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July 18, 2013

Bikeable Cobblestones Coming to Water Street

The reconstruction of Water Street in DUMBO and Vinegar Hill is in the design phase. Water Street is the southbound greenway route through these communities. Plymouth Street will be the northbound segment. The Water Street segment is a nearly $20 million capital project that involves major underground utility work. As part of the project, the surface will be reconstructed.

If you have ridden a bike on Water Street, you know there are not many places worse to ride. The old cobblestones are out of place, with gaps that will grab your tires if you are not careful. It has been BGI’s objective to see these streets restored in a way that made them passable by bikes. It is also imperative that they are ADA accessible, which they are not currently.

Since 2007, we have been proposing to DOT and DDC surface treatments that would achieve the desired effect. Now that Water Street is in design the ideas are coming into focus. There is a strong constituency for preserving the historic character of the street. In recent public workshops various approaches have been presented by the designers. Recently mock-ups of two possible approaches were made available for viewing. Here are additional photos of them:

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