Eyes on the Street: Meet the First Protected Bike Lane in the Northwest Bronx

The redesign of Broadway alongside Van Cortlandt Park narrowed crossing distances 30 percent while adding a two-way protected bikeway.

Weekend bike traffic on Broadway by Van Cortlandt Park. Photo: Eben Weiss/Bike Snob NYC
Weekend bike traffic on Broadway by Van Cortlandt Park. Photo: Eben Weiss/Bike Snob NYC

There’s a brand new two-way protected bike lane on Broadway next to Van Cortlandt Park, which immediately stakes a claim as the best on-street bike lane in this part of the city. It didn’t take long for younger riders to give the new bike lane a try.

The redesign is also a big improvement for pedestrian access to the park. From 2010 to 2014, 12 people — including 10 pedestrians, were killed or severely injured in traffic crashes on Broadway north of 242nd Street. By converting extra into a parking-protected bikeway along the park, the redesign narrowed crossing distances 30 percent and should cut down on speeding.

Eben Weiss, a.k.a. Bike Snob, posted these photos of Broadway yesterday.

It may seem like a clear-cut improvement, but Bronx Community Board 8 was never convinced. While some local residents, including Weiss, testified in favor of the project, the board’s leadership tried to stonewall it, passing a resolution in 2017 echoing only the complainers.

Local Council Member Andrew Cohen, who prompted the city to redesign Broadway in the first place, never caved to the opposition. During one debate at CB 8, Cohen insisted that safety on Broadway should outweigh any concerns about parking. (The redesign does not decrease the number of curbside spots, it just makes double-parking tougher.)

In March, DOT announced it would move forward with the redesign despite CB 8’s position.

The DOT redesign includes bus boarding islands. Image: DOT
By narrowing the street’s extra-wide parking lanes, DOT’s redesign reduces crossing distances on Broadway by 30 percent. Image: DOT

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