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City Unveils Plan For Improved Cross-Williamsburg Bike Lanes

By Gwynne Hogan | March 14, 2017 4:41pm
 Th city is pushing improved bike infrastructure near the Williamsburg Bridge and along streets that cut east and west across the neighborhood.
Th city is pushing improved bike infrastructure near the Williamsburg Bridge and along streets that cut east and west across the neighborhood.
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Department of Transportation

WILLIAMSBURG — The city is pushing for a slew of safety upgrades to bike lanes near the base of the Williamsburg Bridge and along streets that bisect the neighborhood east and west, serving cyclists who peddle between the span and East Williamsburg, Bushwick and Ridgewood.

The upgrades, which go before the Community Board 1 at a March 21 meetingaim to preempt the 2019 L train shutdown, when the city's Department of Transportation expects more commuters to bike to and from Manhattan.

The proposal released this month would make biking from the bridge to nearby Borinquen Place (which turns into Grand Street) more streamlined by creating two-way bike lanes on South Third and Fourth streets, as well as another two-way bike lane beneath the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, reclaiming a strip of underpass where cars now park illegally.

As the roadways stand, bikers often cycle the wrong way on South Fourth Street or head down South Third Street and cross Borinquen Place, a busy thoroughfare where cars often gear up to get onto the Williamsburg Bridge, at a location with no signal or crosswalk.

The plans also involve more crosswalks and a pedestrian island at the jumbled intersection of South Fourth Street and Borinquen Place, with the goal of better protecting people on foot as well.

In 2016, 10 cyclists and nine pedestrians were injured in and around the intersection of South Third and Fourth streets and Borinquen Place, Vision Zero statistics show.

A second component of the Department of Transportation's plan is to paint east- and west-running bike lanes along Scholes and Meserole streets that would last until their intersection with Bushwick Avenue.

"This is really encouraging. This is a really ambitious plan," said Luke Ohlson, an organizer at Transportation Alternatives. "We're going to get some really good infrastructure. This is a huge problem area. There's a lot of confusion and dangerous street layouts."

The Department of Transportation has also promised to bring a plan for safety upgrades to nearby Grand Street this spring, where two pedestrians and a cyclist have died in the past year.

Read the full plan here: