Aug. 15, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The Department of Transportation will be upgrading Williamsburg’s bicycle network in a project that includes bettering connections between and within the neighborhood’s waterfront areas and parts of East Williamsburg.
The project presented by the DOT to Community Board 1 last night focuses on two general areas—Union Avenue and its waterfront-connected streets, and on Grand Street and Morgan Avenue in East Williamsburg.
On Union Avenue, spanning about 20 blocks from N 11th Street to Broadway, the DOT will be adding a combination of shared lane markings and bike lanes to the roadway, which currently has no bike lane markings.
The shared markings will be painted between N 11th St. and Meeker Avenue on both ways, with bike lanes to be painted after that down to Broadway.
Craig Baerwald, from the DOT’s Bikes and Greenways Projects, said the wide parking lane between Meeker Avenue and Broadway makes installing a full fledged bicycle lane possible without affecting vehicular capacity or removing parking spaces. But north of Meeker Avenue to N 11th St., the roadway is already narrow, which calls for shared lane markings instead.
In addition, on four waterfront-bound streets off Union Avenue—N 5th, N 6th, N 11th, and N 12th—the DOT will be adding bike lanes all the way to Kent Avenue. The roadways here currently feature combined travel and parking lane, only.
For the East Williamsburg portion of the project, the DOT will heavily focus on the length of Morgan Avenue between Grand Street and Johnson Street, two major connection points west and into Bushwick, respectively.
Morgan Avenue, a roadway currently used by many cyclists but with no markings, will mainly see curbside buffered painted bike lanes in both directions. The protected curbside lanes, the DOT says, will also address safety issues recorded over the past few years, as many cyclists have been injured on the avenue.
On surrounding streets, including Grattan Street and Varick Avenue, a combination of shared lane markings and bike lanes will be installed.
The result, the DOT says, is a more comprehensive and safe network, especially as cycling is expected to increase once the Canarsie Tunnel shuts down for repairs next year.
“We’re looking at filling in these gaps and connecting these specific routes,” Baerwald said.
The DOT said work will start some time this summer and be in place before the L train shutdown in April 2019.
For the full presentation on the updated Williamsburg Bicycle Network, including information on changes on other streets, click here.