Eight Electeds Back Protected Bike Lanes for Manhattan’s West Side

amsterdam.jpgProtected bike lanes would enhance safety for cyclists and pedestrians on Amsterdam Avenue.

Several representatives in the City Council and state legislature, as well as Borough President Scott Stringer, have signed on in support of protected bike lanes for Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

Last fall, Manhattan CB 7 passed a resolution asking DOT to prepare a proposal for protected lanes in the district, which stretches from 110th Street to 59th Street. In a letter addressed to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan earlier this week, eight electeds signaled their support for the resolution.

The letter [PDF] commends "DOT’s ongoing effort to encourage safe, environmentally friendly and healthy modes of transportation" and offers to help the agency consult with local groups prior to implementing bike lanes on the West Side. In addition to Stringer, the signatories are State Senators Tom Duane, Bill Perkins, and Eric Schneiderman; Assembly members Linda Rosenthal and Dick Gottfried; and Council members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Gale Brewer.

DOT says it will work with West Side stakeholders as the agency develops proposals for the area.

  • J

    This is great news, and would drastically alter my commute and living patterns. I currently lie uptown take either Central Park West or the Hudson River greenway to get through the Upper West Side. I avoid Columbus and Amsterdam like the plague as I’ve been nearly run off the road there too many times.

    With these lanes in place, I would seek out Columbus and Amsterdam, probably even going out of my way to use them. I’ll certainly patronize the businesses there more. It’ll probably take me slightly more time to get to work, since I tend to bike slower in protected lanes, but I’ll definitely arrive in a much better mood.

  • JK

    This “stakeholder” consultation process has some logic, but it has serious limitations. The big flaw being the false equivalency between different stakeholder groups. Let’s say a couple dozen retailers hate something, but 75% of local residents like it. Since there is no actual ballot vote, you might have a situation in which less than one tenth of 1% of the people (mainly non-residents) are given a hugely disproportionate voice. Community boards tend be status quo oriented, so it is common to have a handful of people who don’t like a proposed change, successfully obstruct it at the community board committee level.

  • Emily Litella

    These will meet little opposition. Its clear to all that capacity far outstrips demand except for parts of Ninth Ave. The 42nd to 50th Street stretch of Ninth will probably be very contentious. We need to stand our ground though.

  • Though (as a non-cyclist) I am unlikely to use these bike lanes, I would welcome them as an addition to my local landscape. Ever the optimist, I think they’ll have a civilizing effect.

  • J

    Emily,

    The stretch in question is from 59th to 110th on the Upper West Side, so 42-50th is a non-issue at present, although it likely will come up later, since 9th Avenue would have 2 segments begging to be connected. Chekpeds has been pushing for protected bike lanes in that area already, and they’ve appeared on the DOT Hell’s Kitchen Traffic Study presentations.

    If the East Side is any indication, DOT isn’t quite ready to reduce lanes in an area that’s already highly congested. They’re going for the low-hanging fruit first, taking lanes away from traffic only where roads have extra capacity and speeding is a problem. That will likely change in the future, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see sharrows around 66th Street on Columbus, and near 72nd Street on Amsterdam. It would certainly take a lot of political will to take a lane near the Lincoln Tunnel entrance on 9th Ave as well.

  • Glenn

    The West side doesn’t stop at 110th Street. It would be great to have a plan to connect protected lanes all the way up Amsterdam or Broadway.

  • BicyclesOnly

    Word. Manhattan needs a bike path connecting High Bridge with Midtown!

  • Emily Litella

    Oh, thanks J. Nevermind 🙂

  • j. lowery

    mayor bloomberg

    just saw you on cnn. shame, shame, shame.

    such self-serving nonsence does not go unnoticed….

  • Jed

    9th avenue needs a segregated bike lane if only to protect the asphalt from instant automobile induced disintegration. a gravel path would be smoother….

  • Kinoa10034

    i live in between 3rd and second second ave is going to look amazing after the 2nd ave subway is built more stores will go up and the area wouldn’t look so deserted

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