Eyes on the Street: Inaugural Ride on Co-Op City’s First Bike Lanes

Council Member Andy King cuts the ribbon on the new Co-Op City Boulevard bike lanes on Sunday. Photo: Alexander Belisle

On Sunday, a group of about 30 cyclists, organized by the Bronx Activist Committee of Transportation Alternatives, rode on the Bronx’s newest bicycle lanes in Co-Op City. The lanes, which run on 222nd Street, Co-Op City Boulevard, and soon Bartow Avenue, provide connections within Co-Op City and to the Bronx River Greenway.

“The bicycle lanes allow us to connect all parts of the Bronx,” Council Member Andy King told NY1 after a ribbon-cutting on Co-Op City Boulevard. These are the first on-street bike lanes for Co-Op City, home to more than 26,000 people, according to 2011 Census estimates.

The bike lanes came as two separate projects from DOT. In Community Board 10, bike lanes have been striped on Co-Op City Boulevard and are expected to be installed on Bartow Avenue from Co-Op City Boulevard to the Hutchinson Parkway, where they will connect to a newly-constructed Parks Department greenway. CB 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns said that while the board did not pass resolutions on the plan, board members did express concerns to DOT about the connection on Bartow Avenue beneath the Hutchinson River Parkway.

On Co-Op City Boulevard, the redesign maintains two motor vehicle lanes in each direction, and narrows the right-most car lane to create space for a bike lane. On Bartow Avenue, the redesign reduces the number of motor vehicle lanes in each direction from three to two and installs bike lanes.

In April, DOT said the plan for Bartow Avenue would extend further west, to Baychester Avenue near I-95 [PDF]. Kearns said that segment is no longer being considered after DOT scaled back the project due to concerns over traffic near the construction of a mega-mall on the site of the Bay Plaza Shopping Center. The project now stops at Co-Op City Boulevard instead. DOT has not responded to a query about why the plan was shortened.

Update: DOT spokesperson Scott Gastel said via e-mail that the agency is “still discussing the overall proposal with the community board.”

The projects add the first bike lanes within Co-Op City and improve east-west bike connections, linking up with the Bronx River Greenway.

In Community Board 12, bike lanes were requested by the 222nd Street Block Association, stretching across the Williamsbridge neighborhood between the greenway and Co-Op City. DOT presented a plan in February that changed the street from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction with bike lanes and a center turning lane [PDF].

Although CB 12 did not vote on any resolutions on the proposal, district manager Carmen Rosa told Streetsblog that most board members supported the bike lanes. “They live there, and they’re the ones requesting it, and who are we to say it shouldn’t be?” she said.

Photo: Alexander Belisle

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