Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycling

Eyes on the Street: The Fifth Avenue Bike Lane Gets Flipped

At 23rd Street, the Fifth Avenue bike lane is now protected from moving traffic by parked cars. Photo: Justin Pollock

DOT crews made quick progress on striping Fifth Avenue's new protected bike lane this week. The project flips the parking lane along 15 blocks of the old buffered bike lane, providing protection from moving traffic between 23rd Street and 8th Street [PDF].

Fifth Avenue gets more bike traffic than any other Manhattan avenue despite a severe double-parking problem that forces cyclists to weave in and out of its 1980s-era buffered bike lane. Manhattan Community Boards 2 and 5 voted for DOT's plan to protect the bike lane this spring.

Transportation Alternatives and its volunteer Manhattan committee have been running a long-term campaign to win more space for transit, biking, and walking on Fifth and Sixth avenues. By 2014, Council Member Dan Garodnick and Community Boards 2, 4, and 5 had signaled support for the idea of "complete streets" on both. A petition specifically calling on DOT to "flip" the Fifth Avenue bike lane garnered 17,000 signatures.

DOT crews have laid down thermoplastic stripes for the new design. Green paint and bike stencils are on the way, as are plastic bollards on the southernmost block of the protected lane, between 9th Street and 8th Street. The block between 8th Street and Washington Square is not slated for a bike lane upgrade.

This project is pretty low-hanging fruit for DOT and essentially brings the existing section of bike lane up to the agency's current safety standards without major adjustments to motor vehicle capacity. North of 23rd Street, DOT recently installed a protected bike connection on Fifth Avenue from Broadway via 25th Street. In the heart of Midtown, there's still no bike lane.

To create a complete north-south protected bike route connecting people to the city's densest cluster of jobs and attractions, the Sixth Avenue bike lane has to be extended north of 33rd Street, and the Fifth Avenue bike lane has to go north of 25th. Wider sidewalks will need to be part of those plans too.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

MTA Contractor Scrambles to Refund Fake Charges After OMNY ‘Upgrade’ Goes Awry

Cubic is working to issue refunds to riders improperly charged thanks to the glitch, a spokesman said.

July 24, 2024

Podcast: GOP’s ‘Project 2025’ is ‘Based on a Lot of Ignorance’

What does Transportation for America's Beth Osborne think of the transportation portion of the Heritage Foundation's playbook for a Trump presidency?

July 24, 2024

Hochul’s Congestion Pricing ‘Pause’ Will Cost Area Companies Billions

A new analysis shows what districts will suffer the most from the loss of $12 billion in capital funding.

July 24, 2024

Wednesday’s Headlines: Adams Blames the Victim Edition

Mayor Adams blames pedestrian victims for their own deaths. Plus more news.

July 24, 2024

‘Temporary’ Insanity: DOT Traffic Cams Locked Out of Key Enforcement Database

Temp tag drivers get off scot free because of a little-known loophole.

July 23, 2024
See all posts