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Eyes on the Street

Washington Bridge Bike Lane Finally Open for Riders After Recent Tragedy

Photo: Ibrahim Hersi|

It’s safe sailing for two-wheelers on the Washington Bridge after DOT’s new bike lane finally opened.

The Washington Bridge — which once had three travel lanes for cars in each direction now has a two-way protected bike lane on its north curb, which opened for two-wheelers last month after years of construction delays.

As a result of the bike lane, cyclists who previously navigated a narrow sidewalk that barely gave them room now have a significant and safe protected space.

The new bike lane runs both ways, separated from traffic by concrete barriers.

Streetsblog visited the Washington Bridge last week and while the protected bike lane still lacks painting markings and striping, it is already well-used.

The previous design left lots of room for cars and little room for people walking and biking on the Washington Bridge. Photo: Lucia Deng
The new design give both pedestrians and cyclists room to breathe.Photo: Ibrahim Hersi

The city Department of Transportation initially said the protected bike lane would wrap up construction last year, but failed to finish the work until this spring – too late for cyclist Zenaido Rosas-Pinzon, who a hit-and-run driver killed on the bridge in early May.

Rosas-Pinzon, 30, was riding eastbound on the bridge — on the opposite side of the then-still-closed bike lane — when cops said he fell into the roadway and was struck by a driver, who fled the scene.

Since Rosas-Pinzon's death, Bronx and Upper Manhattan bike advocates have welcomed the opening of the new bike lane, which they hope prevents future carnage.

Cyclists and pedestrians share the sidewalk on the Manhattan approach, shown before the design.Image via Google Maps
The same spot as it looks today.Photo: Ibrahim Hersi

The new protected lane is one of several that DOT proposed for bridges across the Harlem River back in 2018 — though few of the projects DOT floated at the time have materialized.

DOT's repurposing of a vehicular lane for the bikeway mimicked similar designs it implemented on the Pulaski Bridge in 2016 and Brooklyn Bridge in 2021.

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