L Train Shutdown Plans Unveiled; Prepare For Big Impact Above and Below Delancey Street

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The MTA and the city’s Department of Transportation yesterday released their plan for dealing with the looming L Train shutdown. As you might have expected, there will be a big impact on Delancey Street, since the Williamsburg Bridge will become an even more important link between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In April of 2019, the L Train tunnel beneath the East River will be shut down for repairs. More than 400,000 daily commuters will be affected for the 15 months that it will take to rehabilitate the tunnel. As the New York Times explained, “The plans represent a major challenge for the city, eclipsed in scope in recent history perhaps only by the transportation challenges following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack and immediately after Sandy.”

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According to the mitigation plan, the Williamsburg Bridge will be reserved for vehicles with three or more passengers during rush hour, and possibly at other times, as well. The HOV lanes will help accommodate increased bus service from Williamsburg to Delancey Street and to other locations in Manhattan. The agencies estimate that about 15 percent of current L Train riders will use buses on a daily basis. There would be no dedicated bus lanes on the bridge.

The rest are expected to use other subway lines, including the J, M, Z and G lines. The MTA plans to beef up train service at numerous stations to accommodate the extra passengers and to to add, “station turnstile, stair and control area capacity.” This part of the plan will obviously have a big impact on the Delancey Street station.

The city plans to install bus-only lanes on 14th Street, to launch a new ferry from Williamsburg to Stuyvesant Cove and to add more Citi Bike capacity.

As we have previously reported, DOT is also installing a two-way protected bike lane on the south side of Delancey Street (installation will begin next spring). Right now, 7,000 bicyclists use the Williamsburg Bridge daily. That number is expected to double during the shutdown. There will also be a new bike lane on 13th Street from Avenue C to Horatio Street on the West Side.

You can see the full plan here.

UPDATE 2:03 p.m. Here’s more from DOT on how traffic on the Williamsburg Bridge will be handled:

The outer deck of the Williamsburg Bridge will be for bus, truck and right turns only. (HOV3s will be directed to the outer deck if they wish to turn right at Clinton St, and trucks aren’t permitted on the inner deck.) The bus lanes on the approaches will feed directly into the outer deck, and the HOV3 rules will make the outer deck work reliably for bus passengers.


Here’s the City’s Plan For Delancey Street Protected Bike Lanes

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A plan to add a two-way protected bike lane on Delancey Street in 2018 was enthusiastically received by the transportation committee of Community Board 3 last week.

The proposal was first hinted at by the city this past fall. The presentation on Wednesday evening by the Department of Transportation was, however, the first detailed public look at what the agency envisions. The addition of a bike lane is just one of several steps DOT and the MTA will be taking to soften the blow of the looming L Train shutdown in 2019.

The city plans to remove one eastbound traffic lane to create the two way bike path between Norfolk Street and Allen Street. It will run along the south side of the median. A one-way (eastbound) bike path between Chrystie Street and Allen Street will also be installed.

DOT will be improving the connections from cross streets to the Williamsburg Bridge and to the new bike lane. A two-way painted bike path will be created in the center of Delancey (from Suffolk Street). At Allen Street, a two-way bike lane will be added along the south side of the median.

delancey street bike lane proposal


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Beginning in April of 2019, the MTA will shut down the L Train tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan for repairs. The work is going to take 15 months. In the past, mass transit interruptions (example: Hurricane Sandy) led to huge increases in bike traffic over the bridge. Transportation planners believe the L Train stopage will have a similar effect.

During the presentation, DOT Senior Planner Shawn Macias said about 7500 bicyclists used the bridge daily in 2016. Around one-thousand bicyclists use Delancey Street on an average day. In the past, the city has resisted pleas for a Delancey Street bike lane, preferring to route bicyclists onto Clinton, Suffolk, Rivington and Stanton streets.

Macias pointed to statistics from other major thoroughfares in the city, showing that bike lanes save lives.  On Delancey Street, three pedestrians and one bicyclist were killed between 2010-2014. After safety improvements (longer signals, larger pedestrian plazas) were implemented on Delancey in 2012, the number of total automobile crashes dropped by 48%.

