Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In

New Columbus Avenue Design: Protected Bike Lane By David H. Koch Theater

12:53 PM EST on February 12, 2015

To provide a better connection to the Ninth Avenue protected bike lane, NYC DOT is now proposing a protected bike lane on Columbus Avenue by Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater. Image: NYC DOT

The Columbus Avenue bike lane will provide a more continuous protected route past Lincoln Center under a revised DOT proposal that got a thumbs up from Manhattan Community Board 7's transportation committee Tuesday night [PDF].

Currently, there is no physical protection for people biking between 69th Street and 59th Street. An earlier version of the project narrowed the gap to the five blocks between 67th Street and 62nd Street. The new plan calls for a parking protected bike lane south of 64th Street and some additional safety measures leading up to the "bow-tie" at 65th Street, though the three blocks between 67th and 64th will remain exposed to traffic. The project includes a number of pedestrian safety improvements as well.

Below 67th Street, the plan has cyclists merge across a lane of motor vehicle traffic turning left onto 65th Street. New to the proposal is a line of flexible posts between 66th and 65th that will shield cyclists from through traffic. The bike lane continues for one block without separation through the Lincoln Square "bow-tie" before the parking-protected design resumes south of 64th Street.

The expansion of the protected lane got applause from the audience when DOT presented it, reports Transportation Alternatives organizer Tom DeVito. The CB 7 transportation committee voted in favor of the plan 11-0, with committee member Ken Coughlin adding an amendment calling on DOT to more strongly delineate the bike lane through the bow-tie.

Left: current conditions. Right: DOT's revised proposal. Click to enlarge.

Coughlin called the new plan "a great improvement over the earlier one," but he remains "very concerned about the plan for a block-long mixing zone between 67th and 66th, where cars intending to turn left at 65th are supposed to trade places with cyclists emerging from the protected bike lane. DOT is going to put in green lanes and green-backed bicycle markings to indicate where the cycle lane is but I don't think this will prevent the occasional encounter between car and bike." 

The bike lane upgrades reflect critiques of the previous plan, presented in December. "Overall, it's great to see that the DOT was responsive to the demand they were getting from the community for better, bolder, more equitable safety infrastructure," said DeVito.

It's taken nearly five years since the city first proposed a Columbus Avenue protected bike lane to reach the point where it will form a reasonably continuous route through the Upper West Side. Still missing: a northbound protected lane for the neighborhood. While Community Board 7 has mustered votes asking DOT to study a protected lane on Amsterdam Avenue a couple of times in the past six years, the agency has yet to present a plan. Time is running out to fill this critical void in the bike network before Citi Bike expands to the neighborhood.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Council Votes to Repeal Decade-Old Law, Expedite Bike Lane Installation

The City Council repealed a notorious. out-dated law that imposed lengthy delays on the city before it could break ground on new bike lanes.

December 7, 2023

Dynamic! MTA Could Hike Congestion Pricing Toll 25% on Gridlock Alert Days

The MTA said it had that power, and modeled it in its environmental assessment (see footnote 2 below), but no one ever reported it, until Wednesday.

December 6, 2023

Judge Orders Trial for Hit-and-Run Driver Who Turned Down ‘Reasonable’ Sentencing Offer

Judge Brendan Lantry turns down driver's request for mere probation for killing a delivery worker in 2022. The trial will start in January.

December 6, 2023

Wednesday’s Headlines: Another Big Day at City Hall Edition

Today is going to be another busy day for the livable streets crowd. So get ready with today's headlines.

December 6, 2023

Reporter’s Notebook: Will Eric Adams Ever Publicly Embrace Congestion Pricing?

The governor, the head of the MTA and the city's leading transit thinkers all celebrated congestion pricing on Tuesday as an historic moment while Mayor Adams spent Tuesday failing to live up to it.

December 6, 2023
See all posts