Separated Bike Path Isn’t Gay Enough for CB4

Manhattan Community Board 4’s transportation committee unanimously approved DOT’s plan to install a physically-separated bike path on Eighth Avenue in Lower Manhattan. The committee enthusiastically recommended the plan to the full board on Wednesday. The board then voted to ignore their own committee and block the plan. Apparently, some members feel that complete streets and safe bike infrastructure are somehow incompatible with the neighborhood’s gay-friendly environment. Chelsea Now has the play-by-play:

Board
member Allen Roskoff was more specific. “I refer to Eighth Ave. between
14th and 23rd Streets as ‘Gay Boulevard,’ he said. “Large numbers of
gay people go there… It’s where we feel at home. … The atmosphere
there—the restaurants, the activity, the people walking— it’s a home to
many of us that no other avenue is. I don’t think these changes are for
the positive in any way, shape or form.”

Which reminds me… Have you looked in to joining your local Community Board lately? This kind of thing is going to keep happening until either the Community Board system is overhauled or we get more Ian Dutton’s, Christine Berthet’s and Teresa Toro’s serving on local boards.

The DOT’s plan for a pilot project on Eighth Avenue, which can be downloaded here, mirrors the complete street redesign of Ninth Avenue one block to the west. The Eighth Avenue bike lane also runs through part of CB2, which unanimously approved the project last month.

It’s also worth noting that outcry against the bike lane at CB4 was not at all universal and that Community Boards only have advisory power. DOT can go ahead with the project with or without the board’s support. Again, from Chelsea Now:

Board
member David Hanzel observed that “walking down Ninth Ave., I think
it’s an improved experience.” He said there’s less traffic, fewer cars
making sharp turns, and it’s “more of a leisurely stroll now.”

Hanzel was seconded by longtime member Bob Trentlyon, who observed that
the discussion was the “most retro conversation I’ve heard at a board
meeting in a long time. … There must be two Ninth Aves., because the
Ninth Ave. I see, the traffic is moving very smoothly along… There are
no businesses that have gone out of business since this has happened;
there are more people starting to use the bike lanes.”

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

NYC Gets Its First-Ever Physically-Separated Bike Path

|
The Department of Transportation revealed plans for New York City’s first-ever physically-separated bike lane, or "cycle track," at a Manhattan Community Board 4 meeting last night. The new bike path will run southbound on Ninth Avenue from W. 23rd to W. 16th Street in Manhattan. Unlike the typical Class II on-street bike lane in which […]

Three Myths From Marty About the PPW Bike Lane

|
It’s showtime for the Prospect Park West bike lane, with a bike lane protest and a rally for the redesign coming up tomorrow morning. In a prelude to the big day, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is making some rounds in the media. The Brooklyn Paper and NY1 got some choice quotes from the beep, […]

CB8 Shoots Down Upper East Side Crosstown Bike Route Plan

|
On Monday, July 9 the transportation committee of Community Board 8 on Manhattan’s Upper East Side took up the issues of congestion pricing and a new pair of crosstown bike lanes. Congestion pricing, it turns out, was the evening’s non-controversial issue. Even after a series of impassioned speeches against Mayor Bloomberg’s traffic reduction plan the […]

DOT Proposes Flushing Ave Bikeway in Prelude to Major Greenway Push

|
Image: NYCDOT [PDF] Here’s a look at the Flushing Avenue bike path concept that NYCDOT presented to the Brooklyn Community Board 2 transportation committee last night. This project would add another preliminary link to the path of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, following in the footsteps of the Kent Avenue bike lane. After a round of […]