Move over cars, the Pulaski Bridge is about to get a new set of bike lanes.
According to the Department of Transportation, creating a protected area for cyclists will require a single traffic lane in each direction to be removed.
“I think it is absolutely necessary,” said Tyler Grand, a Brooklyn resident who commutes to Long Island City for work. “Right now you have to struggle to get across with the walkers and while it can be annoying to slow down to accommodate pedestrians, it can’t be safe for the walkers either.”
The city is finishing up an engineering study of the bridge and expects to present the plan to Community Board 2 and affected community boards in Brookyn by the end of the year.
CB 2 will vote on the proposal in December but so far, residents and commuters alike are generally happy with the idea of a designated bike area.
“There are so many bikes here, riding along, chained near the bridge, it’s getting ridiculous,” Betty Herman said. “I walk the bridge almost every day to get my exercising in and there are times when these riders are just zooming past so quickly, you don’t feel safe. I think it’d be much more comfortable for everyone to add a lane.”
Though pedestrians and bike riders like Grand and Herman were thrilled with a new bike lane, drivers like Cole Gustavez said taking away a car lane — which will bring the bridge down to one lane going in either direction — will cause more harm then good.
“They’re always sacrificing the needs of the drivers for bikes,” he said. “They’re taking over this city. Now I’m not saying it isn’t important to give them a place to ride, but let us have our roadways too. I don’t want to have to sit in traffic because we don’t have a second lane anymore while 50 bikes go past. That’s not right.”
The plan was spearheaded by Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) after hearing complaints from pedestrians who are unable to walk safely across.