The Essex Crossing construction project has forced the closure of one lane on Delancey Street between Essex Street and Norfolk Street. The bike lane project won’t begin until next spring, when the work is completed.

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For the most part, members of the committee and the general public praised DOT’s plan. It creates a more direct route between the bridge and the new Chrystie Street protected bike lane and to the heavily used 1st Avenue bike lane.

DOT reps were asked if anything could be done about the chaotic situation (bicyclist/pedestrian conflicts) at the base of the bridge. They said there aren’t a lot of obvious solutions because no capital funds have been allocated for the bike lane project. The concrete barriers in the area were installed as a anti-terrorism measure several years ago, and cannot be removed, they added.

A committee member raised another issue — the sorry condition of the roadway. Even during routine rain and snow storms, big puddles form in the intersections of Delancey Street. DOT was asked whether repaving the street could be part of the project. The question was taken under advisement.

You can see the full presentation below. The board won’t vote on the plan until next month.

(Video) A Ride on the Wild Side… Waiting for a Delancey Street Bike Lane

Last month the Department of Transportation announced it would be installing a protected, two-way bike lane on Delancey Street. The initiative is part of a larger, still developing plan to cope with the shutdown of the L train tunnel in 2019.

Zach Williams of NYCity News Service took a ride on Delancey Street, one of the city’s most dangerous streets, and checked in with bike commuters. For them, the safety improvements can’t come soon enough.

Planning for the bike lane is in its early stages. City officials will eventually appear before Community Board 3 to discuss the proposal. But that probably won’t happen before the end of this year.

If you’d like to examine street safety statistics for yourself, head on over to the city’s Vision Zero site.

Report: Protected Bike Lanes, Indoor Bike Parking Coming to Delancey Street (Updated)

Delancey Street. Photo by H. Spencer Young, April 2016.

Delancey Street. Photo by H. Spencer Young, April 2016.

Today the city is expected to announce plans to create a two-way bike lane on Delancey Street, leading to and from the Williamsburg Bridge. The idea is part of a larger initiative to make accommodations for commuters as the MTA plans for a shutdown of the L Train tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn in 2019. The story was first reported late last night by the Wall Street Journal.

The proposal is part of the Department of Transportation’s five year plan. It encourages stepped up bike usage, as well as improved mass transit. According to the Journal:

The plan, to be released Wednesday, also calls for a new, indoor, city-owned secure bicycle parking site on the Manhattan side of the bridge, near connections for four other subway lines. The site could serve as a prototype of a new kind of bicycle-storage system near transportation hubs… The two-way Delancey Street protected bike paths would run from Allen Street east to the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge, under current city plans. Under a pilot project, parking for dozens of bicycles would be made available next year, officials said, inside the Delancey and Essex Municipal Parking Garage, a 24-hour-a-day facility on Essex Street. Nearby is a subway stop on the F, J, M and Z lines. Similar secure bicycle parking will be provided in warm weather at transit hubs next year as part of the pilot.

Transportation and safety advocates have been calling for protected bike lanes on Delancey Street for many years. It’s a plea that, until now, the Transportation Department, has rejected. We’ll have more throughout the day as this story develops.

UPDATE 11:01 a.m. The DOT has now made its strategic plan public. Here’s what the document says regarding Delancey Street.

DOT will continue to develop bike access plans to its bridges and will implement four bridge access projects in the next two years. The agency will continue implementation of its Harlem River Bridges Access Plan and develop a plan for a protected bicycle lane on Delancey Street to better connect cyclists to the Williamsburg Bridge, the busiest East River bike crossing.
In a separate section of the report, the agency states:
The Great Streets program redesigns major corridors to prevent crashes, enhance mobility, increase accessibility, and bolster neighborhood vitality. The following projects are underway: Atlantic Ave. and Fourth Ave. in Brooklyn; the Grand Concourse in the Bronx; and Queens Blvd. in Queens. In addition, DOT is implementing Vision Zero capital redesigns on other major streets, including Delancey St. in Manhattan and Tillary St. in Brooklyn.
And here’s what DOT writes about Delancey Street in this morning’s press release:
One of the higher-profile projects the plan specifically anticipates for 2017 is a new protected bike lane along Delancey Street in Manhattan leading to the Williamsburg Bridge.   Already the busiest East River crossing for cyclists, the Williamsburg Bridge’s bike lane is expected to grow even more popular in 2019 during the MTA’s planned 18-month shutdown of the L train.  DOT plans to develop the new Delancey Street bike lane in consultation with the Lower East Side community next year.
You can read the complete strategic plan here.

