Take Action: Support the Prince/Bleecker Bike Route Plan

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Ian Dutton and community leaders speak out at an August 30, 2006 rally for bike safety on Houston Street.

This comes from Ian Dutton, a member of Manhattan’s Community Board 2 who has been fighting to improve bicyclist safety on Houston Street:

Those of you who have been following the saga know that last year, Manhattan’s CB2 and neighborhood residents called for DOT to implement safe space for bicyclists into the reconstruction project for W. Houston St.

At last month’s CB2 Traffic & Transportation Committee meeting, Ryan Russo and Josh Benson of DOT presented an alternative proposal for a bike route based on parallel streets, Bleecker St. and Prince St., citing safety concerns particularly involving turning traffic and trucks on W. Houston St. The board initially was skeptical that there was nothing DOT could envision to make W. Houston St. safe for the many cyclists that use Houston St., but Russo and Benson were firm that the reason they could not propose a plan for Houston St. was safety-based and not on DOT’s insistence of accommodating increasingly heavy traffic volumes.

Now this month, at the Tuesday, April 10 meeting of the CB2 Traffic & Transportation Committee, the second item on the agenda is a public discussion of the DOT’s proposed alternative plan.

It is crucial that supporters of the plan make their feelings clear at this committee meeting to counter arguments that no one favors this plan for bike lanes or that there will be negative effects of removing parking from several blocks. This alternative plan in fact has many benefits for cyclists, allowing for designated space on streets that are much more pleasant to ride on than Houston St. while still creating a crosstown corridor that links to the Hudson River Greenway.

What you can do:

1. Attend the committee meeting and make sure that you voice your support! The meeting is on Tuesday, April 10, at 6:30pm, at the LGBT Community Services Center, 208 W. 13th St. between 7th Ave. and Greenwich Ave. (ask at the front desk for the room assignment).

2. Write a letter to DOT and CB2. Visit http://www.bikehoustonst.net to download a Word file — the first page gives you some suggested points and the second page is an outline that you can fill in with a few sentences of your own. Then email it back to info@bikehoustonst.net.

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