Monday: See DOT’s Plan to Complete the First Avenue Protected Bike Lane

Image: DOT

Mark your calendars for early next week, when DOT will be presenting its plan to replace sharrows with a parking protected bike lane on First Avenue, filling a gap between protected bikeways south of 49th Street and north of 59th Street.

This 10-block gap in the First Avenue bike lane is a key missing link, and would give cyclists coming from below 49th Street safe passage to both the Upper East Side and the Queensboro Bridge. These blocks were left out of previous plans for First Avenue. In 2011, CB 6 favored buffered lanes for this stretch, not protected lanes, but DOT eventually went with sharrows.

Upgrading to a parking protected bike lane will also bring pedestrian islands, which shorten crossing distances on this extra-wide section of First Avenue.

Even if First Avenue is upgraded to a protected bike lane, southbound cyclists on Second Avenue will continue to be stuck with sharrows north of 34th Street, where the protected lane begins.

DOT is presenting its plan at the next Community Board 6 transportation committee meeting, scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the NYU School of Dentistry, Room 611, located at 345 E. 24th Street.

  • BBnet3000

    Wow. Better late than never. I don’t suppose there’s any chance to make it 2 meters wide like all these lanes should be? I’d hate to lock in yet another half mile of awkward passing for eternity.

    Also, reading the 2010 article linked, its really not clear why DOT went with sharrows instead of a protected or curbside buffered (which is like “parking protected” except drivers can see it because it isn’t hidden by parked cars) lane. The article says that the CB supported it. How many people have been injured or perhaps even killed because of this decision? Can we mark 2010 as the year the DOT fell behind the CBs on cycling?

  • AnoNYC

    One of the worst things about this gap is the fact that it’s uphill. So you either haul and try and stay with traffic or play frogger merging around double parked cars.

    Looking forward to this.

  • Reader

    If there are parked cars on this 10-block gap, then there is plenty of room for a protected or curbside bike lane. It’s not a network if it has big holes through such troublesome stretches such as this. DOT needs to step it up here.

  • J

    Yes! This is where DOT needs to spend political capital. Fill in the gaps. Make a complete network of protected lanes that get you ALL the way from point A to point B.

    Other glaring gaps in Manhattan:
    -8th Ave from 40th-43rd
    -Crosstown everywhere in Manhattan
    -2nd Ave/Chrystie St, btw 3rd St & the Manhattan Bridge
    -2nd Ave between the Queensboro Bridge & 34th St

  • Matt

    This is awesome, that stretch is scary since there are blocks where there’s like 3 lanes worth of cars looking to make a left turn and the majority could give a s*** about cyclists. Your other option is to scootch all the way over to the right side for those 10 blocks and be in the way of buses which is a horrible option due to their huge blind spots.

    Now let’s hope a decent downtown option for the UES is next up on the docket.

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Soon there will be a continuous northbound protected bike lane along the length of First Avenue, from Houston Street to the Harlem River. On Monday, the Manhattan Community Board 6 transportation committee voted for DOT’s plan to plug the critical gaps in physical protection near the United Nations and the approach to the Queensboro Bridge [PDF]. From 55th […]