Cyclists and Pedestrians Now Make Up a Huge Share of Flushing Ave Traffic

Flushing Avenue before and after the installation of buffered bike lanes. Photos: NYC DOT
Flushing Avenue before and after the installation of buffered bike lanes. Photos: NYC DOT

Biking has skyrocketed on Flushing Avenue by the Brooklyn Navy Yard since the installation of bike infrastructure in 2010, according to new counts released by the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. The route is slated for more biking and walking upgrades as the city builds out the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.

Cyclists and pedestrians comprised 25 percent of traffic on Flushing Avenue at Waverly Street on June 20, a Friday, and 41 percent of total traffic on August 16, a Saturday.

Bike traffic has risen with the addition of cycling infrastructure on Flushing Avenue and Williamsburg Street West, where preliminary segments of the greenway have been installed. Before any bike lanes existed on Flushing, DOT counted “more than 300” cyclists on a summer weekday. A combination of buffered and protected lanes were installed in 2010, and this June, Right of Way counted nearly 3,000 cyclists in 14 hours of closed circuit TV footage of Flushing and Waverly.

From the BGI press release:

On June 22, 2014, 2,966 bikes passed this stretch between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm. During the same period 1,030 pedestrians and runners passed and 12,046 vehicles passed.

In the August weekend count, Right of Way tallied more than 4,000 cyclists and a combined bike/ped mode share of 41 percent.

Next up is a major capital project, in the works for several years, which will bring a mile-long two-way bikeway to Flushing Avenue that will connect the Manhattan Bridge approach, DUMBO, and Farragut Houses to Williamsburg Street West, Kent Avenue, and Williamsburg/Greenpoint. The project will also narrow pedestrian crossing distances by around 20 percent.

“Each time new improvements like this occur and new connections are made we see a jump in greenway user volumes,” said BGI co-founder Milton Puryear in the release. “We anticipate another big jump when the Flushing Avenue capital project is completed.”

The Department of Design and Construction website says work on the project will start this fall, but Puryear told Streetsblog he’s expecting construction to begin in 2015.

  • BBnet3000

    The capital project on Flushing is building in permanent conflicts between cyclists and bus riders at the “shared space” stops, which reminds me about how the capital constructed part of Allen/Pike in Manhattan has made it so that faster cyclists cannot pass slower ones (which they can do in the “temporary” painted/buffered portions).

    The more capital bike projects I see, the more I start to think we would be better off building out the entire city with basic paint, plastic delineators and curb islands before putting a single dollar into capital construction.

  • Max Power

    I like the cyclist on the right riding in the buffer to avoid the door zone bike lane.

  • Joe Enoch

    Those businesses are loving it, too. On a nice weekend afternoon, every business along that stretch is packed with customers — even without smorgasburg. Meanwhile automobiles zoom by without even a chance to see what’s for sale!

  • Luke Sherry

    in addition to putting bicyclists in the door zone, the increase in separation leading up to the intersection makes right hooks more likely. And did the OP not realize how similar is the positioning of both bicycles and automobiles between the two photos? In both, bicyclists are in the door zone, so what is the change? The only significant difference is the removal of parking on one side of the street.

  • Patrick94GSR .

    Comparing traffic numbers on a Friday to those on a Saturday is not a valid comparison.

  • Bolwerk

    Nowhere does it state that was a comparison. It looks to me like two different samples were taken because weekdays and Saturday are not comparable.

  • BBnet3000

    “Cyclists and pedestrians comprised 25 percent of traffic on Flushing Avenue at Waverly Street on June 20, a Friday, and 41 percent of total traffic on August 16, a Saturday.”

    Those percentages are comparisons of the various modes WITHIN those days, not between them.

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