City planners want to add a new parking-protected bike lane on two blocks of N. 14th Street as part of a revamp to make the historically industrial thruway on the Williamsburg-Greenpoint border safer for pedestrians and pedalers, according to officials.
“There’s been a transition over the years from manufacturing and heavier industrial uses to more lighter manufacturing, mixed lofts and other multi-purpose uses,” said Department of Transportation representative Stephen Solecki at a meeting of Community Board 1 on Feb. 11.
The agency plans to turn the two-way street between Kent and Nassau avenues into a one-way eastbound roadway, featuring a green-painted bike lane abutting the southern sidewalk, with a row of parked cars separating bikers from car traffic.
Currently, bikes have to share the two-way street which boasts frequent truck traffic that is forced to turn left onto the roadway when Franklin Street ends — and leaves southbound traffic with no other option than to turn onto N. 14th Street, according to Solecki.
Planners also want to create a 20-foot walking space at the southwest corner of N. 14th Street and Nassau Avenue near McCarren Park, bordering a two-foot buffer and an unprotected bike lane, so that pedestrians can better see oncoming traffic before crossing the street, according to officials.
The city plans to change the street layout sometime during the late spring and early summer, which coincides with a scheme to install a stretch of two-way protected bike lanes at Kent Avenue and West Street, adjacent to the N. 14th Street project.
One board member implored the agency to instead build the bike lane to be westbound, from McCarren Park to the waterfront, while constructing a shared lane for bikes and cars on the eastbound side of the roadway.
“It seems like you’re eliminating that option, would you consider having the bike lane going westbound and having sharrows going eastbound,” said T. Willis Elkins.
The city transit reps claimed that such a change would require the planners to go back to square one, but instead offered to study the possibility of installing of a westbound shared bike lane on a different street nearby.