New Chrystie Street Bike Lane Makes Its Formal Debut

Chrystie Street, near Canal Street.

Chrystie Street, near Canal Street.

The city’s transportation commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, came to the Lower East Side today to celebrate the installation of a new two-way bike lane on Chrystie Street.

There was a ribbon cutting on a stretch of the bike lane near Canal Street this morning. State Sen. Daniel Squadron attended, as did bicycling advocates and community leaders such as Wellington Chen from the Chinatown Partnership.

Previously, the Chrystie Street bike lanes were located on either side of the street and were often blocked by cars and trucks making deliveries. A local bike proponent, Dave “Poco” Abraham, campaigned for the changes. He won the support of Senator Squadron and Community Board 3. The new protected lanes on the east side of Chrystie offer a safer route for the thousands of bike commuters who need to access the Manhattan Bridge on a daily basis.

chrystie street 2

In a press release, the Department of Transportation noted that the completion of the Chrystie Street lane, along with the installation of lanes along Brooklyn’s Jay Street and on 1st Avenue approaching the Queensboro Bridge, make it possible to safely ride northbound  for nine miles from downtown Brooklyn to the Bronx.

While the commissioner was in the neighborhood, she walked over to the mouth of the Manhattan Bridge to take note of safety improvements implemented there earlier this year. Between 2010 and 2014, more than 147 people were injured in the dangerous area bordering the Bowery, and one person was killed. The $1.5 million project included the installation of new signals, concrete curb extensions, plus expanded medians.  Daily reversals on the lower roadway of the bridge were also ended.

There are more safety improvements coming up in the year ahead. The city is planning to create a protected bike lane on Delancey Street. DOT designers will be appearing before Community Board 3 early in the year to discuss that project.


Slide Show! Chrystie Street Bike Path & Pedestrian Improvements

chrystie street bike rendering

We’ve been meaning to post the Department of Transportation’s presentation on the redesign of Chrystie Street. DOT planners earlier this week walked Community Board 3’s transportation committee through plans for a new protected two-way bike path. The reception was generally positive, but final approval will wait until after agency officials conduct a “visioning” session with the community around Sara D. Roosevelt Park. It was one of the provisions of a resolution passed by CB3 last year. A vote on the proposed changes is expected in May.


Plans Unveiled For Protected Chrystie Street Bike Lane Tonight (Updated)

chrystie street bike rendering

Rendering: NYC Dept. of Transportation.

This evening, officials with the Department of Transportation will go before Community Board 3 to outline their plans for a protected bike lane on Chrystie Street.

In the rendering posted above, you can see the proposal: a two-way bike path on the east side of Chrystie from East Houston Street to Canal Street, with a parking lane separating bicyclists from automobile traffic. In February of last year, CB3 approved a resolution calling for the upgrade. A local bike advocate, Dave “Poco” Abraham, campaigned for the changes on Chrystie Street, where faded lines and heavy truck traffic make conditions treacherous for cyclists.

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 6.43.10 AM

A few more details from Gothamist, which was first to publish the renderings yesterday:

The DOT says the lane could be installed as soon as Fall 2016. Southbound cyclists on Second Avenue will have a safe path to the Manhattan Bridge, and northbound cyclists will be able to turn right off of Chrystie to merge onto the protected northbound lane on 1st Avenue. Cyclists will be separated from traffic by a parking lane from Canal to Grand, and again from Rivington to Houston. The stretch between Grand and Rivington, where the road is narrower, will be protected by flexible delineators… (There) will be no traffic lane reduction (the DOT pointed out that one of the southbound lanes was almost entirely eliminated back in 2008, calming traffic significantly). The proposal also calls for the addition of four new pedestrian islands, and a complete resurfacing of the road—a process that the DOT estimates will require about two or three weeks of overnight work.

