If you happened to cross the Pulaski Bridge as of late, you might be wondering when we would be getting that loooong awaited dedicated bike lane. Well Greenpointers, the word is out and we won’t have to wait much longer. Starting September 13th, the Department of Transportation will finally begin construction.
The project, which has seen setback after setback, seems to have righted itself and commuters might have their own bike lane as early as the end of this year—might being the key word here.
Over the summer we reported that the J J Byrne Memorial Bridge–that connects Greenpoint Ave to LIC–got a face lift. City planners carved out a lane for bikers at a tune of $2 million dollars. Bikers breathed a sigh of relief, while drivers voiced complaints over the design and the increase of traffic jams.
When it comes to the Pulaski Bridge, city planners are viewing this project slightly different, both in scope and cost. According the Department of Transportation, a dedicated bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge will cost $4.2 million dollars to construct. Unlike the J J Byrne Memorial Bridge, one driving lane will be removed and become a 9ft wide bike lane with a barrier wall to protect both motorists and cyclists.
With the addition of 10 Citi Bike stations added to the neighborhood, the move towards a smooth bike passage over the Pulaski Bridge sounds like a good idea. Pedestrians will no longer have to deal with ringing bells and screams of “on your left” every two feet and bikers can feel free to zoom at speeds faster than a snail’s pace.
Because of the dearth of transportation options, Greenpoint has long relied on bikes as a way of commuting. But with the influx of residents flocking to the neighborhood, the amount of trekkers making the cross over the Pulaski Bridge has risen considerably.
According to the stats, from 2009 to 2013 ridership over the Pulaski during peak hours (7-11 am & 2-7pm) jumped a whopping 106%. During rush hours, over 1,000 bikers and 1,500 pedestrians cross the Pulaski in either direction.
Like all city construction, the Pulaski’s dedicated bike lane has been delayed for well over a year. State Assemblyman, Joe Lentol, who has been pushing hard for a dedicated bike lane, blamed contracting issues for the setbacks, but recently he announced the project could be completed by the end of this year.
“I am delighted that this project could potentially be completed before the winter,” said Mr. Lentol, in a statement. “We have been fighting for a long time for this dedicated bike lane, and the community was certainly upset to hear they would have to wait longer.”
The good news is a dedicated bike lane will be headed our way in the near future. How soon that future will be depends on the DOT.