Eyes on the Street: Flushing Avenue Bike Lane Takes Shape

The first segment of the two-way protected bike lane on Flushing Avenue is open. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
The first segment of the two-way protected bike lane on Flushing Avenue is open. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

Here a first look at just how great Flushing Avenue might be.

The first segment of the two-way protected bike lane — between the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Washington Avenue — has opened on the north side of the roadway, giving cyclists some safety along a stretch that has been a construction danger zone.

Eventually, the bike lane will extend all the way to Navy Street, a key route for thousands of daily cyclists heading to and from the Manhattan Bridge [PDF].

For months, cyclists have been dealing with construction that has eliminated the westbound bike lane entirely, squeezing riders onto the main car lane (see below), but the heaviest construction appears to have ended.

A dangerous mix.
File photo: A dangerous mix.

The better news? When the Department of Design and Construction is done with the project by April, Flushing Avenue promises to be a tremendous improvement for cyclists — at the expense of drivers.

In addition to the raised, two-way bike lane on the north side of Flushing, buses, which currently cut off cyclists as they veer back into traffic from the shared bike lane, will make their westbound pickups directly in the roadway, inconveniencing only motorists. An agency spokesman said that buses stopping in the roadway “will not cause traffic to be significantly impacted.”

That remains to be seen, given that 15 westbound buses on the B57 and B69 routes pass through Flushing Avenue during the morning rush hour, according to MTA schedules. That number, multiplied by the number of the on-road bus stops, translates to 51 times that a bus will potentially stop in front of cars every morning during the so-called rush hour.

But with their own space, cyclists won’t have to worry about that.

  • Bike lanes never come “at the expense of drivers”. Bicycle infrastructure calms traffic, an effect which benefits everybody — cyclists, pedestrians, and also drivers.

  • r

    It’s too narrow! Why are we spending millions to build bike lanes where two people can’t ride abreast comfortably? This is a great bike lane for five years ago. It’s a bad one for five years from now.

  • JohnBrownForPresident

    Yeah, I’m sure gertz knows this. Still, it feels good to be sticking it to these motherfuckers who take nothing more than glee when we cyclists are hurt, ticketed, assaulted, etc. Nice to feel differently for a small second.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Will there be a connection between this and the bike lane on Sands Street?

    If they’re leaving that link missing this is an unbelievable lost opportunity to actually provide a fully comfortable connection. Eastbound in particular switching over without a proper 2-way connection will be a mess.

  • Miles

    Too bad there’s zero talk of making Flushing a safe and speedy bikeway east of the BQE… if you’re trying to get anywhere in Bushwick from here, you have to twist around some pointless detours, because roads are still for cars by default.

  • Gersh Kuntzman

    That is true, and as JohnBrownForPresident mentioned, I’m aware that my wording was faulty here. BUT… I do think it’s important to point out whenever drivers are squeezed because those drivers will always blame us rather than themselves.

  • jeremy

    This is great! But honestly if there’s a protected bike lane on the north side, then the painted bike lane on the south side is sort of useless to keep

  • crazytrainmatt

    It looks like they are building out a narrowish 8′ two-way path and left a 4′ unprotected bike lane on the other side of the street??? That’s nuts!

  • The intersection of Navy and Flushing, plus the connection to Sands, should all get some sort of protected intersection treatment. Tons of room for it.

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