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.
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.