DOT: Protected Bike Lanes Coming to Grand Concourse Below 161st Street, Eventually

The agency says a future capital project will add protected bike lanes on the Concourse between 138th Street and 161st Street, but there is no funding or timetable attached yet.

DOT recently made safety improvements on the Grand Concourse below 158th Street, including this closed-off slip lane outside Cardinal Hayes High School, but bike lanes were not included. Image: DOT
DOT recently made safety improvements on the Grand Concourse below 158th Street, including this closed-off slip lane outside Cardinal Hayes High School, but bike lanes were not included. Image: DOT

DOT is planning to add protected bike lanes on the Grand Concourse below 161st Street, an agency rep told City Council members today. At the current pace of construction, however, it will be several years before the protected bike lanes are built.

Testifying on the mayor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget, DOT Associate Commissioner for Budget and Capital Program Management Elisabeth Franklin told Council Member Vanessa Gibson that DOT plans to reconfigure the Grand Concourse between 138th Street and 161st Street with protected bike lanes as part of an unfunded future capital project.

DOT has been upgrading the Concourse’s existing buffered bike lanes as part of a long-running capital reconstruction that began a decade ago. South of 161st Street, however, there’s no bike infrastructure to speak of. In 2016, the city installed pedestrian safety improvements between 138th Street and 158th Street but not bike lanes.

Gibson, whose district includes or borders much of the Grand Concourse between 156th Street and 173rd Street, has pressed for protected bike lanes on the Concourse along with council members Fernando Cabrera, Andrew Cohen, Rafael Salamanca, and Ritchie Torres.

Because work on the Grand Concourse will proceed as a Department of Design and Construction capital project, however, it could be five or more years before Bronx residents get safer biking conditions on the lower Concourse.

Work on phase four of the Concourse reconstruction, between 175th Street and Fordham Road, isn’t slated to wrap up until at least 2022. The segment between 138th Street and 161st Street would be rebuilt after that, Franklin said.

In January, members of Transportation Alternatives’ Bronx committee called for DOT to speed up its Grand Concourse timeline to match the pace on Queens Boulevard and Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn, where DOT is using low-cost materials to add miles of protected bike lanes each year.

“There’s a lot of things that DOT can do now, before that construction — it doesn’t cost a lot of money or take a lot of time — that would make that road safer,” TransAlt Bronx committee chair Kevin Daloia said at the time.

  • Cain McDougal

    Most of Eastern Queens always gets ignored when it comes to bike lanes. It definitely needs better inter-neighborhood connections and bike infrastructure. Places like LIC, Jackson Heights, Flushing, etc… always gets choked with traffic by single occupant vehicles.

  • AnoNYC

    I’m curious as to how this will be designed considering the more recent reconfigurations. And the bicycle lane improvements further north need flex posts at the minimum, though the shift to the inside is significantly safer. And how about the GC north of Fordham Road, nothing was ever mentioned about that swath? I wish they would just paint the lanes up there now since the capital project is many years away.

    Also, wtf is the deal with the South Bronx/Bruckner Greenway? It just dumps you in the middle of the Bruckner at Longwood Ave, rendering it useless.

    They are building these projects in the Bronx without the needed connectivity.

  • J
  • ohhleary

    Disband the Department of Design and Construction and start over. It’s taken them over two years to build out 12 blocks of bike lane on West Street in Greenpoint. The Flushing Avenue cycle path that was approved by the Community Board in *2013* is years away from being done. There needs to be top-to-bottom reform of that agency, because it’s clear they don’t move with any sense of urgency on safety projects where people’s lives are at risk.

  • strangemonkey

    Anyone see this …

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/dangerous-bikes-doesn-article-1.3997481

    it’s pretty on point … de Blasio is part of the car culture, is chauffeured wherever he goes (as if he were someone important … Bloomberg often took the MTA).

    He doesn’t care when cyclists are killed by motor vehicles because he has no idea or interest in what it means to ride a bike in NYC. He is a fake progressive.

  • Of course any crackdown on bicyclists is inherently ridiculous when on every street we have drivers speeding, blowing stop signs, and sometimes even blowing red lights; and, when they do deign to stop at a red, it’s always ahead of the stopping line. So enforcement priorities are completely out of whack.

    Still, whenever anyone calls out de Blasio for taking cars, I have to mention that we cannot expect him to ride the subway like a normal New Yorker. We cannot even expect him to ride it as much as Bloomberg did. If de Blasio rode the subway regularly, it would be a security nightmare. Never forget that the police gave encouragement to every violent right-wing extremist out there by their organised display of insubordination against de Blasio. As a result, this mayor is uniquely vulnerable to attack, and requires much more protection than any other mayor did.

    Critique de Blasio for his policy decisions. And critique him for his excesses in driving, such as his ridiculous and profligate daily ride from Gracie Mansion to a Brooklyn gym. But his act of taking a car to carry out his duties is prudent and appropriate, given the general level of threat under which he lives due to a traitorous act on the part of the police.

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Thanks @Vanessalgibson for supporting #CompleteConcourse! Win for #VisionZero and #not62@transalt@BxHealthREACHpic.twitter.com/uEuU88qRN9 — Thomas DeVito (@PedestrianTom) August 25, 2016 Council Member Vanessa Gibson wants protected bike lanes on the Grand Concourse. After meeting with Bronx Transportation Alternatives volunteers this week, Gibson signed onto the campaign, joining four other council members whose districts include the Concourse. Below 162nd Street, there is no […]