Eyes on the Street: Bike Lane Stripes on Tremont Avenue

This one-block stretch of bike lane between Park Avenue West and Park Avenue East in the Bronx is part of a four-mile route DOT is striping on Tremont Avenue. Photo: Jonathan Rabinowitz

DOT has striped the first pieces of the Bronx’s newest bike route on Tremont Avenue.

The city is putting down bike lanes and sharrows on the 4.1-mile stretch of Tremont Avenue between Cedar Avenue and Boston Road, following a 2014 request from Council Member Ritchie Torres for a cross-town route on Tremont.

A rendering of the bike facilities at Tremont and Park pictured above. Image: DOT
DOT’s design for the block in the top photo.

Reader Jonathan Rabinowitz snapped the photo above of freshly-painted lanes looking west at Park Avenue. Bike lanes have yet to be installed west of Webster Avenue, where the road awaits milling and repaving, he said.

While the new markings aren’t all-ages bike infrastructure, they make a noticeable difference, said Rabinowitz, who bikes on Tremont most mornings.

There’s a pressing safety need for better bike infrastructure here. In September 2015, DOT counted 235 weekday cyclists on Tremont Avenue where it crosses Third Avenue. Tremont is also a DOT-designated Vision Zero priority corridor: From 2010 to 2014, 10 cyclists and 33 pedestrians were killed or severely injured in the project area.

Torres had hoped for protected bike lanes on the route, telling Streetsblog in February that he views this project as a stepping stone to more ambitious efforts. “I see [this project] as a down payment, as laying the foundation for an eventual bike network that spans all of Tremont Avenue,” Torres said.

  • rogue

    I don’t understand the lack of barrier protection. This is just another space for motorists to park with impunity. These lanes must be designed with the assumption that double parking will occur and not be enforced.

  • AnoNYC

    Agreed. Swap the parking and the bike lanes. Flex post would be welcomed where there is no curbside parking.

    I wonder what the DOT has in store for E Tremont east of the Bronx River in BX CB 9. The road becomes a speedway along that stretch.

  • AnoNYC

    Nice to see some new lanes in the Bronx. Safe, cross Bronx routes are needed. Should have been physically separated, but it’s a start.

    Any word on when the lower Grand Concourse will be reconfigured. I saw the plan, but I can’t wait until implementation. Also, South Bronx Greenway/Bruckner Blvd phase 2 plan?

  • Jonathan R

    There’s no curbside parking on the block pictured, ergo no double parking. Further east is metered parking alongside the bike lane, which doesn’t suffer from double-parking to the same extent (better enforcement).

  • rogue

    I said “double” when I should have said “illegal”. The point is the same. In any case, I don’t see enforcement as the solution.

  • BBnet3000

    Would it kill them to put the sharrows in the center of the lane as NACTO and MUTCD recommend? They’ve moved them a little out of the door zone compared to their older incompetent efforts, and as a result they’re wearing off the road even faster because they’re exactly where car tires roll over. The ones in my neighborhood were painted in the fall and are already noticeably chipping away.

    Also, having them anywhere but the center of the lane still leads drivers to think you belong at the very edge of the lane so that they can get around you. It’s government-sanctioned harassment.

  • And why don’t they put the buffer on the other side? Right now it’s against the curb. It should provide more space between people on bikes and moving cars.

  • JayLPI

    I don’t know why the city bothers to deal with communities. They only care about driving and parking. Stop kowtowing to local residents and install parking protected bike lanes on all arterial roads already. People need to stop driving and use transit and biking. On Jane Jacobs 100th birthday we should celebrate what she would have wanted….

  • BrandonWC

    It’s not clear from the cropped schematic in the post, but the buffered area is just for that small block with sharows continuing on both directions. Swapping the buffer here would have bikers more out of line with the shared lane, making the merge back into car traffic deicer.
    If I ran things, I would swap the curbside buffer for a curb extension to better align the crosswalks.

  • Bernard Finucane

    Why flex posts? Why not real barriers?

  • AnoNYC

    I figure pedestrian access. Those flex bollards or the harder plastic bollards are good at keeping traffic out (unless the driver has lost control).

