FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #16-044
Friday, April 29, 2016
Scott Gastel/Jose Bayona (212) 839-4850
NYC DOT Unveils Fully Protected Two-Way Bikeway Over the Pulaski Bridge Connecting Brooklyn and Queens
Elected officials, cyclists and community members join to celebrate with “first ride” from Long Island City to Greenpoint
Bikeway on west side of span will give cyclists and pedestrians separated paths, doubling total space from previously shared path
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today unveiled the new two-way fully protected and separated bikeway over the Pulaski Bridge connecting Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Long Island City, Queens. Deputy Commissioner for Transportation Planning & Management Ryan Russo and Deputy Commissioner for Bridges Bob Collyer were joined by elected officials, cycling advocates and community leaders, celebrating with an inaugural ride in the lane from Queens to Brooklyn. Participants at today’s event included Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, State Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan, Bike New York President/CEO Ken Podziba, Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White, Citi Bike General Manager Jules Flynn, Recycle-A-Bicycle Executive Director Karen Overton, WE Bike Women’s Empowerment Through Biking, the Regional Plan Association, the Pulaski Bridge Coalition, Brooklyn Community Board 1 and Queens Community Board 2.
“This year, we’re poised to open more miles of protected bike lanes than ever before,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “These protected paths are a key part of our Vision Zero plan to keep New Yorkers safe on our streets. The beautiful new Pulaski Bridge Bikeway ensures that pedestrians and cyclists can move from borough-to-borough more seamlessly, and brings neighbors in Brooklyn and Queens that much more closely together.”
“We are thrilled to be opening a new Pulaski Bridge bikeway worthy of Long Island City and Greenpoint, two of our City’s greatest and quickly growing neighborhoods,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “With creativity and teamwork, DOT’s Transportation Planning and Bridges teams have given New York City’s 1,000-mile bicycle network one great new mile. We also thank the Mayor and all of our partners for their support for this critical project, one that will help pedestrians, bikers, cars, trucks and buses in Brooklyn and Queens get safely where they need to go.”
The Pulaski Bridge’s new bikeway is .6 miles long (1.1 miles roundtrip). Opened in 1954, Pulaski is a movable bascule bridge that opens approximately 500 times a year to marine traffic on the Newtown Creek. Serving 40,405 vehicles daily, it is also part of the B62 NYC Transit bus route.
The bikeway now separates pedestrians and cyclists, two groups whose usage of the bridge has increased greatly in recent years, as the bridge serves as a key connection between the City’s two most populous boroughs. Previously, pedestrians and cyclists shared an 8.5’ wide path. In the period between 2009 and 2013, cyclist volume on the bridge grew by 106%, while pedestrian use increased 47%. Latest DOT counts show that approximately 1,500 cyclists use the bridge during peak weekday hours. The new bikeway is situated between the now exclusive pedestrian path and the right lane of Brooklyn bound (southbound) vehicular traffic by concrete barriers on the non-movable portion of the span, with steel barriers on the bascule (movable) span. Bike-friendly joints along the bridge have replaced earlier span joints, giving cyclists a much smoother ride.
This project was funded in part by a Federal Highway Administration Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) grant.
“The center of the universe has shifted, as more people are choosing both to live and to work in Brooklyn and Queens,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “We need modern methods of transportation, particularly bike lanes, to allow travelers to commute between work and other places quickly and safely. This protected bikeway will build on the connection between some of the hottest destinations on the waterfront in Brooklyn and Queens.”
“The Pulaski Bridge protected bikeway is unique, both in design and the level of commitment with which it was completed, said Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (Brooklyn). “A dedicated bike lane over any draw bridge presents a challenge, especially considering how often bike and pedestrian design features are overlooked as part of conventional spans. However, these design challenges were met head on by city engineers and officials. I commend Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for seeing the project through to completion. And as a member of the initial discussions that began nearly four years ago regarding these bike lanes and near-by traffic and transit calming measures, I’d like to personally thank Assemblyman Lentol for his dedication to this cause.”
“The Pulaski Bridge dedicated bike lane is a testament to NYC’s commitment to alternative forms of transportation,” said Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol (Brooklyn). “Over the past several years, I worked with my colleagues in government and many of my constituents to advocate for this bike lane. The bike lane could not have come at a better time. The transportation network in North Brooklyn is quickly becoming overburdened and this bike lane will surely alleviate overcrowding. It will also create a safer environment for those that walk or bike over the Pulaski Bridge. I commend The Pulaski Bridge Coalition, a group of dedicated residents that first suggested the bike lane, for their tireless advocacy. I would also like to thank former Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, current Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and the rest of their teams for making this bike lane a reality.”
