Right now, for North Brooklyn cyclists headed into Midtown Manhattan, the Queensboro Bridge is kind of a secret weapon, with its very gradual slope (in one direction anyways), wide bike lanes, minimal traffic and relative proximity, except reaching its onramp can be sufficiently difficult and potentially deadly to act as a deterrent, but that’s about to change. In fact it’s changing right now, as the city’s Economic Development Corporation has already begun preliminary work on a major renovation and redesign (PDF plans here) of the scary superhighway clusterfuck that, depending on where you’re entering from, can amount to as many as ten lanes of traffic and a confusing jumble of traffic lights and crosswalks.
When the project’s completed, with a lil’ help from federal stimulus cash, cyclists and pedestrians will reach the currently almost hidden onramp via a protected and landscaped median (rendered at right). The whole plan should be done by 2012, by which point the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges will be so over-crowded that the additional access point into the city will be even more badly needed than it is already. And, coming in the other direction, it’ll be a lot easier for Manhattanites to go pick up their CSAs at the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm over on Northern Boulevard. (Streetsblog)