HERE COMES THE COLUMBUS AVENUE BIKE LANE EXTENSION

The Columbus Avenue protected bike lane will soon extend all the way from 110th street to 65th, instead of stopping at 96th and 77th streets. The extension was approved by Community Board 7 in February, and construction got started last week, according to a release from the community board.

The protected lanes separate bikes from cars by adding a new lane of parked cars, as well as a series of concrete curbs at intersections (see photo above). There will be 23 of those “pedestrian refuge islands” on the Columbus Avenue lanes, according to DOT. A shared bike/car lane will run from 68th to 65th but the tricky area from 65th to 59th street apparently hasn’t been designed yet. If you see lane construction happening on Columbus, snap a photo and let us know! Click on the graphic below to enlarge it.

NEWS | 22 comments | permalink
    1. TG says:

      I know this serves a purpose, but as someone without a bike it’s pretty annoying. My block lost three parking spaces and the ability to double-park, and now cars have to parallel park in the middle of the road, and when cars turn, they still have to cross the bike path before getting to the light, emerging around from behind the parked cars, no less. Yay for bikes and all, though, I guess. Now they can really get up some serious speed before running all the red lights.

      • Alton says:

        You lost 3 parking spaces on your block! I feel so sowwy for you. You must be sooo annoyed! Call the waaaahhhmbulance!

    2. uwsrider says:

      I’m a daily bike commuter, and while I encourage and applaud any initiative that makes cycling safer or better accepted, I have mixed feelings about the Columbus Ave lane. First, because it won’t ever go all the way to 59th, there is limited utility. And because bikeshare will never reach that far north, it will never get enough usage. It is mainly used by deliverymen, often riding the wrong way. Also, “shared lanes” are a joke – cars never heed the markings. I would rather see the bike lane on CPW be expanded to a protected two-way lane. There are no stores or buildings on that side to worry about. Let cars have Amsterdam and Columbus.

      • Tony Adams says:

        Cars in Manhattan are repulsive/offensive.
        Anything that discourages them on any street is a step in the right direction. I live in the area of the new bike lane. I use a bike. I am not above bashing a dent into the side/hood of any car that endangers me when I am in the correct bike lane and following the rules. Given the ubiquitous live cams, no angered driver has dared to jump out of his car and give me hell. New world, folks. Get crackin.

        • LanceA says:

          Are you one of those D-bags who thinks he’s Lance Armstrong and races down the street at 45 mph endangering kids and the elderly? C. Park is full of ’em

        • FTFY says:

          Bike riders in Manhattan are repulsive/offensive.
          Anything that discourages them on any street is a step in the right direction. I live in the area of the new bike/idiot lane. I drive a car. I am not above bashing a dent into the head of any bike rider that endangers others when failing to heed red lights or accept when cars have the right of way. Given their smug attitudes, virtually all bike riders bark their heads off over anything that isn’t 100% “green” and are utterly annoying. New world, folks. Drive on!

          FTFY. 🙂

    3. Sydney says:

      Yay, more lanes no one will use!

    4. BRIAN says:

      1. People use the lanes downtown; why wouldn’t they use them uptown, ESPECIALLY when bike share arrives north of 59th St., which it will?

      2. Why wouldn’t people be able to double park? They’d be as disruptive as ever, but free to do so.

      3. The utility will expand as the network grows…they’ll figure out the 59th challenge…all in time.

      Bike share and bike lanes are making the city more livable and safe (our streets aren’t simply expressways anymore, and more bikes are off the sidewalks), and more healthy (in terms of fitness and air quality). We’re making good progress. We’ll always have to balance the needs of multiple users of streets, but the important thing is that finally bikes are included in that conversation in a meaningful way. Bravo for that.

    5. Pedestrian says:

      Pedestrian refuge area is the right term. The way some cyclists treat pedestrians we will soon be an endangered species. I get it–cyclists are just better human beings than the rest of us but really a little civility would be appreciated.

    6. Ricki says:

      Awful, just plainly awful!
      More congested traffic in narrower lanes, much more difficult to cross the avenue, less parking, huge delivery trucks double parking in order to make deliveries, frequently, only one lane of traffic is able to move and the bikes are still in the road, going the wrong way, and the bike lane is underused….an absolutely awful dangerous messs! A failed experiment.

      • Tony Adams says:

        May I reframe your comment? “This is awful news for cars. It will make driving them and parking them much more difficult. It will make some people turn to mass transit and others to bicycles. It will decrease noise pollution and air pollution. It may even help keep pedestrians safer from bicycle delivery people who think they are in a pinball machine.”

    7. arlene says:

      A shared bike/vehicle lane on Columbus Ave. as low as W. 65th Street is pure insanity. Does anyone from DOT ever spend anytime on these streets or do they just study road maps. Nothing but trouble ahead. When was the last time they attempted a left turn from Columbus onto W.65th ?
      BTW, earlier this year a DOT person told me the bike lane was going to end at W.68th St. & Columbus. That at least made some sense!

