GOWANUS — The city has begun rolling out the green carpet for neighborhood cyclists.
The Department of Transportation is painting an emerald-hued bike lane on an eight-block stretch of Bond Street this week to make the road safer for bike riders, DOT representatives first told Community Board 6 during a presentation earlier this year.
The DOT made the upgrade in part because of an increase in the number of two-wheelers using the route. Five hundred bike riders passed Bond and Union on weekdays in April 2016, up from 418 in April 2015 and 395 in April 2014, according to the DOT.
The 6-foot wide lane will run along the curb on the east side of Bond from Third Street to Douglass Street. Previously Bond Street's bike route consisted of "sharrows" — symbols painted on the street that are supposed to remind drivers to share the road with cyclists.
The new lane will be colored with extra durable methylmethacrylate paint that withstands wear and tear better than the previous bike lane markings, a DOT spokeswoman said.
Cyclists welcomed the new green swath with cheers. "Hip hip hooray!" tweeted Park Slope safe streets advocate Joanna Oltman Smith, though she added later that she wished the new lane had flexible bollards to keep cars out of it.
"If you commute towards the city from Park Slope or Gowanus, check it out — [it's] much better than the sharrows that were there before," said Park Sloper Jake Dobkin on Twitter.
The new lane will mean fewer on-street vehicle parking spots in the area.
DOT removed 13 parking spots on the east side of Bond between Sackett and Douglass streets and changed the entire west side of Bond between Third and Douglass into a “no stopping any time” zone. DOT created five new parking spaces on nearby streets and is reviewing the possibility of creating more parking on Sackett Street between Bond and the Gowanus Canal, a spokeswoman said.
The new bike lane comes as the neighborhood's population is growing with the opening of 365 Bond, the 430-unit rental building on Bond between First and Second streets.
Bond Street’s “sharrow” bike route was first installed in 2014 between Third and Schermerhorn streets. After locals “asked for a more robust facility,” DOT upgraded the route with a curbside green lane between Wyckoff and Schermerhorn Street in 2015, according to the DOT.
There are no plans to turn the existing bike lane on Bond between Douglass and Wyckoff into a green curbside lane, but a DOT spokeswoman said locals are “always” invited to work with DOT on getting such upgrades installed.