  • Bernard Finucane

    I was thinking about steel posts with a concrete core. They do not prevent access unless they have chains between them.

    https://www.google.de/maps/@51.2499378,6.8022292,3a,75y,101.34h,70.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sHFLUd2nZ7OrhbkvSv9Ix0g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

  • Helen Chirivas

    You may be right in theory, but cars/driving will never end. People are just too attached to their comfort/security/privacy. It’s also a big safety concern for moving kids around – it’s simply safer to do so if they’re strapped into a car/truck, rather than onto a bike. The other consideration: Cars can make distance disappear – an important factor for those who need to travel extended distances quickly. Although bikes can travel pretty fast, they aren’t going to do 60, 70, or 80 mph like cars/travel travel – sometimes for hours – on the interstates. However, having said all that, I agree with you that protected bike lanes should be installed – protected with barriers. Safety first.

  • Joe R.

    Car collisions are the 5th leading cause of death for children under 15 and the leading cause of death for those 15 to 24. Stop pretending strapping a kid into a car is safer than letting them ride a bike or walk to school. Not only is traveling by car unsafe for these children, but the parents driving their children everywhere make it unsafe for everyone else. The primary thing which kills children walking or biking to school is cars. Get rid of the cars and you get rid of the danger.

    Cars can make distance disappear – an important factor for those who need to travel extended distances quickly.

    Not a factor in urban areas where distances by definition are short. Often it’s as fast to bike in the city as it is to drive.

    Although bikes can travel pretty fast, they aren’t going to do 60, 70, or 80 mph like cars/travel travel – sometimes for hours – on the interstates.

    The speed record under human power is 85.71 mph: http://www.gizmag.com/cyclist-human-powered-speed-record/39472/

    Eventually we’ll have the technology to mass produce human-powered vehicles which can travel in excess of 60 mph at the level of power an average rider can produce. Already we have production velomobiles which can go about 30 mph with an average rider, 40 to 45 mph with a strong rider. That’s plenty good enough to cover typical distances people might travel. Remember the daily trips people take aren’t for hours on interstates. They’re usually under 20 miles. Besides that, if you’re going long distances high-speed train is faster than driving.

    The bottom line when you look at the big picture is cars are really ill-suited for travel compared to the alternatives. For long distances train or plane makes more sense. For shorter distances subway or bike or walking is often just as good. You’ve been sold a bill of goods by auto manufacturers about the supposed freedom and convenience cars offer. With a properly designed transportation system they would have disadvantages compared to other modes. The biggest disadvantage is their huge cost, along with the need to obtain a license to use one.

  • Helen Chirivas

    I agree with a lot of what you say – but it’s just that people in general haven’t come around to that view.

    Another problem is that the automobile industry is the linchpin of the economy. And we have to be at the top of the world “pyramid of power” and so forth – the top military/industrial power on Earth. Or so we’re told. How could we compete if we dismantled the automobile industry. Anyway, that’s just a theoretical quasi-humorous question. It’s difficult to convey “musing” via written communication.

    The tight “marriage” of people of their cars – despite all that’s is known about kids and car safety (that is, they’re not necessarily safer being transported around in cars) – is why you have the dithering on bike lanes. Yet protected bike lanes are the key to increased ridership. Myself – I’ll never trust motorists. Not that I think they’re out to get pedestrians/cyclists, but they are often distracted. And many are driving truck-like cars with huge/numerous blind spots. Cars should be in their own lanes, bikes in their own barrier protected paths, pedestrians on the sidewalk. And breaks must be given to pedestrians to cross the street, ahead of motorists making left turns.

  • Joe R.

    It’s not really true any more that the automotive industry is the most important segment of the economy. It’s still a major part, but consider if people bought fewer cars they would spend that money on something else.

    I agree with the physical separation. In fact, I’ll go one step further and say we should physically separate at intersections also, as is done sometimes in the Netherlands:

    http://www.ossiansmyth.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/roundabout-eindhoven.jpg

  • ahwr

    Split under 15 into <1 and 1-14.

    2010-2014

    Under 1 there were 118855 deaths. 364 were listed as 'MV traffic', not in the top ten.

    1-14 there were 47148 deaths, 'MV traffic' was listed for 5474 deaths, the second leading cause of death after cancer at 6175.

    So 'MV traffic' was ~3.5% of deaths.

    http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/leadcaus10_us.html

  • AnoNYC

    I wish we had that in NYC.

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