November 5, 2020
Major projects along busy Vision Zero corridors bring protected lanes along Flatbush Avenue near Prospect Park
Completes continuous protected lane from Bay Ridge to Barclays Center
NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the completion of two major protected bike lane (PBL) projects along two of Brooklyn’s busiest corridors, Flatbush Avenue and Fourth Avenue. These new lanes add another 3.2 miles of protected bike lane capacity to Brooklyn, bringing this year’s total new protected bike lane mileage to 15 miles citywide.
Administration officials and advocates cut the ribbon today on both new lanes. In following the Green Wave plan announced in 2019, New York City remains committed to dramatically expanding access to protected bike lanes, which have consistently proven to make streets safer for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.
“Our city’s recovery depends on giving New Yorkers safe, reliable, and green transportation alternatives, and I’m proud to support the growing cycling movement in Brooklyn and beyond,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I know these lanes will be used well and often, and I’m looking forward to cutting the ribbon on even more lanes across the city this year.”
“Brooklyn is getting a real enhancement today, as cyclists from as far as Sunset Park and Flatbush have now gotten easier and safer bike access they deserve to get them to downtown Brooklyn and the East River crossings into Manhattan,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “My thanks to the DOT planners, engineers and work crews who poured their hearts into getting these major projects completed. As a regular rider, I can say the lanes are already humming, like they were always there.”
NYC DOT has completed 15 PBL miles so far in 2020, with another 10 miles scheduled to be completed this year. The de Blasio administration has created more than 119 miles of on-street protected lanes; its recent pace represents about one of every five protected lane miles nationwide.
New York City has added 106 miles of bike lanes in Brooklyn since 2016, including 15 miles so far this year. That includes Flatbush Avenue from Grand Army Plaza to Empire Boulevard and the most recent phase of 4th Avenue from 1st Street to Flatbush Avenue.
The Flatbush Avenue PBL (.8 miles each way; 1.6 miles total) runs in both directions from Grand Army Plaza to Ocean Avenue, providing direct connections from Downtown Brooklyn and the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges to Prospect- Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, East Flatbush and beyond. The lane, which provides increased access to Prospect Park, also allows easier bike access to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park Zoo and the Brooklyn Public Library.
Flatbush Avenue is one of Brooklyn’s most popular biking throughways; on weekends, more than 500 cyclists travel the avenue alongside high volumes of vehicular traffic. The new bike lane will reduce speeding, shorten pedestrian crossings, protect cyclists, add bus boarding islands and maintain traffic capacity.
This September, DOT reduced the speed limit on this section of Flatbush Avenue from 30 to 25 MPH.
The 4th Avenue PBL (.8 miles each way; 1.6 miles total) completes a three-year effort to add protected lanes to the entire corridor from 65th Street in Bay Ridge to Barclays Center in Prospect Heights. In both directions, 4th Avenue now has over 8 miles of total protected lanes.
The new lanes provide cyclists with safer access on a crowded and critical corridor. The City plans to further build out and beautify the roadway, which is a Vision Zero Great Street, a Vision Zero Priority Corridor and the initial Brooklyn path of the annual New York City Marathon.
DOT worked cooperatively with MTA New York City Transit, as the PBL project had to be coordinated around major track and station improvements along the R train, which runs beneath the entire length of the new protected bike lane.
Other major DOT PBL projects for Brooklyn this year include Smith Street, Tillary Street, and 7th Avenue in Bay Ridge.
“New Yorkers have turned to biking in record numbers during this pandemic, making our need for bike infrastructure citywide all the more urgent,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “These new bike lanes are an exciting addition to Brooklyn’s bike lane network and the Council will keep pushing for more throughout the five boroughs.”
“The safety of pedestrians and cyclists has been my top priority as Chairman of the Transportation Committee. The additional 3.2 miles of protected bike lanes that were placed on Flatbush Avenue and Fourth Avenue will increase the protection and safety of all cyclists,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. “New York City has been working to be a role model for the whole country when it comes to turning municipalities more cyclists and pedestrians friendly. I will continue to work alongside Speaker Corey Johnson, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, my colleagues at the Council, and advocates to continue expanding protected bike lanes into all the outer-boroughs.”
"At least twenty cyclists have been killed by cars this year in New York City,” said State Senator Zellnor Myrie. At a time that people are seeking alternatives to mass transit, and when delivery workers are even more essential, it is imperative that the DOT continue to do more to realize Vision Zero and meet its commitment to keep New Yorkers safe on our streets. I am pleased with these new protected bike lanes and look forward to continued improvements to the PBL network across the city."
