The New York City Department of Transportation announced last week that it would implement safety measures along a segment of Brooklyn’s Wythe Avenue where a cyclist was struck and killed last year, and where other pedestrians and cyclists have been injured over the years. The DOT said specifically that it would erect physical barriers separating the bike lane from the traffic lane on Wythe Avenue between Williamsburg St. W. and Penn St.
According to a report by StreetsBlog, the section of Wythe Avenue includes a “dark underpass of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway” as well as an intersection where the cyclist, Sarah Pitts, was struck and killed last year. The DOT plans to have the work completed by the beginning of October. An announcement by the DOT said the work will also include street resurfacing and traffic organization measures.
The family of Sarah Pitts, the cyclist killed last year, said the city should not have waited so long to erect these safety measures. “That’s reactionary planning to a tragic event as opposed to really thinking bottom-up about making all streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists,” her brother said, “and making that as high a priority as moving traffic through.”
Indeed, city data reveals 29 collisions along the portion of Wythe Avenue in question since Pitts’ death last year. These collisions resulted in eight injuries, according to StreetBlog. Looking even further backward, “three cyclists and 16 pedestrians have been injured in that same tiny zone” since 2017. The report goes on to note fears among safety advocates in the neighborhood that buses will continue to endanger cyclists by blocking bike lanes. One advocate called for physical barriers at the entrance of the bike lane as well as “a more substantial corridor throughout.” City officials pledged to implement measures to protect bike lanes from buses.
More information on the bike lane safety measures being implemented on Wythe Avenue in New York City is available via StreetsBlog.