Cyclists looking for a safer route between protected bike lanes on Eighth and Ninth Avenues and the Hudson River Greenway could soon see a measure of relief. Tonight, DOT will meet with the transportation committee of Community Board 4 to discuss plans for dedicated lanes on 29th and 30th Streets.
Currently, cyclists traveling east-west between 17th and 43rd have few options that don’t include jockeying with car and truck traffic on wide streets.
“There are concerns about the large USPS trucks,” says Christine Berthet of the Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety. In July, cyclist Marilyn Dershowitz was killed by a postal truck driver while riding underneath a building overhang that straddles W. 29th between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, a stretch dominated by USPS vehicles. Following the Dershowitz crash — a hit-and-run; no charges filed — Berthet noted that a neighborhood advisory committee has “proposed a number of east-west connections” to DOT. “Unless these bike paths are protected,” said Berthet, “nothing will prevent another tragedy like this one.”
How much help Class II lanes would provide remains to be seen. DOT declined to release design details prior to the meeting. To find out what’s in store, and to speak up for giving cyclists the means to travel crosstown without risking their lives, head to the Holland House, Piano Room, 351 W. 42nd Street, this evening at 6:30.