    8. MSJEAN says:

      BIKE LANES IN NEW YORK CITY…..THE DUMBEST IDEA IN THE HISTORY OF DUMB IDEAS…AND NOW LETS EXTEND THEM…..IT BOOGLES THE MIND…….

    9. TG says:

      An update: yesterday I saw three bikers pass my block on Columbus. All three delivering food, none of them in the new bike lane, none stopping at lights. I have yet to see anyone use the bike lane, which makes sense since it’s a block from Central Park and not too far from Riverside. Bikes don’t replace cars here, they replace walking and public transportation. People in Manhattan are more likely to use their cars for trips out of town. The rest of the vehicles are delivery trucks and out-of-towners, whose cars aren’t replaceable with bikes. Bikes don’t have luggage racks and weather protection. Because of this lane decreasing both driving lanes AND parking spots, I’m now much more likely to have to double-park on Columbus to load luggage into my car, shutting a high-traffic avenue down to two lanes (one if someone double-parks on the other side).

      • DMH says:

        When it’s a complete network it will be so much better. If you were to count traffic on a road that had been extended two blocks before it abruptly ended in under-construction, unusable status, the way the Columbus Ave bike lane did yesterday (south of 77th), I think there would not be many cars on it either.

        I did see a school bus DRIVING down the bike lane (between the parked cars and the curb), plus an SUV and a truck parked on top of it – so I guess it takes some time or friendly reminders before drivers learn.

        If you think cyclists don’t need bike lanes on Columbus Ave (and Amsterdam Ave) because it’s a block from Central Park West and not too far from Riverside, can we shut these avenues down to auto traffic right now? It is the same distance for CARS, and car-free streets would be a heck of a lot safer, quieter, and more serene for the entire neighborhood. But let me guess, no. Those are thoroughfares for drivers, for cyclists just the same.

        I am so happy to see complete streets finally being implemented here, and so excited to vote for candidates in November who will lend their support. In a neighborhood where less than 25% of the households own a car, and only one in ten people gets to work by their own car, it makes so much sense. No one likes to give up something they used to enjoy for free, but we all share the same public space here….

        • TG says:

          It’s not really a complaint about losing something we enjoyed for “free”, since what we lost was several metered parking spots per block. But I’m fine with what you’re saying overall. It’s just frustrating. We don’t need tons of driving room, but we do need parking spaces.

    10. Liz says:

      Screw the bike lanes. The bike lanes and city bikes are just another one of the crazy ideas concocted by Bloombucks to show his anger at not getting congestion pricing.

      Please tell me how Janet Sadik-Khan, a woman who rides a bicycle to work, can be the head of the DOT? Bicycles belong in the country and/or the parks.

      Bicycle riders don’t respect the rules of the road. I nearly go run over on 74th and Columbus by a rider speeding along who did not stop for the red light.

      Please get rid of the bike lanes. I would vote for anyone who will bring back sanity to street planning in NYC. I don’t want to live in the suburbs. If I did, I would move back to NJ. I want NYC to look and feel like a real city and not some crazy playground area.

      What is it with the tables and park space outside of an existing park,e.g. 59th and Broadway, 23rd and 5th, 34th and Broadway, etc.? If you already have a park, people can sit in the park. You don’t need to extend the park onto the street and tie up traffic.

      Please,enough already with this nonsense.

    11. RBK says:

      Finally! And what a pleasant surprise.

      I live on the UWS, own a car, ride a bike and, of course, walk everywhere. So I think I have a relatively objective view about bike lanes, as I can see the “big picture”. Which, put simply, is about taking steps to make Manhattan, at least, safer and more hospitable to cyclists and pedestrians. Most of us here don’t own cars; we walk and take mass transit. And more and more, we bike. Not just for recreation, not for a fun “ride in the park,” but as transportation: to get from point A to point B quickly without having to wait and perspire on a subway platform or pay for a cramped, stuffy overpriced cab. In many, many instances, biking is the easiest way to get somewhere.

      And bike lanes help us do that. Creating traffic congestion? Uh, that’s kinda the idea. It’s called “traffic calming”. Have you seen how many huge trucks barrel down Columbus at 40 to 50mph? Yes, adding a bike lane and removing (or narrowing) a car lane(s) slows down traffic. And that’s the idea, people! It’s all about making the city better for cyclists and pedestrians, which is what most of us who live here are.

      • James Muessig says:

        I use the Columbus Ave bicycle lane every day to get to work. When traffic is bad on Columbus Ave where there is no bike lane I cut over to Central Park. Coming home I use the Hudson River bike path or sometimes the CPW. I think that a two way CPW bike path makes sense. Citibike will make it to the Upper West Side. It takes me only fifteen minutes to commute to work in midtown from the W 80s. The only reason that I could see for an Amsterdam Ave bicycle path is that the avenue looks prettier with one. Columbus Ave used to be a wide concrete speedway. Now there are pedestrian islands and trees and flower plantings. It’s plain nicer than it was. Amsterdam Ave would be the same. I would ask fellow bicyclists not to be obnoxious to motorists or pedestrians. We all share the same public space and all deserve to be here.