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Fifth time’s a charm! City plan for Dumbo Jay Street bike lane finally okayed

New look: A before-and-after shot of Jay Street in Dumbo.
NYC Department of Transportation

They’ve changed lanes … again!

The Department of Transportation has finally come up with a winning plan for a bike lane on Jay Street between York and Prospect streets in Dumbo after five presentations to Community Board 2’s transportation committee. The final proposal, which would include two dedicated bike lanes on the one-way street, was the result of several hours of discussions with city officials and drew approval from panel members who cheered the city’s willingness to listen.

“It’s great, thank you for being responsive,” said Brian Howald, who sits on the transportation committee.

The panel voted to approve the plan by a tally of 9–0 with one abstention.

The latest iteration proposes installing a six-foot bike lane for Downtown-bound cyclists riding against traffic that is protected by a three-foot striped buffer and parking lane. There will be another six-foot bike lane on the other side of the street closest to York Street station for waterfront-bound riders, next to a traffic lane for drivers cruising in the same direction.

The new plan is a big turnaround from the city’s February proposal in which it suggested riders pedaling toward Downtown cycle in a “contra-flow” lane — or one headed in the opposite direction of traffic — that was separated from oncoming vehicles by mere yellow lines. The community board hated the idea and told the transportation department it needed to do more to protect those uphill cyclists from the 3,000 pound hunks of metal traveling downhill.

The city drew up a popular plan to install a two-way, parking-protected bike lane before that, but reps returned and claimed it would actually be dangerous for riders to zoom downhill next to a row of parked cars that blocked their view of traffic.

Other editions included another contra-flow lane and creating two-way traffic on the one-way street by using sharrows — markings painted on the road indicating cars should share the road with cyclists.

Now that everyone has found a proposal they are happy with, the city will make the changes by summer, according to a transportation department spokeswoman.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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