CB3 Prepared to Address Safety Concerns Along Chrystie Street Corridor

Posted on: January 14th, 2015 at 5:10 am by
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Local bike activists are on a grassroots crusade to cure Chrystie Street. We aren’t specifically talking about the controversial red light trap at Rivington that nets plenty of tickets for the 5th Precinct (though that does need to be addressed). Rather, it’s the condition of the road in general and the bike lanes it supports. The thoroughfare is outdated and certainly has difficulty keeping up with the staggering volume of motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.

A member of Community Board 6 in Brooklyn pitched CB3 last week to begin a bottom-up campaign to address the problem. Many biking commuters traverse the Manhattan Bridge and have particularly voiced concern about the southbound lanes of Chrystie.

First and foremost, compared to the northbound side, the pavement itself is pock-marked, and the lane markings have completely faded. This illegibility is probably the result of the commercial activity on the west side of the street (Sara D. Roosevelt Park is opposite). The other issue – and this is a big one – is the bike lane crossover when 2nd Avenue becomes Chrystie. Southbound bikers on 2nd Avenue can rely on a protected lane, but at Houston Street, you’re forced to switch sides due to the two-way traffic pattern. The crossover is actually at 1st Street, but the signage and road markings aren’t clear.

The thoroughfare received an update [PDF] in 2008 which resulted in the implementation of bike lanes. However, there has been no infrastructural update since.

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The Department of Transportation has reportedly singled out this thoroughfare for paving, but the transportation subcommittee of CB3 wants to take it a step further. They backed an effort to rebuild the road, as opposed to a simple resurfacing. This would entail ripping up the pavement and rebuilding, which apparently tends to happen every twenty years or so. Time has come for Chrystie.

As for solutions for the bike lane issue, one idea floated was to continue the protected bike lane south of Houston, but make it two-way.

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