De Blasio: Protected Bike Lanes Coming to 9th Street in Park Slope This Summer

The redesign will shorten crossing distances for pedestrians and shield cyclists from car traffic.

The basic template for the redesign of Ninth Street (exact dimensions haven't been finalized yet). Image: DOT
The basic template for the redesign of Ninth Street (exact dimensions haven't been finalized yet). Image: DOT

Speaking at the Park Slope intersection where Dorothy Bruns killed two small children in March, Mayor de Blasio announced the city will move forward with a redesign Ninth Street between Prospect Park West and Third Avenue starting in July.

The redesign will include protected bike lanes and pedestrian islands. DOT expected to finish implementation by the end of the summer, said Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

Specifics of the design weren’t presented this morning (DOT is expected to go into more detail at a public meeting next month), but the basic template involves flipping the parking lanes and bike lanes, making crossing distances shorter for pedestrians and protecting cyclists from car traffic.

DOT plans to install concrete pedestrian islands at some crossings, and painted islands at others. The painted pedestrian zones will resemble those on Dyckman Street in Inwood:

Photo: Brad Aaron
Photo: Brad Aaron

Currently Ninth Street has buffered bike lanes that the city implemented about 10 years ago. They’re often blocked by double-parked cars, and there are no treatments at intersections to break up long pedestrian crossings and slow down turning drivers.

“We’re going to be putting in the kind of designs here that we have seen have made streets safer all over the city,” Trottenberg said. “Putting in safer pedestrian spaces, putting in protected bike lanes, looking at signal timing and street design to calm and slow traffic. Those are proven designs that we’ve use all over the city.”

This phase of the project will extend from Prospect Park to Third Avenue, where the dimensions of Ninth Street change, but redesigning the blocks west of Third Avenue is on DOT’s radar. “The street narrows after Third Avenue, so it does present some bigger challenges,” Trottenberg said. A future phase could extend to Smith Street.

Mayor de Blasio speaking at 9th Street and Fifth Avenue in Park Slope this morning. Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
Mayor de Blasio speaking at Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue in Park Slope this morning. Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

The mayor also used the occasion to call on Albany to renew and expand the city’s speed camera program, set to expire at the end of the year.

“We’ll be including safer crossings, expanded pedestrian space, and dedicated bike lanes,” de Blasio said. “We will do everything in our power to protected New Yorkers from dangerous drivers. It’s time that leaders in Albany did the same thing.”

DOT staff will be on hand at tonight’s street safety town hall hosted by Council Member Brad Lander at M.S. 51, but will only briefly address Ninth Street. The agency will present the complete redesign to the June 21 Community Board 6 transportation committee meeting.

  • J

    This seems so painfully obvious. Why do children need to die in order for this to happen??

  • 9th Street Rider

    It does not look like it will be a great design. Seems like they’re doing as much as they possibly can to avoid inconveniencing drivers while still allowing double parking. It’s too bad that they’ll spend so much money to cast part of this in concrete when it could be so much better.

  • JarekFA

    Suburban car oriented mindset from the powers that be.

  • JarekFA

    Here’s how the bike lane looked this morning, with the press all assembled. I wonder what they’ll do re: All the people who like to double park and go to McDonalds there. https://twitter.com/JarekFA/status/1001933214997508096

  • Altered Beast ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    if we have protected 4th avenue lanes then we won’t need the 5th avenue sharrows.

  • William Farrell

    This is a great improvement, but there’s a whole lot more that can be done. Why are the bike lanes being narrowed from 5′ to 4′? Why is the median being widened from 3′ to 4.5′ when it could be narrowed to 1′ ? Why are the 11′ travel lanes remaining the same when they could be narrowed to 10′? https://twitter.com/wjfarr/status/1001941533577265152

  • William Farrell

    This is a great improvement, but there’s a whole lot more that can be done. Why are the bike lanes being narrowed from 5′ to 4′? Why is the median being widened from 3′ to 4.5′ when it could be narrowed to 1′ ? Why are the 11′ travel lanes remaining the same when they could be narrowed to 10′? https://twitter.com/wjfarr/status/1001942136844152835

  • JarekFA

    Cars and trucks already have 4th ave – we should make 5th ave a dedicated 24/7 bus and bikeway.

  • Cgo

    This is great for cyclists but a lot more could and should be done for pedestrians. Including (but not limited to):

    -Split phase signalling for left turns, nobody should have a walk signal while cars are turning left at that intersection.

    -MId-avenue crosswalks and stop lights should be installed on 9th street between 4th and 5th and 5th and 6th. A lot of people understandably cross the street mid-avenue there already, and an additional crosswalk and traffic light would also slow down traffic on 9th street.

  • Todd Edelman

    Hey! We know the justification for the traffic lanes and parking lanes, assuming that they are 10 and 7 feet, respectively.

    But the bike lane is, what, 4 ft, 5 ft.? Is this a major bike artery? How ’bout we start with space for a faster cyclist (electric) to pass two riding next to each other (social)? This is about 10 ft. Bus needs space too.

    So 2 x 11 + 2 x 10 = 42 ft. Plus two 2 ft. medians. 46 ft. The 11 ft. bike lane narrows to 4 ft. for bus platforms. There’s 10 ft. left, enough for one car in one direction, and a 1 ft. median between it and bike lane. Narrowing bike lane to 10 ft can make medians a bit larger.

    What’s the design speed?

    Obviously there is no space for parking. Buses will not pull over at stops.

    The graphic above is less useful than a napkin sketch.

  • Jeff

    4th Ave will definitely be the long-distance bike route of choice, but 5th Ave still needs to be safe and comfortable for all street users, given that cyclists will still be there for local trips and to access businesses and whatnot on 5th Ave.

  • Altered Beast ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    yeah but it’s too narrow to do anything besides sharrows so I don’t know how physically you can do much about it besides having cops actually police the route.

  • J

    Trottenberg: “The street narrows after Third Avenue, [and because we prioritize moving cars over safety] it does present some bigger challenges”

  • JarekFA

    This is not, by an objective measure, a “narrow” street. We can do something about parked cars, which we don’t need to bend over to accommodate, on a corridor that has buses that run supposedly every 5-6 mins during the day time and a subway local line one avenue away. We need better loading zones and they should increase the f out of the metered parking rates. But the idea that we can only have sharrows here is laughable.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/128af20a526f75e828c136ab9fbab963ac21f89d9a1ee145e43b65713537f297.jpg

  • JarekFA

    Here’s a section with sharrows — objectively speaking, this is not a narrow street. I’d love to see it narrower so that cars don’t feel the urge to pass me when we approach a red light at the bottom of a hill.

    https://twitter.com/JarekFA/status/980892677670653952

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/51d8578ca7ac4af8aca57bddb0c957daaa68125d6fb943b5181037c9e817d614.jpg

  • Altered Beast ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    this is only a small part of that fifth avenue stretch. I bike it every day and 60 percent of it is narrow. What we need and what we’ll get are two different things. In a real utopia we’d have automatic cars and deliverys only at night but that might be a few decades off.

  • J

    Any pdf of this project? I’d love to see the presentation from last night.

  • BubbaJoe123

    Narrowing the median removes it as a refuge for pedestrians.

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