Eyes on the Street: Outlines Appear for Seaman Avenue Bike Lane, Sharrows

DOT is replacing two 4-foot bike lanes on Seaman Avenue with one 5-foot bike lane and sharrows. Photos: Brad Aaron
DOT is replacing two 4-foot bike lanes on Seaman Avenue with one 5-foot bike lane and sharrows because, according to DOT, the street isn’t wide enough for two standard-width bike lanes. Photos: Brad Aaron

Preliminary markings for a bike lane and sharrows appeared on Seaman Avenue in Inwood yesterday, nearly two years after DOT resurfaced the street.

Seaman Avenue runs from Dyckman/200th Street to W. 218th Street. The only north-south through street in Inwood west of Broadway, Seaman serves as a bike connection between the Hudson River Greenway and the Bronx, in addition to being a key neighborhood biking corridor.

Seaman is also a cut-through for Bronx and Westchester motorists looking to avoid the toll on the Henry Hudson Bridge. It has a few speed humps, and it’s within the Inwood Slow Zone, but those measures do little to keep drivers from speeding past the apartment buildings, parks, schools, and churches that line Seaman from end to end. The 34th Precinct, which issued just 266 speeding tickets in 2015, is a non-factor when it comes to slowing drivers down. Double-parking is probably more common than speeding and seems to get even less attention, enforcement-wise.

All things considered, Seaman Avenue seemed ripe for a change. The street’s old 4-foot wide bike lanes were removed when DOT repaved in the summer of 2014, and were not replaced when the city put down new crosswalks and other markings. DOT informed Community Board 12 last September of its plans to install a northbound 5-foot bike lane and replace the southbound bike lane with sharrows. Though Seaman will retain two lanes for parked vehicles, DOT says it isn’t wide enough to have bike lanes in both directions.

Last year DOT told Streetsblog the agency will monitor the new configuration to see if adjustments are necessary. If DOT is ever willing to challenge the status quo, Seaman could become a much better street for biking and walking, with a protected bikeway next to Inwood Hill Park.

The new design will do nothing to keep double-parked drivers from making Seaman more dangerous for biking and walking.
That’s a park on the right, and a school on the left. By preserving the status quo, DOT passed up an opportunity to keep double-parked drivers from making Seaman more dangerous for biking and walking.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

DOT to Replace Seaman Ave. Bike Lanes With Wider Bike Lane and Sharrows

|
Last week DOT told Community Board 12 that bike lanes on Seaman Avenue in Inwood, which were wiped out when most of the street was resurfaced in 2014, won’t be coming back on both sides of the street because the old 4-foot wide lanes didn’t comply with agency guidelines. DOT told Streetsblog yesterday that a 5-foot lane will be striped on northbound […]

At Long Last, DOT Proposes Bike Lanes for Upper Manhattan

|
Responding to years of citizen advocacy and a resolution from Manhattan Community Board 12, DOT has proposed bike lanes for a number of streets in Upper Manhattan. Most of the lanes, concentrated in Washington Heights [PDF], would be installed next year, after a consultation with CB 12 this fall. One would be protected by parked […]

Eyes on the Street: When Will Inwood Get Its Scarce Bike Lanes Back?

|
As Streetsblog readers know, Inwood is the Manhattan neighborhood where DOT periodically and without warning takes away bike infrastructure. So locals were pleased when in 2013 DOT announced a handful of modest bike projects for Inwood and Washington Heights, including Upper Manhattan’s first protected bike lane, and the rehabbing of bike lanes on Seaman Avenue, which […]

DOT: Seaman Avenue Bike Lanes Won’t Return This Year

|
The asphalt is fresh, the yellow lines and crosswalks installed, but DOT won’t be returning bike lanes to Seaman Avenue until next year, according to the office of local City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. Seaman Avenue is the only designated north-south bike route between the Hudson River Greenway and the Bronx, and it’s the trunk […]

CB 12 Committee Backs Road Diet, Bike Lanes on St. Nicholas Ave

|
A DOT proposal for a road diet and bike lanes St. Nicholas Avenue in Washington Heights got a vote of support last night from the Manhattan Community Board 12 transportation committee. The project could get striped next spring. The bike lanes will connect with newly-installed bike lanes near the High Bridge in Washington Heights, and to a […]