DOT Will Present Amsterdam Ave Protected Bike Lane Design Tonight

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Image: NYC DOT

It’s happening: At tonight’s Community Board 7 transportation committee meeting, NYC DOT will present plans for a northbound protected bike lane on Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side.

The first phase of the project calls for a protected bike lane and pedestrian refuges from 72nd Street to 110th Street, which could be implemented as soon as next spring, according to a DOT press release. A second phase south of 72nd Street would follow.

The design will convert one motor vehicle travel lane to a protected bike lane, with pedestrian refuges and dedicated space for left-turning vehicles on some blocks. At intersections with major streets, split signal phases will separate bicycle and pedestrian traffic from turning drivers. At other intersections, the design calls for the “mixing zone” treatment, where bicyclists merge with turning drivers.

The proposal also adjusts commercial parking regulations on the east side of Amsterdam to cut down on double parking.

With bike traffic on Amsterdam growing rapidly and Citi Bike expanding to the Upper West Side, DOT sees significant potential for bike trips to replace thousands of short cab trips in the neighborhood.

Council members Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine, who’ve previously called on DOT to make Amsterdam safer, both expressed thanks for the proposal in the agency’s announcement.

This is a milestone in a very long and hard-fought neighborhood advocacy campaign for safe streets. You can help the redesign get to the next phase at tonight’s meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m at the Redeemer Church, 150 West 83rd Street.

Streetsblog will have more coverage tomorrow.

  • MatthewEH

    So sad I can’t go to the meeting tonight. This so needs to happen.

  • SSkate

    If the diagram is accurate, then it’s a bit of a relief. It took DOT months after the recent repaving from 79th St up to 95th but a couple weeks ago they striped the lanes. I had been wondering if the excessive delay was because of waiting for the bike lane plan. In any event, I note that the lane markers in the diagram don’t really require any rejiggering. Now if they’d just do something about the light sequence to cut down on the racing cabbies timing the stoplights.

  • AnoNYC

    This is good but it’s too bad they won’t be going as far north as W 125th St. I understand that Amsterdam Avenue converts into a two-way street at W 110th St. It will be interesting to see how the DOT compliments the transition.

  • BBnet3000

    They’ll bodge the transition, which wouldn’t be necessary in the first place if they didn’t confound everyone’s expectations by putting a slower mode to the left of faster modes.

    The transition should be done as a protected intersection with refuge islands for people cycling. Instead it will probably be done with the “chevron strip crossing in the advanced stop box that wears off the road in 6 months” treatment:

  • J

    Good news, but it certainly took long enough. There is a distinct lack of vision and leadership at DOT / the mayor’s office these days. It’s most visible in the fact that this project took THREE requests over half a decade from the community board to actually get DOT to present a plan for Amsterdam.

    Worse, the DOT toolkit for street design appear to have solidified into the mixing zone disaster. Gone are the days when DOT was pushing the limit of best practice in the US. That distinction now goes to Salt Lake City. This project should have protected intersections, but it doesn’t. It should connect to other protected bike lanes, but it won’t. Progress, but oh so slow.

  • BBnet3000

    Would it kill them to narrow the buffer and stripe the lane to meet the 7′ NACTO recommended width for a high volume protected bike lane? It means the difference between having two natural lanes with comfortable overtaking and single-file riding with uncomfortable overtaking.

    Why do we have standards if we aren’t even going to use them? When Streetsblog NYC celebrated the publication of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, did they realize that New York City was going to opt for the bare minimums in the guide?

  • Alexander Vucelic

    DOT needs to up its goal of adding 5 miles of protected bike lane annually to at least 50 miles. There are 6,000 miles of streets in NYC. At 50 miles per year, it will take 10 years for city to have 500 miles of protected bike lanes; less than 10% of streets.

  • ahwr

    The usable width of the bike lane is less than 6 feet because of sewer drains isn’t it? Is it really a good idea to encourage people to ride closer towards them?

  • Simon Phearson

    I don’t know why you’re complaining. I love these “transitions.” I like them because I feel like an expert cyclist whenever I ignore them completely.

  • HamTech87

    Very happy about the protected bike lane, but changes to the parking, commercial and even taxi pickup schemes would have a big impact. In addition to expanding the commercial zones, let’s expand the number of side street meter spaces. Also, let’s resurrect the Guiliani proposal to create specific taxi pickup spots.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    side street metered spaces is a great idea !

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This Week: Fixing Amsterdam Avenue With a Safer Design

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Tomorrow, NYC DOT is expected to present a plan for a protected bike lane and pedestrian islands on Amsterdam Avenue to the Community Board 7 transportation committee. It’s been a long time coming: Locals have pressed for a redesign of the dangerous, high-speed conditions on Amsterdam for many years, with the community board passing three resolutions […]