Is West Street’s “Protected” Bike Lane Protected?

A UPS delivery truck unloads in the West Street protected bike lane on July 18.

Is the West Street protected bike lane truly protected? Not so much, according to cyclists who are speaking out about what they consider unsafe conditions on the “protected bike lane” near the Greenpoint waterfront.

Aside from the consistently parked vehicles on the West Street protected bike lane, the construction (or lack thereof) of the curb along the lane is getting scrutiny.

Streetsblog NY spoke with Jon Orcutt of Bike NY, who points to the curb that was originally designed to rise higher off of the road:

“It’s supposed to be curb-separated, but they buried the curb for several blocks. Even where the curb is not flush with the road, it’s still too low.”

Streetsblog continues to explain that the original plan for the West Street protected bike lane called for a raised curb for street separation:

Orcutt worked for the DOT a decade ago when the greenway was first being planned. “We designed it with a high curb separation,” he said. “It was supposed to be good. The plan was done around 2012, but what we see today is just lousy execution. It needs something more like planters or some stuff you’d really have to destroy to park on there.

“This should be a bike lane where you can take your kids, like Prospect Park West,” he said. “But you can’t because there are cars and trucks on there all the time.”

With 15 cyclist deaths so far in 2019, the number of NYC cyclist deaths has already surpassed 2018’s total and methods to increase bike safety are gaining attention.

Mayor de Blasio released a bicycle safe passage plan earlier this month focused on “preventing hazardous parking and moving infractions that interfere with the safe passage of cyclists.” The NYPD implemented the plan July 1st – July 21st, which included ticketing vehicles parked in bike lanes.

A study by Patch found that the NYPD has issued 14 percent fewer tickets to vehicles parked in bike lanes in 2019 through July 7th compared with the same period in 2018.

Streetsblog tweeted that the NYC Dept of Transportation is “looking at additional ways to enhance protection,” on West Street following their initial post.

An Instagram account, West St Bike Lane, documents the frequent bike lane transgressions, where mail delivery trucks, box trucks, and cars of all kinds tend to park despite the “protected” status.

On Monday, the account posted an image of a box truck parked in front of 57 West St. that had apparently received tickets after multiple days parked in the lane.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Abandoned truck still at 57 West. Has tickets now at least.. needs to be towed ASAP

A post shared by West Street Bike Lane (@weststbikelane) on

 

 

About Greenpointers Staff

Greenpointers is a hyperlocal blog about Greenpoint, Brooklyn covering Ash to Apollo and everything in between.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *