A study made by the firm INRIX has shown that cars on the Manhattan-bound side of the Brooklyn Bridge move slower than before one of its traffic lanes was turned into a bike lane last year.
INRIX said weekday traffic this month’s roadway has moved at an average speed of 19.5 mph — down 7.5 mph, or 28%, from the 27 mph pace recorded in March 2019.
INRIX added that the bridge’s Brooklyn-bound span — which did not lose a lane — saw a much smaller reduction in speeds, falling 1.2 mph, or 6%, from 19.8 mph in March 2019 to 18.6 mph this month.
It can be recalled that city officials under former Mayor Bill de Blasio opened the bike lane last September.
The order was considered one of the de Blasio administration’s last major cycling projects and aimed to address a sharp increase in bike trips over the East River bridges during the pandemic.
According to reports, the two-way path is eight feet wide and keeps cyclists from sharing the bridge’s pedestrian-packed promenade, often crowded with tourists taking in the views.
City Department of Transportation spokesman Vin Barone explained the city made a move to make cycling safer.
“We reclaimed space from cars on the Brooklyn Bridge to make cycling safer and easier while also greatly improving the pedestrian experience,” Barone said.
“This project brought historic enhancements to this iconic span, even if it means Manhattan-bound drivers will have a slightly slower trip, and we’ve acknowledged that from the start,” Barone added.
Meanwhile, transportation analyst Charlie Komanoff said the benefit for cyclists and pedestrians alike is well worth the extra time motorists spend crossing the bridge.
Komanoff revealed that the lower speeds mean it takes drivers an extra 55 seconds to cross the bridge — which he estimated equates to about $10 million in lost time each year for the 64,560 Manhattan-bound motorists who use the crossing on a typical weekday.