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Manhattan CB 5 Committee Endorses Crosstown Protected Bike Lanes (Finally)

DOT plans to add a five-foot protected bike lane with a two-foot buffer on most blocks of 26th and 29th streets. Image: DOT

Manhattan Community Board 5's transportation committee endorsed DOT's plan for crosstown protected bike lanes on 26th Street and 29th Street last night. Manhattan CB 4 and CB 6 gave the project the thumbs up last month.

The vote last night was a nearly unanimous 14-2, reports Transportation Alternatives Manhattan organizer Chelsea Yamada. The CB 5 committee had previously tabled a vote on the project after a packed meeting where some property owners complained about the redesign. Now the full board is slated to vote on the project on April 12.

DOT had previously said that installation could proceed by the spring or summer.

The absence of safe crosstown bike routes was tragically apparent when charter bus operators struck and killed Dan Hanegby and Michael Mamoukakis last year on 26th Street and 29th Street, respectively. Transportation Alternatives, CB 4, and City Council transportation chair Ydanis Rodriguez called on DOT to address the situation with upgrades to the bike network.

On 26th Street and 29th Street, the typical block will get a five-foot-wide parking-protected bike lane with a two-foot buffer [PDF]. On narrower than average blocks there will not be protection.

DOT is also planning crosstown protected lanes on 13th Street, 52nd Street and 55th Street, and a to-be-determined pair of streets through the Times Square area.

The sooner the city installs these bike lanes the better. Last month on 29th Street, someone in a Mercedes SUV doored a 67-year-old man on a bike, who was then hit by a truck driver. The victim had to be hospitalized.

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