Rogue Cones in Danger Zones, or How One Group Created a Protected Bike Lane on Chrystie Street

Posted on: October 28th, 2015 at 5:00 am by
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What appears to be routine traffic cones is actually quite the opposite.

Earlier this month, bicycle activists planted twenty-five cones along lower Chrystie Street topping every other one with sunflowers. The unsanctioned maneuver created a de facto protected bike lane, doubling as a statement about the lack of traffic safety coming off the Manhattan Bridge. Three weeks later, these rogue placements surprisingly remain intact. (The flowers are gone, though.)

The installation is a pop-up project by an advocacy group called the Transformation Department, and is meant to protect cyclists pedaling north on the two-block stretch between Grand and Delancey Streets. Perhaps a combination of ignorance and paranoia has kept them in place (i.e. hesitation to remove due to official-looking nature).

Now the Transformation Department is taking the cones game to a new level. Crowdfunding, baby. The anonymous collective is seeking donations via GoFundMe to, in its words, “continue to demonstrate what is possible with little more than traffic cones … and, of course, flowers.” They’d like to collect $1,000 for the effort, and have nearly half that already.

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Photo: Department of TransformationMeanwhile, it’s worth noting that there is a proposal to upgrade the bike lanes and repave Chrystie Street, and it was even unanimously backed by Community Board 3 last February. The Department of Transportation planned to “study the request” last spring, but the results have yet to be made public. We are told by DOT that the findings – and the implementation – might not be addressed until “next year.”

Proposal to Upgrade Chrystie Street

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