Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycle Safety

Garodnick Endorses Complete Streets for Fifth and Sixth Avenues

The next time someone tries to tell you that complete street designs with pedestrian islands and protected bike lanes are controversial, point them to what's happening on Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Avenues in Manhattan, where a united coalition of parents, business owners, elected officials, and community boards are begging DOT to design streets in the image of the already-remade First, Second, Eighth, and Ninth Avenues.

Think Fifth Avenue could be safer and better for bus riders, cyclists, and pedestrians? Dan Garodnick does. Photo: Canon/Flickr
Think Fifth Avenue could be safer and better for bus riders, cyclists, and pedestrians? Dan Garodnick does. Photo: Canon/Flickr
Think Fifth Avenue could be safer and better for bus riders, cyclists, and pedestrians? Dan Garodnick does. Photo: Canon/Flickr

Advocates for a redesigned Fifth and Sixth Avenues are furthest along. Last week, they secured the endorsement of Council Member Dan Garodnick. "Complete streets help to reduce the conflicts that exist every day between cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians in Midtown Manhattan," Garodnick said in a statement. "The Department of Transportation should be looking to repeat their most successful strategies wherever they can, and Fifth and Sixth Avenues -- with significant crashes annually -- are ripe for review."

The campaign has already received backing from Council Member Corey Johnson and Community Boards 2, 4, and 5. It's also gathered the support of numerous business improvement districts and small businesses. Next month, Transportation Alternatives is hosting a "walk, bike, shop" event along Fifth and Sixth Avenues to thank local merchants for their support [PDF]. Next up: securing meetings with Council Members Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez, who cover the area's final southernmost blocks.

That momentum has spilled westward, where an effort led by parents and staff at PS 41 to expand the West Village slow zone has grown into a complete streets campaign for Seventh Avenue. Last Thursday, CB 2's full board followed the lead of its transportation committee by unanimously endorsing a resolution asking DOT to study a complete streets redesign for Seventh Avenue, Seventh Avenue South, and Varick Street. In passing what could be considered a model resolution for boards wanting safer arterial streets [PDF], CB 2 asked DOT to consider pedestrian islands, narrowed car lanes, protected bike lanes, bus lanes, bus bulbs, leading pedestrian intervals, and split-phase traffic signals.

Seventh Avenue is also likely to come up at the next meeting of CB 4's transportation committee, which covers the avenue through Chelsea, scheduled for October 15.

“There’s so much support from the community boards, from the electeds, that DOT will really have the chance to be bold," said Transportation Alternatives organizer Tom Devito. "It’s clearly a testament to a shift in the belief in what our streets are for."

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

How Sustainable is Your City’s Transportation Network?

...and how does it compare with its peer communities?

May 30, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines: Just Asking Edition

Can anyone tell us why Mayor Adams decided to defend the Pope for using a gay smear? Plus other news.

May 30, 2024

Family of Killed Bronx Cyclist Demands DOT Finish Washington Bridge Bike Lane

New York City should be safe for working-class immigrant cyclists like Zenaido Rosas-Pinzon.

Wednesday’s Headlines: ‘Mass’ Transit Edition

Let's look at the big plan — and we mean "big" plan — for the new Port Authority Bus Terminal. Plus other news.

May 29, 2024

‘We Are Angry’: Driver Kills Cyclist on Bridge Where DOT Failed to Finish New Bike Lane

A protected bike lane was supposed to open in 2023, but is still unfinished.

May 29, 2024
See all posts