Protected Bike Lanes Coming to East Harlem, Tweets Mark-Viverito

Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito rallies for the completion of the First and Second Avenue bike lanes in November, with Sen. José Serrano to her left and Assm. Brian Kavanagh to her right. The lanes will only extend to 57th Street this year, not 125th Street, but Mark-Viverito suggested today that East Harlem might get safer streets next year. Photo: Noah Kazis.

Could complete streets finally be coming to East Harlem?

The neighborhood has been calling out for the city to keep its promise and build protected bike lanes along First and Second Avenues, bringing safer cycling and traffic calming to an area badly in need of both. Even at the peak of the bikelash last year, City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito and State Senator José Serrano rallied for the completion of the lanes while community board members pressed DOT’s representatives to put their neighborhood first for a change.

Now, it seems that the city could bring safer designs to First and Second Avenue in East Harlem next year. Mark-Viverito tweeted out the news this morning in response to a conversation between frequent Streetsblog commenter BicyclesOnly and Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson about transportation equity and bike planning.

Wrote Mark-Viverito: “Ext. of 1st/2nd Ave. #bikenyc paths 2 #EastHarlem are well on their way as confirmed by DOT. Very excited!”

Mark-Viverito may have broken the news ahead of schedule. A DOT spokesperson would say only: “We continue to discuss this with the community but no determination has been made at this time.” Mark-Viverito’s office did not respond to a Streetsblog request for more information.

  • Eric McClure

    I sure hope this is true.  If it is, bike-lane support will soon be polling north of 70%.

  • J

    I find it weird that an elected official is saying something different than DOT. I guess the plans are probably not finalized, so DOT is hesitant to let the cat out of the bag.

    Another thought: The SAS construction has tried to maintain 4 lanes if traffic on 2nd Ave, but in practice they functional only as 3 or even 2 lanes, due to necessary curb-side use by businesses & residents. Since construction has lasted so long, traffic patterns have shifted to account for the decreased capacity of the street. We should NOT let the street go back to 4 real lanes. As soon as construction is finished, it should instantly revert to having a real bus lane & protected bike lane, just like 1st Ave, south of 34th Street. The capacity of the street would functionally still be the same as during construction, only transit and biking would drastically improve.

  • We continue to discuss this with the community but no determination has been made at this time.

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