Dedicated bike lanes are coming to the Brooklyn and Queensboro Bridge roadways, New York City Mayor Bill de Blaiso will announce in his State of the City address Thursday night.
De Blasio’s plan, which City Hall shared with Hamodia prior to the address, will turn the Brooklyn Bridge’s innermost Manhattan-bound car lane into a two-way bicycle lane. The current promenade, which is shared by pedestrians and bicycles, will become pedestrian-only. On the Queensboro Bridge, the north outer roadway will be converted to a two-way bike-only lane, and the south outer roadway will become a two-way pedestrian-only lane.
City Hall is aiming to have the Brooklyn Bridge project completed by the end of 2021, de Blasio’s final year in office. The Queensboro Bridge project is expected to take “slightly longer,” City Hall said, due to ongoing, unrelated construction on the bridge.
During de Blasio’s administration, 133 miles of protected bike lanes have been installed across the city, including over 28 miles last year.
News of the mayor’s proposal Thursday was hailed by supporters of biking and other non-car methods of transportation.
“What an amazing victory for all who fought for this!!!,” tweeted Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, a candidate for Queens Borough President. “This change will not only save lives but also create a cleaner, greener, and healthier NYC for all of us. Make no mistake, this is a win for us the people.”
Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who represents the Lower East Side, wrote on Twitter that the plan is “great news for the thousands of cyclists – many of whom are essential workers like deliveristas – who cross the East River every day. Let’s keep up momentum to prioritize protective bike + safe street infrastructure equitably and in our working-class neighborhoods.”
But New Yorkers who oppose removing car lanes told Hamodia that that this plan will only aggravate traffic problems in the city.
“With only eleven months left to his term, the Mayor should not be making such radical changes to our city’s ability to function,” said Brooklyn Councilman Chaim Deutsch. “Traffic is already such a huge problem in this city, it’s ridiculous to intentionally exacerbate it.”
“The number of vehicles traveling Manhattan-bound each morning will undoubtedly cause terrible traffic,” said Midwood resident Avi Stern. “And I am pretty sure the bike lanes themselves will not be overly used. It is wasting valuable vehicle space for the pipe dream of a China-like biking society.”
Updated Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 7:01 pm .