To resolve these questions, we are initiating an engineering study with a structural engineering consultant.

The most likely engineering concerns are related to the bridge’s wide joint gaps, which could ensnare narrow bike tires, and how to maintain an adequate physical barrier between bicycles and motor vehicles on the drawbridge section of the span. DOT expects to wrap up the study and recommendations later this year, according to Sadik-Khan’s letter.

While this update puts the study schedule behind the March deadline that Lentol had cited at the beginning of the year, it’s a good sign of progress.

In the meantime, advocates continue to build support for the bike lane. The Transportation Alternatives Queens volunteer committee, which has a petition supporting the lane with 300 signatures, will be gathering more signatures on the Queens side of the bridge path on Saturday, May 11, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The bridge path would complement a separate proposal to bring bike lanes to 11th Street in Long Island City, connecting north to Queens Plaza and the Queensboro Bridge. “DOT and CB 2 have already agreed to this,” TA volunteer Steve Scofield told Streetsblog via e-mail. “We’re expecting their exact proposal and an implementation date in a matter of weeks.”

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Pulaski Bridge Bikeway Likely Delayed Until Next Year

|
One of the most anticipated livable streets projects of 2014 probably won’t get built until next year. NYC DOT’s plan to convert a traffic lane on the Pulaski Bridge to a two-way protected bike path, which would relieve crowding on the bridge’s narrow bike-ped path and calm traffic heading toward McGuinness Boulevard in Brooklyn, is […]

The Pulaski Bridge Bikeway Is Open and It’s Magnificent

|
Pedestrians and cyclists don’t have to settle for scraps of space on the Pulaski Bridge any more. This morning, the bridge’s new two-way protected bikeway officially opened to the public, the culmination of a four-year effort to improve biking and walking access between Greenpoint and Long Island City. The Pulaski carries thousands of cyclists between Queens and Brooklyn across Newtown […]

Pulaski Bridge Bike Path Now Scheduled to Open by End of 2015

|
About a year behind schedule, a major project to improve walking and biking between Queens and Brooklyn is set to move forward in 2015. The project, originally scheduled to be complete this year, will convert one southbound car lane on the Pulaski Bridge into a protected bike lane, giving more breathing room to pedestrians on what […]