Manhattan CB 8 Committee Asks DOT for Crosstown UES Bike Lanes

Momentum continues to grow for creating crosstown bike lanes on the Upper East Side.

In an 11-1 vote with one abstention, the Manhattan Community Board 8 transportation committee passed a resolution last night requesting crosstown bike lane plans from NYC DOT. The full community board will vote on the resolution on November 18.

Currently, the Upper East Side has only one crosstown bike route, painted lanes along E. 90th and E. 91st streets. At a “street scan” earlier this month, volunteers with Transportation Alternatives and Bike New York scouted potential crosstown routes to add to the network. Many of them were in attendance last night.

The resolution calls on DOT to create two plans for the community board to review. The first plan would consist of painted crosstown lanes that can be added immediately. The second calls for a network of crosstown bike lanes along the safest appropriate routes, according to A. Scott Falk, the transportation committee co-chair.

Bike improvements usually meet some resistance at CB 8, but not this time. Falk remembers how contentious the arrival of Citi Bike was at the community board, with many arguing against the installation of bike-share stations. So he headed into Wednesday night’s meeting not expecting a resolution to pass in the committee.

“To my surprise, there was no opposition from the public,” Falk said. “Even among the board no one was saying there shouldn’t be any bike lanes. It was definitely a productive discussion and the tone was overwhelmingly positive.”

At the street scan earlier this month, about 30 volunteers surveyed three potential crosstown bike routes: E. 61st Street/E. 62nd Street, E. 67th Street/E. 68th Street, and E. 72nd Street, which is a two-way street. Transportation Alternatives and Bike New York will send a report to local City Council members and DOT based on the survey.

A resolution requesting crosstown bike lanes from the full board later this month will increase the pressure on DOT to act.

  • BBnet3000

    Nobody complained because even the car-obsessives have figured out that our door-zone painted lanes are making no real change to the street.

  • greenlake101

    The DOT under Trottenberg is pathetic. CB’s have to beg for bike lanes and even then may get nothing more than a “we’ll look into it” for years.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    we need to start calling for 5 miles of new protected bike lanes in every boro every year

    $50 million out of a $1.4 billion DOT budget

  • Zero Vision

    Given the tremendous endorsement from the community board committee here, when can we expect Polly Trottenberg to install extra-wide parking lanes?

  • Fact: People will die because of Polly Trottenberg’s stalling.

    Fact: If Trottenberg’s DOT delivers the typical Trottenberg proposal, people will continue to die.

  • rao

    Unless those lanes are protected, this is a completely pointless exercise. Most crosstown lanes are worthless.

  • Matthias

    Not totally–there’s value in marking a through route. Lots of crosstown streets dead-end or change direction so it’s nice to have something to follow. Protected lanes are always best, of course.

  • Willy Voet

    Let’s hope that there is a safe connection between the Hudson River Path and this cross town bike path. Why is DOT so bad at making a network?

  • Dr. Bones

    I seem to be the only one these days bringing this up, but what about cross town lanes that actually cross town? The entire town that is. Including Central Park.
    The upper west side and the upper east side are not separate countries. Cars and buses have built in transepts that get them across on most of the major cross streets. Pedestrians, of course , can walk. But bikes are not legally allowed on any of the paths in the park. They are expected to cross in the dangerous transepts.
    Yesterday I saw some tourist citibike users asking “where can we cross the park,” They were a family, and wanted to go from the west side to the east side. They had made it to the 72nd street spot where it’s finally legal to travel both ways, even though the entrance from the west side is very confusing. Right now that’s the ONLY place in the whole park you can cross legally and safely, riding your bike the whole way.
    In fact the Citibike app, if you ask it for a route across the park, gives you that route only, as far as I can tell, no matter where you want to cross.
    I also saw a mother and her two sons crossing with bikes in the 86th street transept. She was following the LAW! Yay for her. Her kids were allowed to ride on the sidewalk, because they were toddlers and she was riding alongside on the no-shoulder “shoulder” while cars and buses and trucks whizzed by. I wonder if she ever decided to try that again. It’s not safe. it doesn’t feel safe, and it isn’t. The bus drivers always honk at me when I’m commuting through there several times a week.
    It’s not fair, reasonable or safe for bike riders. We need to have the right to a few, just a FEW of the pathways in the park so we can cross (and enjoy crossing) the park.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    72nd is a good place to start with protected bike lanes running on both east and west sides in both directions.


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