Plan for New LES Bike Lanes Continues to Ignore the Big Problem

03/12/2010 2:01 PM |

LES bike lanes

Yesterday, Streetsblog reports, Manhattan Community Board 3’s transportation committee approved a Department of Transportation proposal to add bike lanes to the Lower East Side, which despite already featuring quite a few (on Clinton, Allen, Chrystie, Forsythe and parts of Grand, for instance) still has more than its share of very dangerous stretches, like Essex, Canal, Bowery, Houston and, most importantly, the Williamsburg Bridge approach on Delancey. The new plan will address these problems in as much as it seeks to funnel cyclists off such major corridors—which, we’re left to infer, are only for cars—and onto smaller side streets, in this case Stanton, Rivington and Suffolk (as pictured).

When will the DOT quit stalling and do on Delancey what they’ve successfully done nearby on Allen, with a protected bike lane on either side of the median? Increasing numbers of cyclists will continue to take Delancey (and its even more terrifying little brother, Kenmare) to get onto the Williamsburg Bridge, and trying to divert them onto Suffolk, though a much safer route, just won’t work. As Wiley Norvell of Transportation Alternatives put it to Streetsblog: Delancey “is obviously the most dangerous corridor in that part of the neighborhood. We can’t continue to skirt it in its entirely. It’s time to give it the attention it deserves.” Word.