'Green Wave' signal timing comes to Brooklyn, Queens
by Benjamin Fang
Oct 29, 2019 | 1213 views | 0 0 comments | 90 90 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As the death count of New York City cyclists continues to rise in 2019, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is ramping up measures to improve bike safety.

Last week, DOT announced the expansion of “Green Wave” signal timing to three popular bicycle corridors: Clinton Street in Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, 43rd Avenue in Sunnyside, and Prince Street in SoHo.

The retimed traffic lights are synchronized to turn green at 15 miles per hour, the typical cyclist speed, rather than 25 miles per hour, which is the maximum legal car speed, officials said. That allows bicyclists to ride a wave of green lights on these corridors.

DOT piloted the signal timing last December along Hoyt and Bond streets in Boerum Hill between Schermerhorn and Baltic streets, which are major bike routes for cyclists commuting between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

According to DOT, the pilot saw positive results, including increased bike volumes along the streets, slightly slowed vehicle speeds and more cyclist compliance with traffic light laws.

“With our ‘green wave’ plan, we’re doubling down on our commitment to end senseless traffic fatalities,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

Last Wednesday, DOT also cut the ribbon on the 100th mile of protected bike lanes constructed under the current administration. The latest protected lanes run two miles along Fountain Avenue between Pitkin and Seaview avenues in East New York.

Under the city’s “green wave” plan, a $54.8 million initiative, DOT aims to reach 160 miles of protected bike lanes by 2021. There are now 126 miles of on-street protected bike lanes in the city overall.

Other protected bike lanes coming to Brooklyn by the end of 2019 include 4th Avenue between 15th and 60th streets in Sunset Park, Shore Parkway between Bay Parkway and Bay 53rd Street in Bath Beach, and 7th Avenue between 65th and 84th streets in Bay Ridge.

“As we celebrate this milestone, we are also mindful of our awesome responsibility to continue efforts to build out and strengthen Brooklyn’s bike network,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in a statement. “And in a year when two-thirds of cycling fatalities have unfortunately been here in Brooklyn, we are excited to embark on innovative new safety projects like ‘green wave’ downtown.”

Cycling advocates praised the city’s latest actions to curb cyclist fatalities.

“The unprecedented expansion of protected bike lanes in Brookly in 2019 is great news for Brooklyn riders and the NYC bike network,” said Bike New York President Ken Podziba. “The new projects point the way toward a wide-ranging protected bike lane network that reaches every corner of the borough.”
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