PORT MORRIS — New protected bike lanes could take away 66 parking spaces in the South Bronx on Willow Avenue and East 133rd Street to help guide cyclists toward city green space.
The lanes are meant to make it easier get to and from the Randall's Island Connector, a bridge connecting the island to 132nd Street that opened in mid-November and is already seeing use by hundreds of people per day, according to the New York City Department of Transportation.
The DOT is proposing to install two-way protected bike lanes going to the connector along Willow Avenue from East 138th to East 133rd streets, along East 133rd Street from Willow to St Ann's avenues and along St Ann's Avenue from East 135th Street to Bruckner Boulevard.
The agency also hopes to install a shared path on the sidewalk at Willow Avenue and East 132nd Street with bike stamps and "yield to pedestrian" signs, as well as a jersey barrier-protected path at Willow Avenue and East 138th Street to connect to the new bike lane.
About 66 parking spots would be lost by creating the bike lanes, but DOT officials are looking to add new spaces as well and anticipated a net loss of 30 parking spots or fewer.
Locals still expressed concerns about the loss of parking, and Hakiem Yahmadi, chair of Bronx Community Board 1's municipal services committee, was somewhat skeptical of the bike lanes, as he did not know if people would feel comfortable cycling along Willow Avenue.
"[There are] nothing but shelters on those areas," he said, "and if I was a bike rider, I wouldn’t try to ride that route."
The DOT hopes to start implementing the project later this summer and complete construction on it in the spring.