Seaman Ave. Has a Bike Lane and Sharrows, But It’s Still a Speedway

… and looking north, where the northbound bike lane turns to sharrows. Driver 1 is backing down the street for parking. Driver 2 is about to make a U turn. Photos: Brad Aaron
Seaman Avenue and W. 215th St., looking north, where the northbound bike lane turns to sharrows. Driver 1 is backing down the street for parking. Driver 2 is about to make a U turn.

The thermoplast is down on the new northbound Seaman Avenue bike lane — but it’s really a bike lane and sharrows. Unless DOT makes a bolder move and puts a protected bike lane next to Inwood Hill Park, not much is going to change on this important Upper Manhattan bike route

I’ve written about this project, which took almost two years to complete, many times now, so here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: DOT replaced two narrow bike lanes on Seaman, Inwood’s only north-south through-street west of Broadway, with a northbound bike lane and southbound sharrows. DOT’s rationale for one bike lane was the street isn’t wide enough for two standard-width lanes — though the new design retained two lanes for parked vehicles. The reason for putting the lane on the northbound side of the street, DOT said, was to provide more room for slower cyclists going uphill from Dyckman Street, at Seaman’s southern end.

But as it turns out, the northbound lane converts to sharrows at W. 215th Street, one block before Seaman terminates at W. 218th, probably because the street narrows there. I looked back through my correspondence with DOT and there was no mention of the northbound bike lane ending before the street does.

As noted in prior posts, the current design does not address the major obstacles to biking on Seaman. As shown in these photos, taken yesterday, drivers are already double-parking on the barely-dry thermoplast. Cyclists will be forced to weave around them, just as before. As far as speed is concerned, motorists aren’t taking cues from the fresh markings. On her walk to the train just after dawn today, my wife texted to let me know that “Seaman [was] a speedway this morning.”

Seaman Avenue at W. 215th Street, looking south at the northbound bike lane, southbound sharrows, and double-parked vehicles …
Looking south from the same spot at the northbound bike lane, southbound sharrows, and double-parked vehicles in the background. Photos: Brad Aaron

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

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

|
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 […]

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 […]

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 […]