DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Curbside parking-protected bike lanes have gotten the green light from Brooklyn’s Community Board 2.
The board voted to approve the Department of Transportation’s proposal to add protected bike lanes on Jay Street, between Sands and Fulton streets, at a Wednesday night meeting.
The project will move Jay Street’s bike lanes, currently sandwiched between the parking and travel lanes, to the curbside, separating cyclists from moving vehicles by a parking lane.
The new street design calls for a 2-foot painted buffer between an 8-foot parking lane and a 5-foot bike lane.
The size of the new bike lanes could be a tight squeeze for cyclists, according to Streetsblog.
The proposed bike lane and buffer are narrower than typical protected bike lanes in the city, which usually feature a 3-foot wide painted buffer to keep cyclists from being hit by parked car doors, Streetsblog reports.
Although buses will now have to merge over the bike lane to get to bus stops, the DOT says the bike lanes will improve bus flow by curbing double parking on the street.
Currently, some buses have to drop passengers off in the middle of the street because of the pervasive double parking issue, according to Hilda Cohen, a member of CB 2's transportation committee.
"[The DOT is] using the bike lanes as a tool to make it better for bus drivers, to make it better for drivers," Cohen said.
The new street design may also take away as many as eight parking spaces, most likely in the area north of Tillary Street.
Several details of Jay Street’s redesign are still in the works, including the Smith Street section between Fulton Mall and Schermerhorn Street, the Tillary Street intersection, and new pedestrian and bicycle crossings at the Manhattan Bridge.
The DOT has proposed removing the current fencing at northbound Jay Street and the Manhattan Bridge off-ramp to allow pedestrians and cyclists to get more smoothly onto Jay and Sands streets.
The DOT will return to CB 2 in the near future with design updates, according to a DOT spokeswoman.
The design for Jay Street’s new bike lanes will likely be finalized by May and the project will be implemented in late summer, according to Streetsblog.