latest progress on the greenway!
BGI is committed to the ambitious vision for 26+ mile Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway — an uninterrupted path of multi-use trails and linear parks tracing the Brooklyn waterfront from Greenpoint to East New York. We want to celebrate all the recent progress that’s been made on the Greenway – upgrades to the existing 20 miles, and the completion of new sections! Over the next few months, we’ll travel along the Greenway and share updates about what’s been done and what’s coming next.
Greenway upgrades by Brooklyn Bridge Park
Even when greenway segments open up, they don’t stay static forever! That’s the case through Brooklyn Bridge Park and DUMBO, where some small but key updates have been made to make the experience more inviting.
The biking entrance by Pier 6 has been rerouted away from the narrow pedestrian path between the Port Authority of NYNJ marine terminal entrance and the NYC Ferry landing, and now runs along Bridge Park Drive. The new path goes a long way in reducing bike and pedestrian conflicts on this part of the greenway. Just be sure to keep an eye out for it if you’re approaching from Atlantic Avenue, as some of the signage is conflicting and still points to the old path!
Remember the cobblestone rumble strips on the bike path alongside Pier 1? Of course you do! They were awful to ride on, and left a lasting – and negative – impression with a lot of users. Hopefully you saw the big news – they were pulled out and paved over last fall! The riding experience is smooth now – what you would expect for any other paved bike path in the city.
Speaking of cobblestones, be sure to check out Front and Water Streets in DUMBO. Several blocks of each street now feature granite bike lanes – first proposed for DUMBO in 2013, and implemented for the first time in Manhattan in 2015. Still a little rough for passing, side-by-side riding, or three-wheel cargo bikes, but these paths make the ride smoother for single-file riders going between Brooklyn Bridge Park and Flushing Avenue.
Flushing Avenue bike path and sidewalk extension close to complete 🤞
Have you been to the greenway along the south edge of the Navy Yard? The years-running capital project is really taking shape, and the two-way bike path and sidewalk extension is getting close to being finished!
In terms of time, it’s one of the longest start-to-finish segments in the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. It certainly wasn’t meant to take this long! The city DOT originally sought to complete this as far back as 2010, with a plan to convert Flushing Avenue into a one-way, one-lane street for car and truck traffic (with two lanes of parking), and creating a two-way bike path separated from traffic with a median.
This plan was met with concern from local business and the community board, and the city came back with a two-phase approach:
– Short-term: the DOT would add painted bike lanes on each side of Flushing Avenue between Navy Street and Washington Avenue, and a two-way bike path with concrete barrier protection from Washington Avenue to Kent Avenue. This was completed in the summer of 2010.
– Long-term: the north sidewalk would be extended by six feet, and a curb-separated, two-way bike path would be raised to the sidewalk level and run from Kent Avenue to Navy Street.
The long-term project was expected to be complete in 2-4 years by DOT, though Gothamist wrote at the time that it would likely take until 2020.
It turns out that Gothamist’s estimate was very close to the actual result – construction on the long-term project is nearing completion now!
Over the course of the project, small segments of the two-way bike path opened further and further west. Today, construction on the greenway is largely complete east of Vanderbilt Avenue.
Where construction continues west of Vanderbilt, the path is open in two directions up to North Elliot Street, and one-way westbound from North Elliot to Navy Street.
Bike signals have been added throughout the corridor, particularly at entrances to the navy yard.
Greenway users have noted that the new path has unleashed far more pent-up cycling demand on the corridor than the path was designed for – a 2010 design standard being applied to 2021’s bike boom! It’s great to see so many people come out and use the greenway’s newest segment for transportation and recreation, and hopefully will lead to future-proof standards in greenway projects to come.