Streetsblog New York City)
The announcement signals an important shift from earlier plans that called for casting the current design of Fourth Avenue in concrete without adding bike infrastructure. The new design concept is very encouraging because it shows DOT is willing to adjust major street reconstruction projects to maximize safety and extend the bike network. The question now is whether the agency will follow through and implement the more ambitious design.
In 2012 and 2013, DOT installed wider medians and other pedestrian safety improvements along Fourth Avenue, cutting pedestrian injuries by 61 percent in Park Slope and 30 percent in Sunset Park. The agency planned to build out that design in permanent materials this year as part of Mayor de Blasio’s “Vision Zero Great Streets” initiative, which would have squandered a once-in-a-generation opportunity to add safe bike infrastructure on the best available route linking Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, and Park Slope.
The new proposal, which will get public hearings at an upcoming workshop and presentations to community boards 2, 6, and 7, replaces the previous plan’s 13-foot parking lanes with five-foot curbside bike lanes protected by a 2.5-foot buffer and eight-foot parking lane with concrete islands at pedestrian crossings.