If you’d like to offer feedback on the plan, show up at tonight’s transportation committee meeting. It begins at 6:30 p.m. at Seward Park Extension, 56 Essex St. Here’s the full agenda:

1.    Approval of previous month’s minutes
2.    Request for support to retrofit CB 3 tree pits as support for infrastructure that is more absorbent of storm water
3.    DOT presentation on upgrade of 2-way protected bicycle lane on Chrystie Street from Canal Street to Houston
4.    Proposed traffic calming measures and bicycle route on Pitt Street from Grand Street to Houston Street
5.    180 Orchard St (Indigo Hotel) Request for 28 foot loading zone for guests

UPDATED 3:22 p.m. The Department of Transportation put out a press release this afternoon. Relevant excerpts:

With nearly 3,000 daily cyclists, Chrystie Street is a major cycling connection to the Manhattan Bridge and serves as a Priority Area for Vision Zero, the de Blasio Administration’s ambitious plan to eliminate deaths and injuries on New York City roadways. DOT’s new safety proposal includes a two-way bike lane on the east side of Chrystie Street, protected by a combination of parked cars, jersey barriers, and delineators. While the number of car-travel lanes will remain the same, the proposal will reduce problematic double parking and provide a more continuous connection from Second Avenue to the Manhattan Bridge. The proposal also includes construction of three new pedestrian islands at 2nd Street and Second Avenue, Stanton Street, and Rivington Street. This shortens pedestrian crossings and improves access to Sara Roosevelt Park. At the intersection of Canal and Chrystie Street, DOT will redesign the existing pedestrian island, as well as install jersey barriers where cyclists turn onto Chrystie Street from Canal Street. At the intersection of Chrystie Street and Delancey Street, a protected signal phase and jersey barriers will be added, allowing cyclists to cross Delancey safely and enhancing safety for pedestrians. The change will also improve efficiency of the heavy traffic turning left bound for the Williamburg Bridge. At the intersection of Houston Street, DOT will similarly add a protected signal phase to reduce conflicts. In its current configuration, Chrystie Street presents challenges for cyclists, with a heavy volume of trucks and other vehicles during peak hours. Southbound cyclists on Second Avenue north of Houston Street must cross from the bike lane on the east curb to an unprotected bike lane on the west side of Chrystie, only to cross Chrystie Street again to its east side for the Manhattan Bridge bike path entrance. The proposed new configuration will limit these unnecessary crossings, and provide a more seamless and direct trip from Second Avenue to the Manhattan Bridge. Following the community board process, the DOT will begin work on Chrystie Street this fall, including resurfacing of the street from Houston Street to Canal Street.

Department of Transportation Agrees to Study Protected Chrystie Street Bike Lane

Suspects Wanted; Woman Attacked at Grand & Chrystie

NYPD sketch.

NYPD sketch.

Police are asking for help finding two suspects wanted in connection with the alleged sexual assault and robbery of a 38-year old woman last week alongside Sara D. Roosevelt Park.  The incident happened Monday, April 15 at around 9:30 p.m. near the intersection of Grand and Chrystie streets. According to cops, the woman had stopped to ask the men for directions.  They reportedly began walking with her; one suspect grabbed the victim from behind and pinned her against a wall. Police say the other man then punched the woman in the ribs and thigh, sexually abused her and then ran off with her purse.  The sketch posted above depicts the suspect accused of assault.  If you have any information about this crime, call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.


Residents Protest Proposed Essex Street Bus Stop

If you walked past the intersection of Essex and Canal streets over the holiday weekend you probably noticed flyers like this one — alerting residents to a proposal from interstate bus companies to establish new bus stops on the Lower East Side.  Community activists have launched a petition drive to stop the plans and are urging like-minded neighbors to attend an upcoming Community Board 3 meeting where the requests will be heard.

Greyhound and Peter Pan are asking for a stop at 3 Essex Street (park side) for a route between New York and Philadelphia. There would be 28 arrivals and departures as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 9:15 p.m.  In a separate application, Lucky River Transportation Company has requested a stop at 55 Chrystie Street for service to and from Boston.  there could be as many as 21 pick-ups and drops-offs daily.

Cyclist Struck by Car at Grand & Chrystie

A bicyclist was struck and injured by a car at the intersection of Grand and Chrystie streets at 3:15 p.m. this afternoon. The adult male cyclist, who appeared to be conscious, was taken from the scene to Bellevue Hospital by ambulance. The driver of the car, a silver Dodge Neon with West Virginia plates, was taken into police custody after being questioned, frisked and handcuffed. The victim’s injuries did not appear life-threatening and no charges had been filed as of 4:45 p.m., according to a police spokesperson.