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Breaking away: City panel green-lights protected Pulaski bike lane

Breaking away: City panel green-lights protected Pulaski bike lane
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Move over, Queens car commuters.

The city’s planning commission green-lighted a new, separated bike path on the Pulaski Bridge that will take over a lane of automotive traffic and end a chaotic arrangement that has walkers sharing space with fast-moving two-wheelers. A local pol hailed the approval.

“With the upcoming creation of a dedicated bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge, pedestrians and cyclists will not only travel safer, but more efficiently,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol, who proposed the lane change on the link between Greenpoint and its northern neighbor last year.

The bike lane will run along the Manhattan side of the bridge over Newtown Creek, running separately from the one sidewalk where bicyclists, runners, and pedestrians currently travel in both directions, sharing a tight space and struggling to avoid collisions. The rejiggering will cut car traffic from six to five lanes, which Lentol says is not necessarily a bad thing.

“Another indirect added benefit the dedicated bike lane might create involves slowing down motorists that speed southbound over the Pulaski Bridge at sometimes twice the speed limit,” he said.

The city will have a bigger challenge than usual designing this bike lane because the span the divider will run across is a drawbridge that opens and closes frequently.

Lentol said he anticipated that the city will bring the design to Community Board 1 for approval by the end of the year.

If the plan passes, construction on the bike lane will commence in the spring of 2014.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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