DOT prepares for spike in cyclists during L train shutdown

Posted: Updated:
BROOKLYN -

The city Department of Transportation is preparing another bike lane expansion as L train commuters seek alternatives ahead of the line's expected 2019 shutdown.

The city already saw the number of protected bike lanes grow by 35 percent this year alone.

At the same time, bicycle ridership is growing.

"There are definitely more bicyclists," says Ben Shapiro, who lives in the East Village. "I've been biking over the bridge for 10 years or so, and the numbers are radically higher than they were in years past."

The Williamsburg Bridge currently has the highest volume of cyclists among the East River crossings, and the DOT expects the size to grow.

"We predict cycling will probably double in the areas affected by the L train shutdown," says Polly Trottenberg, the DOT commissioner. "And we want to do everything we can to encourage it."

That includes new protected bike lines -- like the 25 added in 2017.

Another idea is a two-way bike lane that would run across midtown Manhattan.

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