Midtown Bike Lanes Win Strong Endorsements From Two Community Boards

Plans for bike lanes on 29th and 30th Streets earned approval from two Midtown community boards and will move ahead. Image: DOT

Manhattan’s newest pair of crosstown bike lanes, on 29th and 30th Streets, are set to be striped after strong votes of support from two Midtown community boards. The lanes already exist west of Eighth Avenue, where they were painted in the wake of the death of cyclist Marilyn Dershowitz. With the support of local residents, the lanes will now extend east to First Avenue.

The 29th and 30th Street lanes will provide a rare continuous path almost all the way across Manhattan. Many crosstown lanes are interrupted by parks, superblocks, or one-way streets that require detours.

That said, the route won’t offer a full bike lane for the whole distance. Sharrows will replace the bike lane on 30th between Seventh and Sixth Avenues, Madison and Park, and Third and Second, according to a pair of DOT presentations. On 29th, cyclists will ride in a shared lane on the blocks between Third Avenue and Madison Avenue.

The plan is expected to bolster safety on streets in need of improvements. East of Lexington, for example, 29th and 30th Streets were more dangerous for pedestrians than 85 percent of all Manhattan streets, according to DOT’s severity-weighted index of traffic injuries.

Last night, Manhattan Community Board 5 voted 38 to 0 in favor of the plan, with one abstention, said transportation committee chair Raju Mann. The office of Community Board 6, which represents the area east of Lexington Avenue, said it could not yet provide the total from their vote, but Mann said it was similarly lopsided.

DOT also plans to remove parking spaces on 29th and 30th Streets to make room for new turning lanes.

“CB5 worked with DOT to ensure that there was extensive outreach to the business and residents in the area,” said Mann. “After modifications were made to the proposal to improve access to loading and parking the Board is very supportive of the creation of a new river to river bike lane on 29th and 30th Street and the important improvements to traffic flow and pedestrian safety that are a part of this project.”

  • simply awesome 🙂

  • Albert

    Would “The Marilyn Dershowitz Memorial Bicycle Lane” be an appropriate name?

    Or would that be too much of a downer for what should be an appealing place?  If not, then the naming rights of lot of bike lanes are probably still available.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s hope these are better than the cross-town dooring lanes on 119th/120th St. http://maps.google.com/?ll=40.803382,-73.946915&spn=0.006383,0.017359&hnear=Manhattan,+New+York+10039&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=40.803382,-73.94691&panoid=Nb_KLutgUHHaX0st5LoRYQ&cbp=12,303.71,,0,1.22

  • J

    It’s great that DOT is finally considering parking and loading when it installs striped bike lanes. Many of the existing lanes are practically unusable due to constant double parking. DOT should go back and revisit existing lanes to address areas where double parking is a problem. Otherwise, these lanes are mileage statistics instead of real improvements to bicycle access.

    Hopefully, many of these lane will eventually be protected, since that is the only real way to keep the lanes clear and useful for the 8-80 range of users.

  • KillMoto

    Chronic double-parking should be all DOT needs to realign the markings and make the legal parking spaces a protection barrier for the bike lane.  

  • anxiouslyawaitingbikeshare

    This is fantastic because it will allow my bike commute to ride for 9 less blocks on the delivery truck and poorly protected 6th ave. bike lane and 9 more blocks on the well protected and less crowded 1st ave bike lane!

  • These are going to be full of cars from the day they’re painted.  I ride from river to river on 29th almost everyday and there’s way too much capacity east of Park where my office is located.  There’s always tons of honking as cars split into three lanes where there’s room and then squeeze past double parkers and loading zones.  It’s nuts.  I get honked at every day when I navigate the maze of double parked cars from 1st to 3rd Aves.  I’m grateful, but I’m not expecting much.

  • Ben from Bed Stuy

    Y’all are right. Sometimes we need to begin with any kind of lanes, and then, when they are heavily used and frequently blocked, we can press for an upgrade in the future. One step at a time….

  • Bikes Make Me Happy

    X-town lanes are awesome and vitally necessary but I hope they don’t end up double-parking havens like so many other bike lanes on the island. Since these double-parkers are never ticketed, maybe there need to be dedicated loading zones outside of businesses during certain hours to free up curb space and de-clutter the middle of the roads.  Which all boils back down to Manhattan’s biggest traffic problem:  parking.  Get rid of it, reduce incentive to drive, cars stay home.

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