Tonight, Manhattan Community Board 7 will again consider a DOT proposal to extend the existing Columbus Avenue bike lane, a mile-long segment between 77th and 96th Streets that’s currently isolated from the rest of the city’s network. If the committee supports the lane tonight, the proposal would go before the full board in February in time to be installed this spring.
Since the initial segment was installed, speeding is less frequent and pedestrian injuries have dropped 41 percent along the redesigned stretch of Columbus. The proposal [PDF] would bring the protected lane north to 110th Street and south to 69th Street, with an “enhanced shared lane” connecting south to the Ninth Avenue protected lane, which begins at 59th Street.
Last month, DOT presented the plan to CB 7’s transportation committee before a full house, with most in the audience supporting the bike lane. Things were different on the committee itself, which — in a near-repeat of its 2010 vote on the initial bike lane segment — deadlocked in a 5-4-1 vote. Half of the no votes came from the committee co-chairs, Andrew Albert and Dan Zweig, who have a history of obstructing changes to the streets of the Upper West Side.
Although Council Member Gale Brewer wanted the full board to vote in favor of the bike lane at its meeting last week, the issue has instead returned to committee. CB 7 chair Mark Diller told Streetsblog in December that now is the time for the committee to conclude its deliberations. “We’re putting other things on hold to make room for this,” he said. “We’re going to get a resolution out of transportation in January.”
Tonight’s meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. at Goddard Riverside Community Center, 593 Columbus Avenue.