The Jay Street Bike Lane Won’t Work If NYPD Parks All Over It

Double-whammy: these caps are blocking a bus stop and the bike lane. Photo: Brandon Chamberlin
Police officers block the bike lane and a bus stop on Jay Street this morning. Photo: Brandon Chamberlin

As crews restripe Jay Street to implement a curbside protected bike lane, some sort of learning curve is to be expected. Drivers need a little time to adjust to the new parking lane, which floats to the left of the bike lane buffer. But NYPD should know better from the start.

Streetsblog reader Brandon Chamberlin snapped the above photo of two police vehicles parked in the bus stop in front of City Tech on Jay Street this morning, blocking the way for both buses and cyclists. The bus stop has always been there — it’s not new.

In DOT’s redesign, the bike lane and curbside bus stops are “shared space” — as opposed to a floating bus stop design where bus drivers would pull up to a boarding island to the left of the bike lane. It’s a situation that requires some extra effort, with cyclists and bus drivers having to look out for each other — even without factoring in illegal parking.

If police ignore the rules and park at the curb, things will break down quickly. Cyclists will have to weave out of the bike lane into traffic, and bus riders will have to walk off the curb to board. The stress and chaotic traffic conditions that the Jay Street redesign was supposed to fix will just resurface in slightly different form.

DOT's redesign includes mixing zones that maintain curb access for cyclists at bus stops. Image: DOT
In DOT’s Jay Street redesign, some bus stops occupy the same curb space as the bike lane [PDF]. Image: DOT
Illegal parking by police and other placard holders has been the scourge of Jay Street for a long time. When DOT presented its Jay Street proposal to Community Board 2 in March, transportation committee members worried that the new lane would be compromised by rampant parking placard abuse, which NYPD has overlooked for years.

Police from all over Brooklyn come to the courts on Jay Street (one of the squad cars in the photo is from the 73rd Precinct in Brownsville). If the redesign of one of NYC’s busiest bike routes is going to work, NYPD needs to get the message out that officers can’t block bus stops or the bike lane.

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