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DOT Plans Better Bike Connections for Brooklyn Side of Williamsburg Bridge

12:56 PM EDT on March 13, 2017

DOT plans to add two-way protected bike lanes at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge bike path in Brooklyn. Image: DOT

DOT will present a plan to improve bicycle connections on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge to Brooklyn Community Board 1, including protected bike lanes on the blocks approaching the bridge's bike path [PDF]. (The meeting was originally scheduled for March 14 but will be rescheduled because of the impending blizzard.) The project was presented to the CB 1 transportation committee last week.

Cycling over the bridge increased 80 percent from 2010 and 2015, and DOT expects another large surge when L train service across the East River is suspended for 18 months in January 2019. But connections between local streets and the bridge path are not as direct and safe as they should be.

In general, bike infrastructure is skimpy in the immediate vicinity of the bridge path entrance. The worst conditions right now are for cyclists heading east from the bridge, with no intuitive route to get past the elevated BQE.

The DOT plan calls for a two-way protected bike lane leading to and from the streets east of the bridge (above).

At the multi-legged intersection of South 4th Place, Havemeyer Street, and Borinquen Place, where four pedestrians were injured last year, DOT wants to expand pedestrian space and add signalized crosswalks across South 4th Street and the bridge entrance for motor vehicles. Eastbound cyclists would be directed onto a short path running below the BQE:

DOT's plan includes a total makeover of the completed intersection of South 4th Street, Havemeyer Street, and Borinquen Place. Image: DOT
DOT's plan includes a makeover of the intersection of South 4th Street, Havemeyer Street, and Borinquen Place. Image: DOT
DOT's plan includes a total makeover of the completed intersection of South 4th Street, Havemeyer Street, and Borinquen Place. Image: DOT

The bike path below the BQE (currently lined with illegally-parked cars) would then feed into the eastbound bike lane on Borinquen Place.

DOT is scrapping one block of illegal parking under the BQE for an eastbound protected bike lane. Image: DOT
DOT would convert one block under the BQE to an eastbound bike lane connecting to Borinquen Place and Grand Street. Image: DOT
DOT is scrapping one block of illegal parking under the BQE for an eastbound protected bike lane. Image: DOT

Borinquen Place connects to Grand Street, where advocates and elected officials have pushed for safer bike infrastructure since a driver killed cyclist Matthew von Ohlen on the street last summer. DOT says it will unveil a plan for Grand Street later this year.

DOT also wants to install regular painted bike lanes east of the BQE on Scholes Street and Meserole Street.

West of the bridge entrance, the plan calls for upgrading the buffered bike lane on South 5th Street with parking protection and a short two-way segment that would connect cyclists exiting the bridge to Driggs Avenue.

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