This Week: See the DOT Fifth Avenue Bikeway Plan

Fifth Avenue is the most heavily cycled southbound avenue in Manhattan, even though it doesn’t have a protected bikeway. Image: Google Maps
Fifth Avenue is the most heavily cycled southbound avenue in Manhattan, even though it doesn’t have a protected bikeway. Image: Google Maps

On Thursday, DOT will reveal its plan for a protected bike lane on Fifth Avenue.

Fifth Avenue gets more bike traffic than any other southbound avenue in Manhattan, according to DOT bike counts, and New Yorkers have been asking the city to make it a complete street for years. DOT committed to studying a redesign in 2014, after community boards signaled support. Local City Council Member Dan Garodnick has also endorsed revamping the street.

The Manhattan CB 2 transportation committee will be first to see the bikeway plan. It’s important that DOT and the community board hear from people who support making Fifth Avenue safer for biking and walking.

Streetsblog calendar highlights below. Check the full calendar for more info on these and other listings.

  • Tuesday: Transportation Alternatives continues its activist training series. This week’s session: “Power Mapping — Learning to Connect the Dots and Win Campaigns.” 111 John Street, Suite 260, Manhattan. 6:30 p.m. RSVP here.
  • Thursday: DOT and the MTA host an L train workshop in East Williamsburg. Progress High School for Professional Careers, 850 Grand Street, Brooklyn. 6 p.m.
  • Thursday: Volunteers for Transportation Alternatives will ask the Manhattan CB 9 transportation committee to add a “complete Upper Amsterdam” to its April agenda. 18 Old Broadway. 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: The Manhattan CB 2 transportation committee will hear from DOT on two projects: the proposal for a Fifth Avenue protected bike lane and a request for street and sidewalk improvements at Eighth Avenue and Horatio Streets. 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: Riders Alliance will hold a Bus Turnaround Campaign strategy meeting. Food will be provided, along with MetroCards for participants who need them. More details and RSVP info here. 121 Sixth Avenue, Sixth Floor, Manhattan. 6:30 p.m.

Watch the calendar for updates. Drop us a line if you have an event we should know about.

  • Mathi

    Very excited about the 5th avenue plan! I’m afraid it will be like 6th ave though, only up to 34th st or so, whereas it’s above that where we have a particularly painful gap in the bike network. I dream of an alternative to 7th and 2nd aves in the 40s and 50s. (9th ave is too far out of the way for me most of the time, and horrible pavement).

  • also, if i am in a hurry i always use 7th anyway bc the lights are so bad on 9th for bikes. timing lights for bikes is a must to get more people on the street on their bikes.

  • Vooch

    It should also be integrated with the forthcoming pedestrian zone around Trump Tower


  • AnoNYC

    5th Ave really needs expanded sidewalk space, especially in Midtown. The city should make 5th Ave bus and bicycle only in that area at the minimum. Ideally, the city would dedicate the entirety of the avenue to mass transportation and bicycles.

  • J

    Any indications of the scope of the 5th Ave PBL? The section south of 23rd St is a no brainer, but is there a proposal for more?

  • walks bikes drives

    I’d like to see it up north. I ride down 5th along the park. The part time bus lane is annoying because it is consistently blocked, often by parked tour buses or school buses and MTA buses are constantly moving back and forth. Besides the fact that there are a lot of express buses as well that leap frog around the regular buses. I take the bus lane when there aren’t buses, or hug the outside of the line when there are. A protected bike lane would be great along there, but not so great if they put it along the left side where you have to contend with left turning vehicles along the park. I don’t think I have ever ridden down 5th without passing at least one other bike. Thus morning, there were 5 of us in a clump from 96 to 79th.

  • Dr. Bones

    It’s not in the article, but it seems this is only for downtown 5th ave? Man, would it be great to have some protection on 5th by Central Park. You can ride in the bus lane and feel safe for a bit, until a bus comes and honks at you. Once I asked the bus driver where I was supposed to ride, and he pointed to the left side of the street. Which is blocked all the time by double parkers.
    There really is no safe riding either uptown or downtown on the Upper East side. None.

  • When I was riding in Baltimore last summer, I noticed signs that explicitly stated that bicyclists are allowed to ride in the bus lane. We need that here.

  • qrt145

    2nd Ave is pretty good now that the subway work is done, although it is quite a detour from 5th.

    Another option for some trips is the West Drive in Central Park. Also a considerable detour, but it is pleasant enough to be worth it for me.

    But a more usable 5th Avenue would be great, there’s no denying it.

  • AMH

    Bingo–one of the major problems with PBL design in NYC is a reduction in green time for bicyclists.

  • AMH

    That doesn’t make it any safer. I always worry that one of these days I’ll be squished by an express bus.

  • If the bus drivers expect us to be in the bus lanes, then that does indeed make using those lanes safer for us.