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
  • J

    Awesome!

    Next steps: 1) more photos of people on bikes using this new infrastructure!
    2) Extend this and connect it to other protected lanes and bike paths.

  • BrandonWC

    moar pix please!

  • Larry Littlefield

    Does Councilmember Cohen live in the Bronx or in Riverdale? Just wondering.

    CB8 should just relax, as the bike lane is down in the Bronx. It might as well be in Yonkers.

  • Jeff

    In a world in which a little picture of a bicycle painted on the street didn’t cause people to lose their shit, I’d love to see sharrows in the right-hand southbound lane to ward off potential NYPD harassment for those of us who would like to continue riding downhill on this section at speeds which are considered to be safe, reasonable, and legal, but which this protected bike lane does not accommodate.

  • Thanks for using my pics!

    Not only did the redesign not take away parking spots, but there was in fact a net *gain* in parking.

    The bus islands are also a tremendous improvement, especially at the 1 train terminus at 242nd.

  • Streetfilms (928 videos!)

    Looks like Neighbors For Better Bike Lanes may start a new chapter in the Bronx? LOL!

  • 1soReal

    It basically connects to the greenway on Mosholu Parkway via Van Courtlandt Pk. That then takes you to the Bx River and Pelham greenways. You can go from City Island/Orchard Beach to Yonkers just about 100% separated from traffic. Theres a few congested intersections to cross along the way but thats about it.

  • Sounds like you just described my sunday morning ride!

  • AnoNYC

    Did they fix the bike lane along Mosholu yet though, the pavement condition was crap last time I passed through. Thankfully I have a gravel grinder. Nice to see an extended route through the Bronx though.

    And the Bronx River Greenway still has some serious gaps that need to be filled before it’s great. The gap between Bronx Park/E 180th St and the Sheridan Expressway off ramp/E 177th St. That section has already been planned out for years but been delayed due to ongoing infrastructure work. The other two major gaps are the last phase of Starlight Park and the small but dangerous gap between Concrete Plant and Soundview Park between Bruckner Blvd and Lafayette Ave.

  • jzisfein

    Bicycle lanes are for transportation, not just recreation. In that way they’re different than (for example) playgrounds. Decisions regarding building, moving, or reconfiguring playgrounds are appropriately under the aegis of community boards because playgrounds are primarily for the benefit of people in the immediate area.

    Transportation, however, involves the entire region. The final arbiter of transportation decisions should therefore be regional, in this case the NYC DOT. Cyclists using bicycle lanes might be coming from (or going to) places outside the jurisdiction of the local community board. Community boards should have notification and input — occasionally they make good suggestions — but they should not have veto power.

  • 1soReal

    Its the same. I find it manageable for the most part. The area around Tracey Towers tend to have standing water if its rained recently but there is ample space to go around it.
    I’m with you on the Bx River..it nice from near 233rd St to 180th St…especially the upgraded parts along Bx Park/NY Bot Garden. The small gap in West Farms can be a mess esp at rush hour. If you get past those
    two gaps Soundview Park is a nice payoff , which then can take you to the new ferry.
    The Bx has a nice little network I’ve taken for granted until I spent more time in Brooklyn and Queens. Having the most parkland and some of the largest parks in the city, its easy to connect them and have long car protected stretches. Its just that this is all in northern and eastern parts of the boro. There is no comparable way through the south Bx. That Bruckner Blvd bike path is a good idea but as you said it just lead to no where.

  • AnoNYC

    One day we will have a decent network I hope.

    And the ferry at Clason Point Park starts on Aug 15th btw.

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