Bike Lane Overhaul Coming to Tribeca, Transforming Some Major Streets

The bike lane on Sixth Avenue, approaching Franklin Street. In the new proposal, the lane, like those on Church, Varick and West Broadway, will be next to the curb and a line of parked cars will separate it from traffic lanes. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib 

Feb. 06, 2020

The city’s expanding network of bike lanes is coming to Tribeca, with big changes envisioned for four major streets.

A Department of Transportation proposal presented last week to Community Board 1’s Transportation Committee intends to make the streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians, and create a better cycling connection between the Brooklyn Bridge and Hudson River Greenway, the bike path on the west side. 

The committee did not take a vote on the new measures, though some members pointed out impediments to the plan due to construction on some of the streets. “We have to work around that,” said Nick Carey of the DOT’s bicycle unit, who presented the proposal.

Illustrations below are by the New York City DOT.


Church Street and 6th Avenue, from Barclay to Walker Streets

Bike lanes now on the east side of the two streets will be moved to the west side next to the sidewalk. A new “floating lane” of parallel parked cars will become a barrier between the bike lanes and moving traffic. In addition, painted pedestrian islands will be added to shorten crossing distances. DOT’s Nick Carey pointed out that buses in the eastern traffic lane must now weave in and out of the bike lane to get to stops. Sixth Avenue, between Walker and Lispenard (not shown) will be narrowed to three lanes from four and a bike lane will be marked on the west side of the street for the one block.



Varick Street, from Laight to Leonard Streets

A curbside bike lane is proposed for the east side of the street, with a new parking lane as a barrier. For the long block next to the Holland Tunnel exit, between Laight and Beach, a travel/turn lane would be eliminated. That decision, Carey said, was backed up by “extensive observation and traffic analysis.”

“It’s not only safer for cyclists but a lot safer for pedestrians to have a narrower street with less speeding vehicles and shorter crossings,” he said.


West Broadway, from Beach/Walker to Barclay Streets

The current bike lane and parking lane would be flipped so that parked cars would become a buffer for cyclists. The street is now a lane wider than the usual two for the two blocks between Chambers and Murray. The city plans to eliminate a lane to conform to the rest of the street.


Murray Street, Park Place and Barclay Street

The addition of bike lanes on these streets is meant mostly to improve the connection for cyclists between the Brooklyn Bridge and the bikeway along the Hudson River. Carey called the current bike route “circuitous, and many of the streets don’t have enough physical width for a conventional bike lane.” The new route would take cyclists west from Park Row along Murray or Barclay, and east on Park Place. (Park Place will have two-way bike lanes.) Cyclists who want to go south will have a connection to the new protected bike lane on Broadway, to be installed this year.