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Park Row Security Zone to Reopen With Protected Bike Lane and New Pedestrian Space

Image: City Hall

City Hall announced today that a segment of Park Row in Chinatown that's been an inhospitable security zone since 9/11 will be reopened with a protected bike lane and wider sidewalks, adding a link in the Lower Manhattan bike network and improving access to and from the Brooklyn Bridge.

DOT plans to start work this fall on adding a bi-directional bikeway and 10,000 square feet of pedestrian space to Park Row between Worth Street and Frankfort Street.

Due to its proximity to 1 Police Plaza, for years Park Row has been cordoned by NYPD checkpoints, closed to general motor vehicle traffic and unwelcoming to people on foot and on bikes. Chinatown residents and business owners have long urged the city to restore public access.

From a City Hall press release:

DOT has developed preliminary plans to connect the eventual Park Row bike path with the existing bike network via Frankfort Street, including the newly completed protected lane adjacent to City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge. On the north end of the project, DOT plans to study connections to Chatham Square and the existing bike path along East Broadway in Chinatown.

“Park Row is a critical connector in lower Manhattan that connects the area to Chinatown,” said Mayor de Blasio in a statement. “After years of effort, I am proud that we have arrived at a design solution that strikes the right balance: increasing access through this corridor while at the same time maintaining the safety around one of our most sensitive locations, One Police Plaza.”

NYPD will remove or relocate concrete barriers, guard booths, and shipping containers from the project area. Certain tour bus companies may be allowed to use the street, City Hall said. Otherwise, private vehicle traffic will still be prohibited. The above rendering, released by City Hall, shows the bike lane lined with parked NYPD vehicles.

Local representatives including Council Member Margaret Chin, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and Assembly Member Yuhline Niou welcomed the change in a press release from the mayor's office. The city will present the project to local community boards over the coming months, and it's expected to be completed next spring.

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