Upper Manhattan’s First Protected Bike Lane Goes Green [Updated]

Photos: Jonathan Rabinowitz
Photos: Jonathan Rabinowitz

Update: The Manhattan Community Board 12 transportation committee will consider an agenda item tonight that would call on DOT to remove the Fort George Hill bike lane. Yes, really. The meeting will be held at the Isabella Geriatric Center, 515 Audobon Avenue, at 7 p.m.

Here are more photos from reader Jonathan Rabinowitz of Upper Manhattan’s first protected bike lane, on Fort George Hill, now with fresh green paint. Rabinowitz took these shots on Saturday.

Fort George Hill is a one-way street that skirts the western border of Harlem River Park, connecting Dyckman Street in Inwood with Fairview Avenue to the south. The lane will give cyclists a north-south route between Inwood and Washington Heights by allotting 11 feet of the 60-foot-wide street to a bi-directional bike lane, plus a painted buffer between the lane and angled car parking.

DOT plans indicated the bike lane would be eight feet wide with a three-foot buffer, but Rabinowitz tells us the green swath is itself 11 feet across. In addition to the new paint, the parking spots have bumpers to keep drivers out of the lane.

As we reported in April, having a protected bi-directional lane means southbound cyclists traveling uphill won’t have to contend with motorists passing them from behind, and the easy downhill will be a legal option for biking toward Dyckman Street.

  • J

    Any reason why people want to remove this? What is the downside?

  • BBnet3000

    Do New Yorkers and their enablers who appoint the CBs need a reason to be deathly afraid of any minor change?

    We’re talking about people who think the sky will fall if people’s dogs are allowed to sit next to them at sidewalk cafes.

  • Matt

    Oh for christ sake. Of course we can’t have a nice thing that doesn’t actually phase anyone.

  • Jonathan R

    The meeting was packed with people who live in the two Mitchell-Lama buildings on Fort George Hill (bear in mind that the two buildings share a 63-spot private parking lot). People complained about access issues (ambulances can’t go the wrong way to get to the building and people will die), process issues (I moved to the building last year and nobody told me about this), usage issues (it’s too steep for bicyclists, including me, and I am an avid cyclist), safety issues (it’s too dangerous for children!), and design issues (there should be speed bumps instead; the bike path should go through the park).

    DOT was well represented (deputy boro commissioner plus project planner, bicycle planner, and community liaison), but their presentation made the safety case and they did not seem inclined to walk that back.

  • sfishernyc

    Jonathan, other than listen to the various arguments, did the committee take any action?

  • Jonathan R

    I couldn’t say; I had my kids with me and we had to leave for bedtime.

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