CB 8 Votes for Queensboro Bridge Bike Access Plan as CB 6 Drags Its Feet

It will take at least three meetings for the transportation committee of Manhattan Community Board 6 to deliberate on a proposal for shared lane markings. Image: ##http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2013-04-01-queensboro-connection-mn-cb6.pdf##DOT##

Last night, Manhattan Community Board 8 voted, 23-6 with four abstentions, to support DOT’s plan to improve bike access to the Queensboro Bridge. Meanwhile, Community Board 6’s transportation committee, which has yet to consider a resolution supporting the proposal, will host its third meeting on the topic next month.

The foot-dragging from CB 6 is notable because the project’s most important changes, including a two-way protected bike lane on First Avenue beneath the bridge overpass and an extension of the avenue’s northbound protected bike lane south to 60th Street, are located in CB 8, which has already supported the project. The most significant parts of DOT’s plan that fall within CB 6’s boundaries are shared lane markings and a half-block contra-flow bike lane.

At the last CB 6 meeting, committee chair Fred Arcaro asked DOT to set up a site visit, despite the fact that some committee members said that they had already done a walk-through. Arcaro tells Streetsblog that the walk-through already occurred and that there will be a vote on the proposal in June.

CB 6’s transportation committee is scheduled to meet on June 3, followed by the full board on June 12.

This post has been updated with the correct date of the full board meeting.

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    Hopefully, this plan is approved. This is definitely a precarious area for cyclists and anything that makes this area more easily navigable is only for the better.

  • Ben Kintisch

    Pretty wild how hard a CB can drag their proverbial feet for something like sharrows. But, some CB’s are more ready to provide safety for their two-wheeling constituents and visitors than others.

  • TomG

    The bike lane on First already is protected South to 60th Street. Do you mean south OF 60th Street? B/C that would be awesome if they could connect it to the protected lane in the 50s. That limbo area between the paths is a death trap. Now if only we could get a protected lane on second ave

  • J

    Can they just approve the contraflow lane on 59th? I’m no fan of sharrows on crazy congested streets like this one, and the provision of sharrows doesn’t really address any of the problems associated with biking there. It’s a non-solution.

    When the street is backed up, you are faced with the choice of sitting in traffic, weaving through non-moving cars, or biking in the bus lane on the other side of the street. None of those options are appealing and Sharrows will not improve any of them.

    When traffic is moving, drivers speed up to get on the bridge. Maybe biking in a “shared” lane, basically in the middle of the street (23′ from the curb) with cars zooming past on both sides will be an improvement, but I remain HIGHLY skeptical.

  • Anonymous

    @7538fa5a085dd8af17072cf34a016372:disqus : The First Avenue northbound protected bike lane currently begins at 61st Street. This proposal extends the northbound lane south to 60th Street, and adds a two-way protected bike lane on First Avenue between 59th and 60th Streets.

  • Daphna

    Thank you to all non-committee members who attended the two Manhattan Community Board 8 Transportation Committee meetings in April and May, and who attended the full CB8 Board meeting last night. It helps community board members to hear from members of the public and to be educated. The hard work of people attending and speaking up (and joining community boards when possible) is slowly leading to a shift from an attitude against liveable streets to one more supportive of safer street re-designs (at least in some community boards).

  • david

    I hate the bike lanes that direct bikes out between cars. I feel like “ok, here comes my death..” I avoid it like the plague. Am I alone here?

  • Anonymous

    Yup. Makes me wonder who designs those things. Certainly not anyone who actually rides a bike. And the worst is the one on the 1st Ave between 41st and 42nd. It’s scary to be in the middle with cars racing around you.

  • If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that bike infrastructure is not one-size-fits all. A number of cyclists complain about the fully parking-protected portions of the First Avenue bike path. You and AdamAnon apparently would be happier at the left hand curb, negotiating your straight-ahead route with the right-turning MV’s. I think that traffic engineers consider the “floating” bike lanes a safer way to deal with the turning conflicts, and that practice and resulting confidence will make it feel like a more comfortable and safe choice. But I know those are just words so, do what feels safest.

  • TomG

    Thank you for clarifying. Ugh, what mess. That still leaves the most dangerous part of that section immune to progress.

  • TomG

    +1

  • J

    I think the issue is that it doesn’t take a engineer phd to figure out that when you put cyclist in between two lane of massive hunks of moving metal with only a thin stripe of paint protecting you, it feels REALLY scary. They don’t do it in the Netherlands or Denmark, so why are we doing it here?

    Amsterdam and Copenhagen don’t install sharrows on fast moving, multi-lane arterials either. The 1st Ave sharrows are not a good or well-thought out design. Rather, it’s the we-don’t-have-the-political-will-to-do-good-bike-design-so-I-guess-we’ll-throw-down-some-sharrows design. ugh.

    http://systemicfailure.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/sharrows-are-not-a-bike-plan/

  • Bronxite

    Bollards? Feasible?

  • Anonymous

    Why do I never see it discussed that there is literally no way to ride southbound on the east side in the 60s and 70s (not sure bout 80s). I live on 1st Ave and it’s a treat riding NB in the protected lane on 1at but I can’t get home safely! You aren’t supposed to ride SB in the 1st ave lane (they even put up wrong way signs) yet 2nd ave is a deathtrap and so is York. Is any proposal in the works to deal with this?

  • Anonymous

    Why do I never see it discussed that there is literally no way to ride southbound on the east side in the 60s and 70s (not sure bout 80s). I live on 1st Ave and it’s a treat riding NB in the protected lane on 1at but I can’t get home safely! You aren’t supposed to ride SB in the 1st ave lane (they even put up wrong way signs) yet 2nd ave is a deathtrap and so is York. Is any proposal in the works to deal with this?

  • Anonymous

    Why do I never see it discussed that there is literally no way to ride southbound on the east side in the 60s and 70s (not sure bout 80s). I live on 1st Ave and it’s a treat riding NB in the protected lane on 1at but I can’t get home safely! You aren’t supposed to ride SB in the 1st ave lane (they even put up wrong way signs) yet 2nd ave is a deathtrap and so is York. Is any proposal in the works to deal with this?

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QBB Bike Access Improvements Advance to CB 6 Full Board With 13-1 Vote

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A DOT proposal that would extend protected bike lanes and add shared lane markings to First Avenue and 59th Street received a 13-1 supportive vote from Manhattan Community Board 6’s transportation committee last night, moving improved bike access at the Queensboro Bridge one step closer to reality after three committee meetings on the topic. The project will […]