Cops Search For Suspect in November Attack Inside Delancey Street McDonald’s

NYPD photo.

NYPD photo.

Police are renewing their push to find a suspect in the attack of a 64-year-old man at the Delancey Street McDonald’s  late last year.

The incident happened at around 1 a.m. on November 28 inside the fast food restaurant. The suspect began arguing with an employee and then the confrontation escalated. According to cops, the suspect began throwing punches and forced the victim to the ground, stomping on him. The employee was hospitalized and treated for facial injuries and bleeding in the brain. The victim made a full recovery.

Police released the surveillance photo you see posted above. If you can help solve this crime, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Skateboarder Killed While “Mack Truck Surfing” on Delancey Street (Updated)

Richard Oates. Photo via NY Skateboarding.

Richard Oates. Photo via NY Skateboarding.

A 32-year-old skateboarder was killed after hitching a ride on a truck headed westbound on Delancey Street yesterday afternoon.

It happened around 1:20 p.m. near Norfolk Street. Richard Oates, a Greenpoint resident, was reportedly hanging on to the passenger side of a green Mack truck when he fell and was hit by the rear wheels of the rig. Oates was rushed to Bellevue Hospital but his injuries were too severe and doctors could not save him.

John Froeber, a witness, told DNA Info that the truck driver continued to head down Delancey Street without stopping. “It appeared like the guy in the garbage truck didn’t know he hit him,” he said.  AM New York reports, however, that the truck driver “stayed on the scene.”

According to Channel 4, the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad is investigating the accident. No charges have been filed against the driver.

UPDATE 9:44 a.m. According to the Daily News, Oates formerly worked as a chef for Freemans, the Lower East Side restaurant. Last year, he and his wife opened East River Skate Shop in Greenpoint. The shop was profiled by the Greenpoint Gazette and NY Skateboarding.

Good Morning!

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Monday, August 17, 2015 | Here’s a delightful summer rainbow over Delancey Street by New York artist H. Spencer Young | Weather: Mostly sunny and hot today with a high of 93 | Send us your photos and tips | Subscribe to our daily newsletter.

Accident at Essex and Delancey Last Night

City Plans Shared Bike Lane on Delancey Street Alongside Williamsburg Bridge

Car on Delancey Street Catches Fire, Traffic Grinds to a Halt

Delancey Street at Suffolk Street.

Delancey Street at Suffolk Street.

A motorist got quite a scare coming over the Williamsburg Bridge this afternoon. 

Residents, Politicos Celebrate New Pedestrian Safety Measures on Delancey, South Streets

De Blasio Comes to Delancey Street to Sign 25 M.P.H. Law

Anti-Violence Project, Local Elected Officials Hold Delancey Street Event Tonight

Chin Condemns Anti-Gay Attack on Delancey Street (Updated)

Section of Delancey Street Co-Named Dashane Santana Way

Teresa Pedroza and Shamika Benjamin joined with loved ones and elected officials on Delancey Street yesterday.

Teresa Pedroza and Shamika Benjamin joined with loved ones and elected officials on Delancey Street yesterday.

A section of Delancey Street is now co-named Dashane Santana Way, assuring that the 12-year-old victim of a tragic traffic accident in January 2012 will never be forgotten.  Loved ones, friends and community leaders gathered yesterday afternoon on the north side of Delancey and Clinton streets for an emotional ceremony to unveil the new signage.