“I’m so pleased that DOT has completed the protected bike lane projects on Flatbush and 4th Avenues, which ensure safer streets for all New Yorkers along these busy corridors,” said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon. “Biking in New York should be fun, accessible, and safe, but it takes work to make that a reality and the new protected bike lanes are a solid step forward. There is safety in numbers and in infrastructure, and I hope that with each new protected bike lane, more and more New Yorkers will feel comfortable getting out on their bikes. Thanks to Commissioner Trottenberg and Mayor de Blasio for continuing to champion expanded bike infrastructure.”
“The completion of the Flatbush Avenue and 4th Avenue protected bike lanes are much anticipated milestones to help connect New Yorkers to jobs, parks, and each other,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “Especially as more and more New Yorkers are turning to cycling as a primary form of transit during the pandemic, we need more infrastructure like this to keep people safe and moving around the city. Thank you to Commissioner Trottenberg and the Department of Transportation for making these lanes a priority and seeing them through to completion.”
"This is a great step in getting more people to opt for safe, affordable, and reliable transportation options like bicycle riding," said Angela Azzolino, Get Women Cycling Executive Director. "We applaud the Department of Transportation, MTA, and all the agencies who have come together to achieve this feat. Bicycle lanes serve all individuals who travel on our streets be it by foot, bicycle, scooter, or car. On behalf of Get Women Cycling we urge the city to continue to look for ways to update archaic street grids, provide communities, business proprietors, and residents with much-needed education on the use of bicycle lanes, and new infrastructure. To be truly successful every New Yorker needs to (re)learn how to navigate our streets given the rapid changes in commuting we are experiencing."
"Prospect Park Alliance applauds the DOT for its commitment to creating a safe and accessible greenway around Prospect Park. Thanks to funding from Mayor Bill de Blasio, Borough President Eric Adams and the City Council, the Alliance is improving all of the perimeters around Prospect Park, and this greenway is a welcome addition to these improvements,” said Susan M. Donoghue, President of Prospect Park Alliance and Prospect Park Administrator.
“We applaud NYC DOT for creating protected bike lanes on these high-capacity routes in Brooklyn," said Rob Freudenberg, Vice President, Energy and Environment, Regional Plan Association. "We will continue working to ensure that lanes like these fulfill the Green Wave vision and are connected to a comprehensive citywide network of protected lanes as proposed in RPA’s Five Borough Bikeway proposal.”
“We’re glad to see the completion of protected bike lanes on Flatbush and Fourth avenues, two of the busiest, most dangerous corridors in Brooklyn,” said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris. “Streets with protected bike lanes are safer for all users, so we commend the Department of Transportation for making these streets a priority as biking is on the rise.”
“The completion of the 4th Avenue and Flatbush Avenue protected bike lanes are major steps forward in building the safe, interconnected cycling network that will make New York City one of the best places in which to ride a bike, anywhere,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. “With the extension of the 4th Avenue path to Flatbush Avenue, Brooklynites will now be able to ride from Bay Ridge to Downtown Brooklyn and back safely separated from motor vehicles, which should lead to a big increase in cycling along the route. And the new Flatbush Avenue lane will make safe what has long been a dangerous, desolate stretch, giving residents of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and Flatbush the same type of biking infrastructure that people have had on Prospect Park West for several years. It’s an important advance for cycling equity, and hopefully, a precursor for extending protected lanes well east and south of Prospect Park. We thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg, and the team at the New York City Department of Transportation, for refusing to let the pandemic hold up these important projects.”
"Parking protected bike lanes are the tried and true standard for keeping NYC bike riders safe from traffic. It's a great day when the city cuts the ribbon on two new protected segments. Fourth Avenue is a game changer for a big part of Brooklyn. Once it's connected to the waterfront and bridges we expect very heavy usage there year-round. The Flatbush lane adds to the growing protected network around Prospect Park, with great links to Eastern Parkway, Prospect Park West, 9th Street and the Park drives themselves," said Jon Orcutt, advocacy director of Bike New York.
“Demand for safe and sustainable mobility options has skyrocketed in New York City, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Felicia Park-Rogers, Director of Regional Infrastructure for Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “We commend NYCDOT and Mayor de Blasio for doubling down on the city’s commitment to protect bicyclists by expanding the network of protected bike lanes. Projects like this are what will continue to make NYC a safer, more livable city.”
For more information about the de Blasio Administration’s Vision Zero initiative, please see www.nyc.gov/visionzero. For more on New York City Green Wave plan for cycling, please see www.nyc.gov/greenwave.