Buffer solution: City plans protected bike lane on Greenpoint Avenue Bridge

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They’re peddling a safer way to pedal.

The city plans to build a protected bike lane over the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge across Newtown Creek to create a safer way to cycle between Greenpoint and Queens.

The bike lane is long overdue, according to one bridge-crossing bicyclist, who said the current paths between the fairer borough and its northern neighbor make for hair-raising rides.

“It is about time,” said Clara Shanley, who lives in Williamsburg and sometimes crosses the bridge on recreational rides. “This city owes its bicyclists safe roads.”

The city wants to remove one Brooklyn-bound car lane, and take one foot away from each remaining car lane and sidewalk and shrink the median strip to make space for six-foot wide bike lanes in both directions, with a four-foot wide buffer between cars and cyclists at the main span of the bridge.

At the moment, the Greenpoint Avenue bike lane ends at Kingsland Avenue, and past that there is only a sidewalk bookending the four-lane bridge. The elevation and curve of the bridge make visibility difficult, according to the city, which said it has received numerous complaints about speeding cars over the years. Many cyclists walk their bikes across, but others either ride on the roadway with cars or on the sidewalk with pedestrians.

The bridge sees around 600 bicyclists a day, according to counts conducted last year.

The Department of Transportation first proposed creating protected bike lanes on the bridge five years ago, but the process got gummed up by other construction and utility work.

If the city builds this lane according to plan and also follows through with plans to build bike lanes across the Pulaski Bridge and the in-construction Kosciuzsko Bridge, riders should have three bridge bike lanes to choose from by 2020. The Pulaski lane has been delayed, but is still expected to happen, and the Kosciuzsko Bridge bike lane is a few years from being complete.

The city plans to take the bike lane proposal to both Community Board 1 and the community board on the Queens side in April, and intends to begin construction this spring.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Jimmy from Flatbush says:
I hope this doesn't inconvenience that Tal Barzilai person when he drives into the city from Westchester to use our resident parking. That would be a real shame.
March 25, 2015, 8:57 am
BrooklynGersh from The WT says:
Even though this story was originally posted without a picture or a map (never on my watch!), this is an important development and I am very happy. I agree with Jimmy above that some jerks will claim they are inconvenienced, but that bridge has long been dangerous for all.
March 25, 2015, 9:15 am
GinaS from Bushwick says:
It is a great idea but with the added traffic that will occur with the Kosciusko bridge reconstruction this will be an even more dangerous bridge to cross on a bicycle. It may be better to wait until that is done and encourage cyclists to use the Pulaski bridge.
Plus I am curious to see how they are integrating the bike lane once it is at the Van Dam, Greenpoint and Review Ave crosspoint. It is a nightmare as it is.
March 25, 2015, 9:27 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Thank you in advance for the pardoning of what I'm about to say here (because obviously, I don't want to start any sort of trouble on the air or on this message board-as you may have suspected already).
But if the Kosciuzsko Bridge bike lane is a few years from being completeand, how can this be an accurate representation of the overall progress?
I'm sorry to interrupt on a day like this, but this is a question that someone had to ask-and since someone has to ask, I'd like to volunteer myself: John Wasserman.
John Wasserman
March 25, 2015, 9:37 am
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
GinaS -- I get that your comment is coming from a good place, but the two bridges are a little over a mile apart. Ramping up to automobile scale, that would be like saying, cars should use the battery tunnel to avoid the Queensboro bridge.
March 25, 2015, 10:04 am
livesaroundhere from greenpoint says:
Yes, I'll believe this when they actually do something about the alleged Pulaski Bridge bike lane.
March 25, 2015, 10:13 am
stanchaz from GreenPernt says:
This is what needs to be corrected about the proposed Kosciuzsko bike lanes.
Unlike the revamped Pulaski bridge bike lanes, (which will be separated from pedestrian lanes), the Kosciuzsko bike lanes will be joined with the pedestrian walkways- a BAD solution, as we have seen for years on the Pulaski bridge, where you took your life in your hands walking across the bridge with bikes zipping by your elbows at high speed,
Someone should change the Kosciuzsko bridge bike plan --to insure that SEPARATE pedestrian and bike lanes are created.
March 25, 2015, 12:24 pm
Ken from Greenpoint says:
just like to know when the bikers will start acting normal by following rules and regulations not just pointing fingers?
March 25, 2015, 1:20 pm
Sam from S.S. says:
March 25, 2015, 3:01 pm
Peter Engel from Downtown Brooklyn says:
Ken from Greenpoint,

We know it's really you, Tal!
March 25, 2015, 5:20 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sorry Peter, but I wasn't at my computer for much of today especially at that time. Anyway, I feel that it's a bad idea to lessen vehicle lanes on the other bridges while the new Kosciuzsko Bridge is being made. Even the original bridge has a lot of traffic on it, and that's without the bike lanes. Also, it's on a major expressway, so I feel that a bike lane will be a bad idea. As for the Greenpoint Bridge, when the Kosciuzsko Bridge can't be used, could be facing a lot of alternating volume from that, so it's probably best not to place any bike lanes there. Then again, it's the Bloomberg way to address a problem by creating one to begin with, and I won't be surprised if this will be used as another way to promote some form of congestion pricing.
March 25, 2015, 7:58 pm
Rob from Williamsburg says:
Unicycle Bridge Tour NYC crossing #8
Greenpoint Avenue Bridge aka John Jay Byrne Memorial Bridge, December 3, 2009
March 26, 2015, 10:16 pm

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