“The opening of this protected bikeway is going to encourage even more people to walk and bike between Brooklyn and Queens,” said Council Member Stephen Levin (Brooklyn). “The best way to get people outside and active is to make them feel safe and comfortable, and this project does just that. It is my hope that we continue to invest in our communities and expand the network of safer streets throughout our city.
“As we continue to find new and exciting ways to connect the neighborhoods of Queens and Brooklyn, I am proud to celebrate the opening of the protected bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge,” said Senator Michael Gianaris (Queens). “Pedestrians and cyclists will now have a safe and healthy way to travel between boroughs.”
"At long last, the Pulaski Bridge protected bike lanes are open!,” said Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (Queens). “Now, it's easier and safer for pedestrians and cyclists to travel between Brooklyn and Queens. For the past four years, I have advocated for this project that is vital to the neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Long Island City, and today, I'm so glad to see it completed.";
"As our city works to expand the ways New Yorkers move throughout the boroughs, projects like the Pulaski Bridge protected bike lanes play a tremendous role," said Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. "Not only does this make cyclists safer but it adds a key inter-borough connection that cyclists have been craving for years. As the DOT continues their great work in laying down safer routes for cyclists, our city will continue to see an important rise in this active mode of travel."
"I know I can speak for just about every cyclist who's ever ridden between Brooklyn and Queens when I say that the Pulaski Bridge Protected Bikeway is a very welcome addition to New York's City's transportation infrastructure," said Ken Podziba, President & CEO of Bike New York. "Cyclists can now use the bridge comfortably and, most importantly, safely thanks to this important and long-awaited protected bike lane—and ridership will undoubtedly increase as a result. We applaud the efforts of the DOT in bringing this essential project over the finish line."
"We thank Commissioner Trottenberg for moving forward and completing this dedicated bike crossing that so many New Yorkers spent years working for," said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "By strengthening this vital transportation link, the City has made life better not only for people who bike and walk between Brooklyn and Queens, but for everyone who depends on the emerging citywide bike network."
"We, and scores of Citi Bike members who commute over the Pulaski Bridge each day are thrilled that DOT has created this awesome new dedicated bikeway and have opened it just in time for Bike Month," said Jules Flynn, General Manager of Citi Bike, operated by Motivate. "Giving cyclists the safe space they need encourages more people to take to two wheels."
"This is a wonderful improvement,” said Rob Freudenberg, Director, Energy and Environment, Regional Plan Association. “With the reconfiguration, DOT has made this bridge more efficient, enjoyable and safer for cyclists and pedestrians. It also creates a more robust connection to the Brooklyn Greenway, making travel easier between fast-growing neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens.”
"As the organization that initiated the Pulaski Bike Lane campaign in 2008, we are delighted that the lane is now open to the public,” said the Pulaski Bridge Coalition. “It will allow pedestrians and cyclists alike to safely use this vital connection between North Brooklyn and Southwestern Queens, and increase transportation options for those who live and work in the area, and enjoy its many attractions.”
"WE would like to thank the DOT for having us here today to celebrate the long-awaited completion of the Pulaski Bridge bike lane,” said Women’s Empowerment Through Bicycles. “WE Bike NYC works to get more female-identifying and gender nonconforming people on bikes. Having this protected bike lane on such a vital connection which links Queens and Brooklyn encourages our community to bike more and bike safely. This protected bike lane comes just in time for National Bike Month, when WE showcase the many benefits of cycling and encourage people to try biking in NYC, which has become safer thanks to this bike lane and the work of the DOT."
Last July DOT unveiled a new bike lane along the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, another vital roadway carrying pedestrians and a burgeoning cyclist population between Brooklyn and Queens. In total, the City has reached 1,010 miles in its bicycle network, including on-street and off-street bike lanes
This past January, Mayor de Blasio announced that 2015 had been the safest year ever on New York City’s streets, and unveiled several new Vision Zero initiatives for 2016. In addition to the expansion of New York City’s 1,000-mile bike network, he announced targeted NYPD enforcement, an additional $115 million investment in street redesign and traffic-calming measures on key thoroughfares citywide, a pilot project to reduce left-turn collisions, increased use of speed-enforcement cameras and more intensive safety education in collaboration with the Department of Education in elementary and middle schools.
For more information about Vision Zero please visit www.nyc.gov/visionzero