This Week: Crosstown Bike Lanes, Upper East Side Bike Share

Happy New Year! In the first week of 2012, Manhattan community boards continue to discuss the expansion of the city’s bicycle infrastructure. DOT will present plans for new crosstown bike lanes on 29th and 30th Streets — routes whose importance was underscored by the death of Marilyn Dershowitz last year — to CB 5’s transportation committee. In addition, public outreach for bike-share continues at a meeting of CB 8’s transportation committee.

  • Wednesday: The Upper East Side continues its discussion of bike-share with representatives of DOT at a meeting of CB 8’s transportation committee. 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: DOT presents its plans for a new pair of crosstown bike lanes on 29th and 30th Streets to Manhattan CB 5’s transportation committee, which represents Midtown. 6:00 p.m.

Keep an eye on the calendar for updated listings. Got an event we should know about? Drop us a line.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know what the exact plan for the bike lanes on 29th and 30th streets is, but so far my experience with crosstown bike lanes has been less than overwhelming. I’m not convinced that they are necessary, or even possible on most crosstown streets unless you really want to sacrifice lots of parking spots (good luck with getting that approved!)

    Most crosstown streets are narrow, with two parking lanes and one travel lane. Once you account for the typical double-parking, it is barely possible for cars to squeeze through. Traffic is slow, both due to the narrowness of the street and due to having the light at the end of the block red most of the time (and even when it’s green, the street may be blocked by cars waiting to turn). The net result is that crosstown streets tend to have cars moving at parking lot speeds, if at all, which means that the bikes actually move faster than cars and trucks, and the main risk for cyclists is getting doored or hooked.

    In streets such as 119th/120th St that currently have bike lanes, the bike lane is ridiculously narrow and 100% within the door zone. It would be better to paint that “lane” as a buffer zone and encourage cyclists to ride right in the middle of the only traffic lane. Maybe paint some sharrows. For those rare occasions where crosstown streets are actually free of obstructions and cars can move fast, I’d suggest passing a citywide speed limit of 20 mph for one-lane streets. Usually you don’t need to drive on one of those streets for more than five blocks, so what’s the hurry? (Yes, I know a speed limit would only be a symbolic gesture.)

    A more revolutionary possibility would be to designate some crosstown streets as car-free. But I doubt that’s the current plan.

    (After I wrote the above, I noticed that at least some parts of 29th and 30th St., particularly on the western end, are wider and/or emptier than what I described. Maybe that’s where the bike lanes would go?)

  • ddartley

    I won’t be at this one, but here is another event, TONIGHT:

    Transportation Alternatives East Side Volunteer Committee
    Monthly Meeting
    January 3rd, 2011
    6:30pm at the Vanderbilt Y, 225 E. 47th Street
    — someone from the committee will wait at the check-in desk to let people
    know which room we’ll be in.
    Agenda: – 2012 Committee Officer Election- 1st and 2nd Avenue / East River Greenway Updates- East Harlem efforts- Close the Gap competition- 2012 Goals and Projects