City to finish Grand Street bike lane this month

Blocked: A cyclist dodges a parked van obstructing the Grand Street bike lane. Transit honchos revived the L-pocalypse-era plan to construct two so-called protected bike lanes along the busy corridor on April 24.
Photo by Maya Harrison

This Grand opening has a date!

The city has finally given the much-anticipated Grand Street bike lanes in Williamsburg a completion date — and it’s the end of the month!

Department of Transportation spokeswoman Lolita Avila confirmed the agency is looking to finish bike lanes on both sides of the two-way thoroughfare from Rodney Street to Vandervoort Avenue by the end of September.

Commissioner Polly Trottenberg revived the Department’s L-pocalypse era plans to roll out the cycling lanes last April, even promising to extend what was originally pitched as an L train alternative one block from Morgan Avenue to the foot of the Grand Street Bridge at Vandervoort Avenue.

The agency once envisioned the northern Brooklyn roadway as a major bus-and-bicycle corridor with shuttle buses carrying stranded L train riders across the river to Manhattan when they announced their plans in January 2018 and started pouring the green paint that following fall, but the project stalled and its fate hung in the balance after Gov. Andrew Cuomo called off the shutdown in January 2019.

While transit officials have revived their bike lane scheme, they chose not to resurrect the cross-borough shuttle bus in the wake of the now averted L-pocalypse, reasoning that the additional service is not needed since the L train will continue to run — albeit at reduced frequencies and with several mini-shutdowns.

Trottenberg committed to finishing the stretch between Rodney and Waterbury streets according to the original shutdown plans, which features a lane protected by a row of parked cars on the westbound side of Grand Street, and a lane guarded by plastic flappers on the other.

The design of the more industrial section between Waterbury Street and Vandervoort was still in the works as of the April announcement and Avila did not immediately comment on the agency’s designs for the stretch.

Bike advocates have criticized the bike lane as being unsafe and constantly blocked by illegally parked cars and even a construction site dumpster, calling on officials to either scrap the lane or start fresh, reported Streetsblog.

Avila did not immediately comment on whether the agency would improve the existing lanes or work with the Police Department to up enforcement of illegal parking scofflaws by the time of the project’s completion.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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