All this was done ahead of improvements along the avenue for pedestrians and cyclists.
DOT flyers are up now along Avenue C with details of the coming changes...
• Curbside bike lanes between Houston and Fourth Street
• Parking-protected, bollard-protected and curbside bike lanes between Fourth Street and 18th Street
• Updated parking regulations to provide truck loading zones
• Neighborhood loading zones on select side streets
• Painted pedestrian islands between 11th Street and 15th Street
• New left-turn bays at 10th Street and 14th Street
You can find many more details in the presentation that DOT officials made to CB3 back in April. (PDF here)
As reported last fall, the DOT is adding the protected north/south bike lanes on Avenue C and East Houston Street to help offset the closure of the East River Park greenway once construction starts someday.