DOT Says Bike Path on Kosciuszko Bridge Will Link to Network
Cyclists will soon be able to ride from Queens to Brooklyn across the Kosciuszko Bridge along a long-promised bike route that will connect to bike lanes in each borough.
Later this year, the state Department of Transportation will open the new Brooklyn-bound span of the bridge, which will include a 20-foot-wide path for cyclists and pedestrians heading in each direction. And the state is working with the city to safely connect that pathway with the larger bike network once cyclists get off the bridge in Greenpoint or in Maspeth, DOT bike and greenways official Craig Baerwald told the Queens Community Board 2 Transportation Committee Monday night.
“We’re having ongoing conversations with the state to provide them with the safest, most seamless connection to the bike facility,” said Baerwald, who felt compelled to tell members that no parking spaces or roadway capacity would be lost.
In Brooklyn, the bridge’s bike and pedestrian path will follow the alignment of the exit ramp to Meeker and Morgan Avenues and touch down at the corner of Meeker Avenue and Van Dam Street. In Queens, the path will diverge from the highway alignment and touch down at the corner of Laurel Hill Boulevard and 54th Road, according to state transportation officials.
The city also unveiled on Monday night its own in-the-works plans for the connections. DOT is proposing turning the current staging area for construction between 54th Avenue and 56th Road into a shared-use path that connects to the new pedestrian bridge, and creating another shared use sidewalk that connects to the pedestrian bridge at the intersection of 43rd Street, the pedestrian bridge, and the Queens Midtown Expressway.
On 43rd Street between the Long Island Expressway and 50th Ave, the city plans to install a painted bike lane. On 50th Avenue between Greenpoint Avenue and 48th Street, cyclists would get only sharrows, the s0-called “chevrons of death.”
On 48th Street between 56th Road and 47th Street, cyclists would get a little more protection with a painted three-to-four-foot buffer separating them from moving cars.
On 48th St between 47th Avenue and 47th Street, and 47th Street between 48th Street and Greenpoint Avenue, the city pans to install standard painted bike lanes. Cyclists would again be forced to share the road with cars on 48th Street between Queens Boulevard and 47th Avenue. And on 47th St under the Long Island Expressway, the city would install jersey barriers for a curbside protected bike lane.
“It’s a lot more complicated, it’s a lot different than a lot of the other streets we’re talking about,” he said. “This is gonna take more time.”
DOT expects to present plans to the full board in June, but doesn’t yet have a timeline for implementation.