Rally for Houston Street Buffered Bike Lanes

IMG_0520.jpgIf you’ve seen those eerie white "ghost bikes" on Houston Street, you may know that three cyclists have been killed on "the Boulevard of Death" during the past two years: Derek LakeBrandie Bailey and Andrew Morgan. In the wake of this loss of life, members of Community Board 2’s Traffic & Transportation Committee are holding a rally on Wednesday to ask the DOT to install buffered bike lanes as part of the street’s reconstruction, which is taking space away from pedestrian islands to create left-turn bays for cars.

The rally is being organized by Ian Dutton, an airline pilot from SoHo who said he is jealous of the great urban transportation systems he sees all the time in cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Dutton said he feels that New York City would benefit from increased cycling safety, even though he does not own a bike (yet, but does own a car). 

Streetsblog is told that three elected officials have said they will rally for the bike lane:

We also hear that three elected officials have said they support the idea of a bike lane and will send staff members to the rally:

The CB2 group that is sponsoring the rally has set up a website, bikehoustonst.net, which is announcing the following details for the rally:

  • Date: Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2006
  • Time: 4 p.m.
  • Location: South side of Houston Street between Greene and Mercer Streets

[UPDATE Sunday, 8/27/06 11:53 a.m.:] Courtesy of Ian Dutton: Add State Senator Martin Connor to the list of elected officials who will attend the rally.

  • Frank

    It’s too bad that all we can do is “ask the DOT” to make these changes. It’s too bad that this is the only lever we have to move this big, fat, lethargic, ass-covering, bureaucracy. The DOT has monopolistic control over the city’s streets. Like any monopoly, DOT has no incentive to innovate or move quickly. It has no competition. Nothing pushing it that it can’t readily ignore. The main driving force within DOT is to protect itself against law suits and complaints. Maybe we need a bunch of little DOT’s competing with each other to make the best and most functional streets, rather than this one gigantic, non-moving, useless, monopolistic behemoth.

  • Frank – While I mostly agree with you assessment, I have seen much improvement just over the last year and there are significant differences across the city based on local interest, political input and community board requests. So don’t think it’s impossible – you can have an impact on specific requests if you do the hard work necessary with your local community boards and neighborhood / block associations.

    But you are right that it’s unfortunate that we have to go block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood to accomplish basic goals like increased safety.

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