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Eyes on the Street: A Buffer for (Some of) the Sixth Avenue Bike Lane

4:42 PM EDT on May 8, 2015

Buffers are nice, but fall far short of a complete street with a protected bike lane. Photo: Stephen Miller
Buffers are a nice interim improvement, but a lot more needs to change on Sixth Avenue. Photo: Stephen Miller
Buffers are nice, but fall far short of a complete street with a protected bike lane. Photo: Stephen Miller

Parts of the notoriously skinny Sixth Avenue bike lane are about to get slightly less cramped. DOT is narrowing the car lanes on the newly-repaved avenue to make room for buffers on the bike lane from Christopher Street to W. 14th Street.

While the buffers are a welcome upgrade, they're no long-term fix for one of the city's most intimidating -- and busiest -- biking streets. Sixth Avenue is overrun by motor vehicle traffic and double-parking. Without a protected bike lane, it remains incredibly hostile for people on bikes.

Protected bike lanes and pedestrian islands for Sixth and Fifth Avenues have overwhelming support from council members and community boards representing the area. DOT, which promised to begin studying complete street upgrades for both avenues more than a year ago, told Streetsblog this week that it is "currently studying the feasibility of implementing a variety of safety improvements."

Hat tip to Dave "Paco" Abraham

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