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Eyes on the Street: Meet the 7th Avenue Protected Bike Lane

5:27 PM EDT on October 17, 2017

The new protected bike lane on Seventh Avenue between 29th Street and 28th Street. Photo: Christa Orth

Markings are in place for at least several blocks of the Seventh Avenue protected bike lane, which will extend from 30th Street in Chelsea to Clarkson Street in the West Village when complete.

The new southbound parking-protected route complements the northbound lane that DOT installed last year on Sixth Avenue between 33rd Street and 8th Street. This project should increase cycling on a route that was already getting plenty of bike traffic. In a 14-hour period, DOT counted 1,700 people biking at 30th Street, 2,350 at 20th Street, and 1,300 at Charles Street.

It will also shorten pedestrian crossings on a wide street where parents were afraid to let their children walk. Families and faculty at PS 41 in the Village have campaigned for safer crossings for kids for years. This project partially delivers on their demands.

Still to come: complete markings, green paint for the bike lane, and pedestrian islands. The project will include both painted sidewalk extensions and concrete islands. At this early, unfinished stage, there's still a lot of parking in the bike lane, behavior that should change as project rounds into form:

North of 30th Street, meanwhile, Seventh Avenue still lacks bicycle infrastructure. In general, DOT has held back on protected bike lanes in the heart of Midtown, but the agency is repurposing a motor vehicle lane on Seventh Avenue between 42nd Street and 34th Street for much-needed sidewalk expansions. Wider sidewalks and protected bike lanes are both essential to creating a functional active transportation network in the busiest part of the city.

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