4th Avenue Protected Bike Lane Project Will Start Spring 2018

A diagram of how the lanes will be divided on 4th Avenue under the DOT’s new protected bike lane project (NYC DOT)

NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) will start implementing its plan to bring eight miles of protected bike lanes to 4th Avenue in the Spring of 2018, according to the latest update from the city.

It will start painting bike lanes and curb extensions this spring between 38th Street and 65th Street, in preparation for the capital project in Fall 2018 that will see permanent additions from 64th Street to 8th Street.

The plan was proposed in March of this year, following community calls for a protected bike lane instead of a wide parking lane to be shared by cyclists and motorists.

After a series of community engagements designed to solicit feedback, the DOT released an updated plan, which was presented at Sunset Park’s Community Board 7 meeting last night.

4th Avenue will feature a 5′ bike lane along the sidewalk, with an 8′ parking lane between bikes and traffic, which will run in two lanes each direction, with a raised and planted median in between. At intersections, concrete pedestrian islands will be poured, cutting down on crossing distance.

Those pedestrian refuges will mean the loss of about 4 parking spaces per intersection—meaning about 225 lost spots in CB7 alone.

A rush hour lane will allow for three lanes of vehicle traffic on weekday mornings (NYC DOT)

In deference to congestion, a third AM Rush Hour lane will be open 7-10 AM from 38th Street to the Prospect Expressway. Additionally, there will be three northbound travel lanes from Carroll to Dean Street.

One of the major community concerns, double parking, will be addressed as well after a DOT survey of merchants found 76% of delivery drivers are currently forced to double park and unload their goods in the travel lane. Loading zones will be established along commercial sections of 4th Avenue, and metered parking will be expanded near transit hubs.

The project’s final phase will have to wait until the summer of 2021, when improvements will be made from 8th Street to Atlantic Avenue.

The pedestrian islands will increase safety, while planting in the raised median will beautify 4th Avenue (NYC DOT)

Between 2010 to 2015, the number of Brooklynites commuting to work via bicycle increased by 83%, the DOT previously stated. The 4th Avenue bike lane will provide bicyclists a safer way to travel on the most direct route to Downtown Brooklyn from Bay Ridge and Sunset Park.

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Paul Stremple

Paul was a staff reporter at Bklyner, responsible for covering Northern and Eastern parts of Brooklyn between August 2017 and January 2019.

Comments

  1. There was an interesting article recently that found bike lanes increased congestion which thereby increased pollution. The volume of riders in bike lanes was found to be insignificant to reducing vehicle traffic as most bike riders were not former car drivers. Bike riders were the most susceptible to the increased pollution, being the closest to the congestion. Bike riders are typically breathing heavier than pedestrians or vehicle occupants.

    A better approach might be to make certain roads and avenues bicycle only (sort of the way we do for commercial traffic). This could ease congestion by creating more vehicle lanes and create a safer and cleaner “highway” for bicycle traffic.

  2. Nobody is declaring war on car owners; this isn’t about them. Deciding to bike commute is a personal decision, motivated by money, time, need for physical activity, convenience, subway hatred, not knowing how to drive bc you grew up in Manhattan, whatever. Cars have the bulk of street space; we can carve out a little for cyclists. Can we agree that NY is never going to ban bikes, that everyone having a car in NYC is impractical, and that we should probably try to provide a safe way for people to get around? To me – that is what this proposal is about.

    Btw, the greater threat to local parking might be the rezoning of 4th Avenue and the proliferation of giant condos. If you’re really worried about congestion – creating viable, affordable housing in other parts of the city might be a good place to start.

    As an occasional cyclist – I’m happy to see this proposal. 5th Ave has become too dangerous for cycling; I almost get doored every time I ride it for more than a few blocks.

  3. @Anne – that is one of the most on point, sensible comments about the 4th Ave bike lane that I’ve read in a while, possibly ever…There is room for everyone. And let’s not forget pedestrians whom due to the new bike lane infrastructure and better pedestrian islands will see their safety increased considerably.

  4. This is a Great Plan. First, the DOT turns Manhattan into the most amazing nightmare one could imagine, where you have a stroke trying to ferret the streets with delivery trucks, cars and buses so bikes can have free passage. (noting that delivery bikes don’t use them). Now, in Brooklyn where you are hard pressed to find parking and where city planners have allowed huge high rise apartments to be developed along 4th Avenue, you are going to create a maddening bike lane, restricting traffic and parking. Brooklyn is becoming the new hell on earth. There are just too many people here. A note to the Hipsters who have come to NYC and want these bike lanes, please go back from whence you came, we simply do not have room for you here.

  5. @Barre, born and raised in brooklyn. Tired of driving in this sh*tshow of a city and have begun biking. If you don’t like sensible improvements to roads so that other forms of transport can help this city grow, then YOU can leave.

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