Manhattan CB2 Unanimously Approves Eighth Avenue Cycle Track


The cycle track will replace the current buffered bike lane on Eighth Avenue.

In a pair of votes last week, DOT’s plan for a protected bike path on Eighth Avenue got the thumbs up from Community Board 2. On Tuesday, the transportation committee approved a resolution expressing support for the cycle track, and on Thursday, the full board did the same. Both votes were unanimous.

The path will run from Bank Street to 23rd Street and is also set to be reviewed by Community Board 4.

Ian Dutton, vice-chair of the CB2 transportation committee, gives credit to DOT’s public outreach effort. "They printed up brochures for [the plan], and went door to door," he said. "Instead of there being more uproar, at our meeting absolutely no one was there to express concerns." The twelve attendees who spoke about the cycle track all supported it, he added.

In the resolution, CB2 requested bell bollards for pedestrian refuges and leading pedestrian intervals at some intersections. DOT has shown more openness to such suggestions than in years past, said Dutton. "It’s remarkable how much they’re seeking our input instead of just
dictating terms. They’re asking the neighborhood what they think."

According to Dutton, DOT plans to complete the cycle track by November.

Photo: NYCDOT

  • That’s great news. Just this weekend, we bought my wife her first ever bike and rode around the city. She was terrified until we got to the 9th Avenue cycle track. Immediately, the experience was 100% different.

    As Enrique and Gil Penalosa both regularly say, if a bike facility isn’t safe for an 8-year-old grandson with his 85-year-old grandfather, it isn’t a real bike facility.

    I sincerely hope that NYC continues adding these separated lanes to its transportation infrastructure; it makes a huge difference.

  • gecko

    really nice.

  • Phil

    Thank you, Muchas Gracias, Merci Beaucoup, kersenem, etc. CB 2

  • da

    I second Nick’s assessment above. My wife and kids don’t like to ride in NYC even in the painted bike lanes. But when we visited Montreal last year and rode in the protected lanes, they thought it was great and we rode all over town comfortably.

  • Rob

    Great. Now we’ll have more congestion and more rude, crazy bikers. Way to go.

  • Jon

    Hey #5- rob,

    Actually, as every well informed person knows, more bike lanes doesn’t make more congestion. Just the opposite. It helps the cars to slow down therefore creating what is known as the ripple effect. Cars slow down, bikes slow down etc. And not all “bikers” are rude, only certain messengers and a few others, like those who ride in Central Park and think it is their own domain. But that’s besides the point. Do a little research before sticking your foot in your mouth, dude.

  • Zach

    Oh, thank God. The Ninth Avenue track is great and everything, but I have no reason to ride there, ever — I don’t see how many other people do, either, it being so far out of the way. The 8th Avenue lane is a lifeline, on the other hand, despite it being full of swerving drivers. Can’t wait.

  • This is really fabulous news. Ian, congratulations to you and your livable streets cohorts for making this happen. As Zach said, the 8th Avenue cycle track will be a lifeline for uptown bicycle commuters. However, we can’t stop here. For this protected cycle track to be of maximum benefit, we’ll need to extend it through midtown. Traffic congestion really gets nightmarish around Penn Station and Port Authority and negotiating Columbus Circle takes nerves of steel. A protected cycle track here would make all the difference.

  • Max Rockatansky

    Urbanis has the right idea, the only way to significantly grow the amount of bike commuters is by making it safe. With the direction that the MTA is heading the city definitely needs to create incentives for people to use alternate forms of transportation – adding protected cycle tracks has to be one of the least expensive options available. Especially since we get no love from Albany.

  • Hi Max, thanks for the affirmation. Let me expand your definition of “making it safe” for bike commuters: we not only need safe routes, we need secure indoor parking throughout the city so we don’t risk having our bicycles stolen! This means requiring commercial office buildings to allow employees to bring their bicycles indoors and parking garages to provide bicycle parking space at a reasonable rate. For example, if you can fit 12 bicycles into a car space, then a cyclist should be charged 1/12 of the car rate–so, $2 per day if the daily rate for cars is $24.

  • Urbanis: Thanks for the cheers, but I can’t really take much credit. Sure, our neighborhood and CB has been advocating for safer streets for everyone and worried about the volume of traffic that we’re straddled with for years.

    I’m just thrilled that we have an agency that is responding to those neighborhood concerns and engaging the communities in creating strategies to address them. And there is a synergy between DOT and the community boards that are willing to try new approaches – really, the only risk is bearing the groans from people that are trying to stick to past methodology that clearly was not serving anyone well.

    Like you, I look forward to the northward extension of this project through Midtown, as CB4 requested when they first approved of the Eighth Ave. lane. When I asked DOT about that, they said that they’re working full-time on those kinds of improvements, and as time and budgets allow (and soon), we’ll be hearing about them.

  • Max Rockatansky

    Secured bike parking? If only…. until then my 30 yr old Raleigh gets me where I need to go. Chicago managed to get it done though, so it’s not impossible.

  • Max #12, what *did* Chicago do with regards to bicycle parking?

  • woo

    Chicago made one bike station w/ secure parking, showers etc, and they became the darlings of bike parking proponents everywhere. Let’s do what NYC does best – economies of scale!

  • Max Rockatansky

    Here’s a link to the Chicago bike center – http://www.chicagobikestation.com/ – free parking (for 300 bikes) and if you’re a member, access to showers and lockers, 10% discount on repairs, etc.

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