Manhattan Bridge Detour: “coming to a close this spring.”
According to a DOT newsletter emailed to subscribers yesterday, the Manhattan Bridge detour, which spits cyclists out onto the Bowery to mix with fast-moving truck traffic, will be in effect until the ambiguous date of “this spring.”
The detour was originally scheduled to continue “until approximately January 2012,” [PDF] but that obviously didn’t happen. I have emails in to contacts at DOT and will post an update as soon as I receive one.
It’s a shame that the work won’t be finished earlier. I’ve found that the only thing that made the Bowery tolerable for most of the fall was the safety in numbers effect. Anytime I came off of the bridge and waited for the light at Canal with a group of five, ten, or fifteen cyclists, I knew the ride up the Bowery would be a little more relaxed, at least when the road wasn’t in terrible shape.
But bike traffic has decreased somewhat during cold winter days, and there have been a few trips where I was the only cyclist for blocks. The only saving grace has been our unseasonably warm temperatures, which has drawn fair-weather bike commuters back out onto the streets. But on those cold, lonely days I tend to avoid the Bowery when I can, and instead make a left on Canal and a quick right onto Elizabeth to head up to Prince Street. (Thanks, Steve, for the tip.) You can’t be too careful making that left onto Canal, but Elizabeth Street is a breeze.
The only thing I’ll miss when detour ends is the view.