Two-way bike lane opens on Downtown Brooklyn’s chaotic Schermerhorn Street

October 13, 2022

Photo © NYC DOT

One of Brooklyn’s busiest and most dangerous streets became safer this week. The city’s Department of Transportation on Wednesday unveiled the Schermerhorn Street redesign, which includes a two-way protected bike lane, one-way vehicle traffic, and new pedestrian space. The street is an essential east-west route that connects cyclists to and from the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

Before. Photo © NYC DOT

The new design complements Downtown Brooklyn’s Shared Streets network and prioritizes pedestrian and cyclist safety. On a typical weekday, more than 1,000 cyclists travel along Schermerhorn Street.

The redesign implements a “one-way conversion” for vehicle traffic on Schermerhorn Street between Smith Street and Flatbush Avenue to create space for a 10-foot two-way bike lane on the street’s south side.

The new Schermerhorn Street bike lane aims to work seamlessly with the nearby protected bike lane network, including the recently completed Brooklyn Bridge bike lane.

“Schermerhorn Street had been the worst bike lane in Brooklyn for years,” Council Member Lincoln Restler said. “Now, we finally have the two-way protected bike lane that our community has demanded and that will allow New Yorkers to cycle through Downtown Brooklyn safely and efficiently.”

Data shows that protected bike lanes reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries by 18 percent, according to the city. Pedestrian islands have also been shown to decrease serious injuries and deaths by 35.5 percent.

The Schermerhorn Street bike lane redesign is part of the DOT’s broader Shared Streets plan in Downtown Brooklyn. The plan aims to support a “pedestrian-centric business district” by naturally slowing traffic and prioritizing the travels of pedestrians and cyclists while still allowing vehicles to do pick-ups and drop-offs.

Other streets that are in the process of being revamped include Hoyt and Fulton Streets, Elm Place and Livingston Street, and Bridge Street. Proposed streets to undergo a redesign include Willoughby Avenue, Pearl Street, Lawrence Street, Fleet Street, and Bond Street.

The bike lane’s redesign comes as the DOT celebrates Biketober, a month-long series of open-street events that focus on bike programming, education, rides, and resources. Events will teach participants about riding, bike repair, bike law education, and more.

“As our administration continues to add and protect bike lanes, we are not simply isolating one type of infrastructure — we are looking holistically at our streets and implementing comprehensive plans to make them safer,” Mayor Eric Adams said.

Adams continued: “This Biketober, the cycling community can feel confident that this administration is prioritizing their safety and taking action with tools proven to keep cyclists, pedestrians, and all road users safer. We look forward to continuing to work with the community to identify opportunities for these kinds of redesigns.”


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Tags: DOT

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