Monday’s Your Chance to Defend the Columbus Ave Bike Lane

Image: Clarence Eckerson
Image: Clarence Eckerson

Okay, we finally have a fixed date and time for the Manhattan Community Board 7 meeting where the protected bike lane on Columbus Avenue is expected to be a hot topic. Mark Monday, November 8, on your calendars. The board’s transportation committee will be meeting and word is that bike lane opponents are massing for the occasion.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at 250 West 87th Street, on the second floor. Here’s a quick reminder from our first alert about why you should to make it out to the meeting if you can:

The Upper West Side Streets Renaissance gathered several hundred signatures in favor of this project before DOT proposed it and the CB voted in favor of it. As we’ve seen on Prospect Park West, it’s important for supporters to stay organized and committed after a project like this gets implemented.

The Columbus Avenue lane is a mile-long trial balloon for what could later be a pair of protected lanes on Columbus and Amsterdam, eventually linking up with the protected lanes on Ninth and Eighth Avenues. Defending it strongly now can only help when extensions come up for consideration

  • Michael Steiner

    Pretty interesting that the CB wants to “Review of implementation of the Columbus Avenue bike lane” before it is even finished (the pedestrian refuges are not yet completed and the southern part of the path is even painted only 2 or 3 weeks …)

  • Ben from Harlem

    Agreed. Why are these projects being built in stops and starts? A bike lane is really only done when it’s done…

    I don’t get it.

    I did see the Columbus Lane the other day and it was lovely.

    Now, when will they do the sister lane on Amsterdam?

  • Slightly off topic…

    DOT is progressing quite nicely on concrete refuge islands on 1st Ave all the way from Houston St to 34th St, and on 2nd Ave from 23rd St to 34th St. On 2nd between Houston and 14th St, however, they have implemented the beige-painted asphalt with bollard scheme (indicating they do not intend on installing concrete refuge islands in the very near future) where the rest of the corridor has concrete refuge islands. Does anyone know if concrete refuge islands will be installed on this part of the corridor?

    If a lack of refuge islands on 2nd Ave between Houston and 14th St is by design, then this is of course silly, due to the specific nature of how pedestrians wait to cross an intersection in a heavily-trafficked nightlife district. If, however, it is something of a study to determine and quantify how exactly the refuge islands affect the way the overall cycle track design works in practice, then I can respect that. It’s just something I’ve been wondering.

    Sorry, back to the Upper West Side…

  • a Christian Cyclist

    Saturday night i was biking down Columbus at 80th street and I was not in the bike lane. however a group of pedestrians who had started crossing against the light=jaywalking did note that i belonged in the bike lane, the lane that they were blocking. i love how jaywalking peds call me out on breaking the law! FYI I was riding slow and not close to them so i did not endanger their lives or make them feel threatened in any way so both parties are happier for the experience

  • Jeff,

    I agree with you that the lack of pedestrian islands on lower second Ave. is a problem. The tan and striped areas to the right of the path are ineffective in drawing pedestrians out of the path. You’ll also notice that the buffer between the parked cars and the path on 2nd between 14th and Houston is narrower than it is on 1st, or on 2nd between 34th and 23rd. There has already been at least one cyclist doored by a driver-side door on this path, due in part to the narrowness of this buffer (it is less than the length of a car door).

    According to DoT, the facility had to be designed like this because 2nd is narrower south of 23rd Street. (You can check this yourself by looking carefully at where the curbline starts south of 23rd Street while looking southwards down 2nd Avenue from the northeast corner of 2nd and 23rd, in the bike path.)

    There is no present plan that I’m aware of fix these and other issues with the Second Avenue path (for example, the curbside lane between 14th and 23rd), but I believe Transportation Alternatives has raised these issues with DoT and that they will be pursued in the future. I think it’s a matter of juggling priorities among defending what we’ve got, pushing for more (north of 34th Street), and improving what’s there.

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