In the wake of its long-planned bike lane forum, Manhattan Community Board 12 has finalized a resolution calling for a major study of bike infrastructure of Upper Manhattan, available in full above. Overall it’s a strong demonstration of support for the expansion of bikeways in the area.
Perhaps most importantly, the resolution, which passed by a unanimous vote of 33-0, makes clear that there is broad community support for new bike infrastructure in the area. “Residents of CB12 suggested ways to improve current bike lanes and paths within our community’s parks and streets enjoyed the support from those in attendance in addition to a petition signed by 1,300 residents of CB12,” reads one clause. Given the near-inevitable complaints from some quarter or another that accompany any significant change to the street, such a record of grassroots support is quite valuable.
Based on suggestions, the resolution puts forward a list of bike projects that CB 12 would like DOT to study and report back to them about.
First among them is a safe bike connection between the Hudson and Harlem River Greenways, on or near Dyckman Street. Community members have long proposed that this be a separated bike path. CB 12 also asked for studies of how to improve bike and pedestrian access to the George Washington, Henry Hudson and Broadway Bridges, as well as the West Side Greenway at 181st Street, which currently lets cyclists off at a one-way highway on-ramp, forcing them onto the sidewalk.
Upland from the greenways and bridges, CB 12 urged DOT to study how cyclists can safely move uptown, downtown, and crosstown. Those lanes, they hope, would be integrated with the Parks Department’s long-term plans and connect to bike routes in parks.
CB 12 is famously loathe to lose any parking, and this resolution is true to form. The board urges DOT to search for new parking spots near where bike lanes might remove them, a potential flashpoint if DOT presents specific plans.
Local livable streets activists are pleased with the progress. “Bike Upper Manhattan is glad to see the Community Board as a whole and the Traffic & Transportation Committee reflecting the strong community support for safer bicycle facilities,” said Jonathan Rabinowitz of Bike Upper Manhattan, “and we look forward to the results of the study the board asked for from DOT and its quick implementation.”