Jan. 26, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The city has released new details on the major changes it has proposed for Grand Street, a corridor that forms a significant component of the L train shutdown plans released last month by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Department of Transportation.
Painted bike lanes, buffers, and the removal of a parking lane are some of the DOT’s proposed changes for Grand Street, extending from Bushwick Avenue, at least, all the way to the entrance of the Williamsburg Bridge.
The parking lane on the north side of Grand Street, where cars and cyclists head west toward the Williamsburg Bridge, will be removed under the DOT’s proposal and replaced with a painted bike lane flush against the curb. A seven-inch buffer will go between the bike lane and travel lane.
The opposite side, where cars and cyclists head east on Grand Street, will be the only direction that has a parking lane under the DOT’s plan, but the lane will be pushed away from the curb to make way for a painted bike lane. The parking lane, which will also be a loading lane, will be separated from the curb-side bike lane by a two-inch buffer.
It is unclear how many parking spaces will be lost in the roughly ten blocks between Bushwick Avenue and the Williamsburg Bridge approach on Grand Street.
The DOT’s changes on Grand Street are primarily intended to ease the movement of over 30,000 cyclists and displaced L train riders over the Williamsburg Bridge through alternative buses once the Canarsie Tunnel shuts down in April 2019 for 15 months worth of repairs.
Two of the new L-Alternate routes set to travel on Grand Street are expected to see 12 to 16 buses an hour at peak frequency, while a third route originating on N. 5th Street can see up to 30 to 34 buses an hour at its peak, according to the DOT.
To make Grand Street almost exclusively for buses and bikes during peak commuting hours, the DOT will work to reroute Williamsburg Bridge-bound cars and trucks to Metropolitan Avenue under their proposal, which could mean a heavy increase in traffic on the avenue.
“As is the case with all of our bus-only projects, enforcement of these sections would come from a mix of automated cameras and NYPD patrol,” a DOT spokesperson said.
Short sections of Roebling Street and Borinquen Place closest to the Williamsburg Bridge could also become bus-only during peak hours under the DOT’s proposal.
The streets surrounding Grand Street could also see new bike lanes under the DOT’s proposal. An alternative bike route on Devoe Street has been proposed by the agency, along with bike lane connections for Union and Morgan Avenues.
The DOT said the Grand Street redesign and traffic management plan is still under development, and that community feedback is welcomed on the proposal. The agency added that it will begin to present their proposals to community boards directly beginning in February.
Both the DOT and MTA wrapped up the first of four open houses on the L train shutdown on Wednesday. They will return to Brooklyn on Feb. 8 for another open house.