In a nailbiter, Manhattan Community Board 7 voted last night to support protected bike lanes on Columbus Avenue. The result was in doubt until the final minutes, despite a truly overwhelming demonstration of community support for safer cycling on the Upper West Side.
The final tally was 23 to 19, with one abstention.
"We were really surprised by how close the vote was," said Tila Duhaime of the Upper West Side Streets Renaissance. "It was an uncomfortable margin." Even so, said Duhaime, what matters is that Upper West Side pedestrians and cyclists will see a safer Columbus Avenue, and the results will speak for themselves. "We will be vindicated," she said. In order to make sure those expectations become reality, said Duhaime, her organization will be working with local businesses and cyclists to make sure protected lanes on Columbus are implemented successfully and set a precedent for expanding protected lanes up Columbus and over on Amsterdam Avenue.
We’ll have a more in-depth report on last night’s meeting later today, but for now, it’s worth celebrating a very hard-fought victory.