DOT Rolls Out the New Lower Manhattan Crosstown Bike Route

The street re-surfacing men and machinery were out in force in Soho last night. Houston Street Bike Safety Initiative Director Ian Dutton snapped this photo on Prince Street. Once the street is repaved, the Department of Transportation will stripe the hotly debated Prince and Bleecker Street bike lanes.

Lower Manhattan’s newest east-west bike route is an alternative to the physically-separated bike lane that activists have long been pushing for on deadly Houston Street. In a presentation to Community Board 2 in March, DOT made the case that parallel bike lanes on either side of Houston Street is the better choice. DOT says its parallel route plan is based on successful projects in Berkeley, California and the Bergen/Dean Street bike lanes that run alongside busy Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. After extended debate, CB2 approved DOT’s plan in April.

As a side benefit of the re-surfacing project, around 200 parking spaces will be eliminated to make way for the new bike lanes. Needless to say, the Soho Alliance will not be pleased.

Jan Gehl tried hard not to reveal any secrets during his Upper West Side Streets Renaissance presentation Tuesday night, but if you took a close look at his maps, it was apparent that Prince and Spring Streets have been part of his team’s study area. What are the odds that Gehl will recommend that Mayor Bloomberg try out a car-free weekend pilot project for Soho next year? Pretty high, I’m guessing. If that moves ahead, how would a pedestrianized Prince Street fit with the new bike lane plan? Perhaps we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves here.

Dutton says there will be a ribbon-cutting for the new Lower Manhattan bike route at the end of the month.

Related:

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

NYC Gets Its First-Ever Physically-Separated Bike Path

|
The Department of Transportation revealed plans for New York City’s first-ever physically-separated bike lane, or "cycle track," at a Manhattan Community Board 4 meeting last night. The new bike path will run southbound on Ninth Avenue from W. 23rd to W. 16th Street in Manhattan. Unlike the typical Class II on-street bike lane in which […]

New “Bike Boxes” Send Cyclists to the Front of the Line

|
Ian Dutton of the Houston Street bike safety initiative snapped these photographs of yet another never-before-seen street design feature here in New York City. This is what’s called a "Bike Box" at the  intersection of W. 9th St. and Sixth Ave. Bike boxes allow cyclists approaching the intersection with a red signal to position themselves […]

NYC Stim Projects Help Fund Big Bike-Ped Improvements

|
Brooklyn Bridge upkeep grabbed headlines this morning, but wait til you see what’s happening on Houston Street. Yesterday Mayor Bloomberg unveiled the list of city transportation projects set to receive an injection of federal stimulus cash. Budget-wise, the big ticket items are mostly bridge repair projects, but channeling those stim bucks toward necessary maintenance also […]

Plan for Grand Street Cycle Track Features New Design Treatment

|
DOT has unveiled plans for a Grand Street cycle track [PDF] that bear the fingerprints of Danish planner Jan Gehl. It would be Manhattan’s first cross-town protected bike path. Grand Street is narrower than Ninth Avenue, where the existing protected path runs. Whereas the Ninth Avenue cycle track uses signal timing to prevent conflicts between […]