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City denies claims it will finish Pulaski bike lanes by end of year

State Assemblyman Joe Lentol gives the pump track a try (not really, he just posed on a bike).
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Talk about spin!

The city’s Department of Transportation is backpedaling after a state politician claimed it would likely finish building the long-awaited bike lane over the Pulaski Bridge in the next three months — a project the department says it probably won’t complete until spring next year.

Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Williamsburg) sent out a press release last Thursday announcing that the city is back on track to start work on the new lanes on Sept. 14, after the department said last month that it had delayed the project due to unforeseen design problems. Lentol said the new lanes will likely be ready to roll by the end of the year — weather permitting.

“I am delighted that this project could potentially be completed before the winter,” said Lentol, who later told this paper that he had spoken about the matter directly with transportation honcho Polly Trottenberg.

But the department denies it is that industrious — it does indeed plan to begin construction on Sept. 14, but still doesn’t expect to unveil the new lanes until spring 2016, said a spokesperson.

Cyclists and pedestrians currently share a single lane along the Newtown Creek-spanning drawbridge, and the city aims to convert one of the bridge’s car lanes into a two-way bike path — a change Lentol has been agitating for since 2012.

The project is already several years overdue. The city initially said it would finish construction by the end of 2014, then later pushed that date back to the end of 2015, before revising that to the most recent estimate.

Lentol could not be reached for further comment by press time.

Reach reporter Harry MacCormack at hmaccormack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @HMacBKPaper.
Squeezing in: Cyclists and pedestrians currently have to share a path across the Pulaski Bridge. The city says that probably won't change this year.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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