A new bike lane near Canarsie Pier which connects Canarsie to the Jamaica Bay Greenway, Gateway National Recreation Area, and the Rockaways is ready to roll. The $1.9 million project to build the new section of a raised, eight-foot-wide, two-way bike lanes on Shore Parkway was completed one year ahead of schedule and more than $1.45 million under budget.
The project was managed by the city’s Department of Transportation and Department of Design and Construction, and funded by DOT and the state’s Office of Resilient Homes and Communities. Work began back in June 2022.
“This is a tremendous safety upgrade for bicyclists who have to negotiate the Belt Parkway exit ramps and the traffic circle at Canarsie Pier in order to access Jamaica Bay,” said DDC commissioner Thomas Foley. “DDC’s in-house project management team saw an opportunity to complete this project in half the time and with substantial cost savings, did their due diligence and made it happen.”
Canarsie Park, the Gateway National Recreation Area, Jamaica Bay, the Rockaways, and Floyd Bennett Field are all connected with bike lanes, but there was a “missing segment” DOT wanted to fill with the project. The previous bike lane was a shared lane by the side of traffic and cars exiting the Belt Parkway, and cars often conflicted with bikers.
“This will promote the Canarsie area,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.
Biking is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit, according to studies conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health. New Yorkers who bike to routine destinations report better overall health, since 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day can prevent depression. Regular cycling can also burn fat and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease — and studies show that it can even increase energy levels.
The improved bike lane is also elevated by seven inches, to the same level as the sidewalk — and is separated from the roadway with a bumper lane. According to the DOT, the elevation is enough to prevent cars to ride over the curb in most traffic accidents.
“A wall or another physical barrier is not needed,” said Rodriguez. “Putting up a wall would have meant underground work, which would have disrupted traffic and delayed the project.”
The work to improve the bike lane also included 13 new pedestrian ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and have high-visibility markings, more than 12,000 square feet of sidewalks replaced or newly installed, and nine new catch basins installed to improve drainage. Eight new trees were also planted along the route.
“Families near Canarsie and Jamaica Bay are now better protected from flooding and better connected to one another thanks to this important project that improves drainage and updates street safety,” said NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner Ruthanne Visnauskas.