Jay Street Redesign Clears CB 2, With Some Design Details Left for Later

Image: DOT

Brooklyn Community Board 2 endorsed most of DOT’s plan for curbside protected bike lanes on Jay Street between Fulton Mall and Tillary Street at its monthly meeting last night. Two key design decisions at each end of the project have yet to be finalized, however, and will be presented to the transportation committee in May.

Chaotic Jay Street is a key link to the Manhattan Bridge, and cyclists account for 34 percent of vehicles on the street during peak hours. The DOT plan calls for curbside, parking protected bike lanes, though at seven feet wide, the lanes will be narrower than bikeway design guidelines recommend.

When DOT presented the plan to CB 2’s transportation committee last month, the committee declined to endorse a new crosswalk at the off-ramp from the Manhattan Bridge just north of Nassau Street, where a fence currently blocks pedestrians from crossing. Before taking a position, committee members wanted to know how DOT intends to control traffic coming off the bridge.

The committee declined to support the proposal for a new pedestrian crosswalk at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge pedestrian path until DOT finalizes car traffic controls at the location. Image: DOT
The crossing at this Manhattan Bridge off-ramp is one detail that has yet to be finalized. Image: DOT

At the southern end of the project, DOT has yet to finalize the design between Fulton Mall and Schermerhorn Street, where Jay turns into Smith Street. DOT’s Sean Quinn previously told Streetsblog that a fully protected bike lane is unlikely on Smith Street, despite the fact that more people are injured at the intersection with Livingston than any other intersection in the project area, and a cyclist was killed at the intersection of Smith and Schermerhorn in 2013. Cyclists traveling south must jog left onto Schermerhorn before continuing onto the Hoyt Street bike lane.

While the plan passed last night with only one vote against it, a few board members grumbled about the continued expansion of the city’s bike network. “I’m wondering, are we ever going to be done with bike lanes?” board member Denise Peterson asked.

“If I could give you a very glib response,” transportation committee chair John Dew responded, “we will be done with bike lanes when every street has a bike lane.”

DOT said in March that the project is scheduled to be implemented in late summer.