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Monday’s Headlines: Manhattan Needs Better Crosstown Bike Lanes Edition

Manhattan's crosstown protected bike lanes are a disaster. Plus more news.

Video Still: Streetfilms|

A typical scene on a Manhattan crosstown protected bike lane.

The Manhattan crosstown bike lanes came as a revelation for two-wheelers when the city installed them around a half-decade ago, but now need some serious love — as Clarence Eckerson of Streetfilms shows in the video below:

As Eckerson documents, the bike lanes are often too narrow and frequently blocked by parked cars and other obstructions. The buffer zones along the lanes are also filled with parked cars — which mean turning drivers can hardly see cyclists as they approach intersections.

The solution here is obvious: more concrete to prevent illegal parking, more enforcement to stop it where concrete fails and — crucially — fewer parking spots.

The latter is particularly important in Midtown, where the city opted for the narrowest possible bike lane designs back in 2020 in order to avoid the political headache of repurposing parking spots. But with congestion pricing expected to reduce car and truck traffic below 60th Street by at least 17 percent, the time for Mayor Adams and his Department of Transportation to fix this mess is now.

In other news:

  • New York again plans to allow so-called "self-driving cars" on city streets — to the chagrin of safe streets advocates. (Gothamist)
  • Taxi Workers Alliance loses bid to prevent TLC's "green" vehicle runaround. (The City)
  • Brooklyn senior "clinging to life" after driver struck her Friday in Borough Park. (Daily News)
  • Janno Lieber: "About time" for congestion pricing in New York City. (amNY)
  • NYPD brass spent the weekend picking fights with their critics on Twitter:
  • City's AI chatbot repeatedly encourages business owners to break the law. (The City/The Markup)
  • How NYC's "specialized" homeless shelter system failed one "subway shover." (NY Times)
  • WNYC/Gothamist checked in with drivers unsurprisingly upset about congestion pricing.

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