LINCOLN SQUARE REDESIGN AND EXTENDED COLUMBUS AVENUE BIKE LANE TO BE INSTALLED STARTING THIS WEEK

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A project to redesign Lincoln Square between 66th and 63rd street and extend the Columbus Avenue bike lane from 69th to 59th street will begin this week, according to the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District. The area is one of the top 5% most dangerous intersections in the city.

The Department of Transportation plans to make several changes to the area:

We covered this project in more detail here.

NEWS | 53 comments | permalink
    1. denton says:

      Should be interesting and I am looking forward to the improvements. So if you are heading south on Columbus, you will be forced to drive down 9th Avenue? People are not going to like that.

    2. caitlin says:

      I am a pedestrian – don’t know how to drive.
      But bad (and dangerous) behavior by pedestrians has worsened in the past few years and needs to be addressed as well.

      Things seem to have worsened since Century 21 opened, replacing Barnes & Noble. People walk into Broadway disregarding red lights. People stand in the street blocking the buses trying to get to the bus stop on 66th & Broadway.

      More tourists/visitors as well as newbie New Yorkers who purposefully ignore red lights and purposefully walk into moving traffic…

      Pedestrians, along with drivers and cyclists, need to be part of the civic framework. Entitling pedestrians to further disregard laws is not the solution.

      • Jeff Berger says:

        I think you are missing the point. We need to make Cars secondary to Bikes and Pedestrians. Bikes are the future of an island like Manhattan. There really is no need to use a car and we should begin to discourage their use.

        • dannyboy says:

          There is a need to use a car. My wife is disabled.

          Actually…the result of a bicycling crash.

        • Mike says:

          “There really is no need to use a car…”

          I can only imagine your New York. Let’s have the old, young, handicapped and infirmed sign up for Citibike and all will be good in the city. You should probably let the big-box stores know you’re on the pedal patrol, too. How many packs of Costco toilet paper can you fit in your bike basket?

          • Christina says:

            Who has the room for multiple bulks of toilet paper in their apt. anyway?! Or most things Costco sells. Don’t get me wrong, I love Costco but a lot of items are in bulk and I really don’t know who has the room to store so much.

        • Jeremy says:

          Jeff – you are correct because it never rains.

          • lmr says:

            It is simple to ride a bike in the rain. Wear a raincoat and rain pants. It is done all the time by more than a million people throughout Scandinavia.

            • Elizabeth says:

              Not everyone has money for gear, let alone the bike. And what about people commuting to work from far out in one borough to far away in another. Should they travel three hours instead of one?

            • Christina says:

              @ Elizabeth… if you can afford a car, you can afford a bike and rain gear. So, in my opinion your statement doesn’t make much sense.

        • TG says:

          I wonder how many bikes it will take for all the grocery stores, bodegas, restaurants, and bars to stock up for the week?

          Bikes actually are most likely to replace subway travel and walking, not cars.

        • caitlin says:

          Jeff – Regarding your comment on my comment…I’d respectfully disagree that bicycles should be the future.
          As a non-driver, I walk and use the subway and bus. IMO subway and bus transportation are critical, not bicycles.
          Buses, an important segment of NYC’s mass transportation are, sadly, severely impacted by traffic congestion.
          Much traffic results from commercial traffic – construction, service, package delivery (especially “instant gratification” delivery), Uber, etc.
          As for bicycles, unfortunately too many NYC cyclists completely disregard red lights and endanger pedestrians. I am not referring to exploited delivery people – IMO it is the “civilian cyclists who seem to be the most egregious.

          • ira says:

            Cars should not own streets. Streets should be for pedestrians and bicyclists. It would be easier to design a system where pedestrians and bicyclists and buses would coexist if there were no cars.

        • Ira says:

          Congestion pricing! Now!

    3. UWS Dad says:

      Traffic on 9th Ave is already horrendous. Why filter even more cars down it when that section of Broadway is relatively quiet?

    4. uwsdad says:

      I live on West 65th between Lincoln Square and CPW ~ now if I’m coming uptown on Broadway I will not be able to turn right on my street. I will have to go up CPW and either walk to my building on west 65th or go to 66th street and take 3 left turns to actually be dropped off at my door.

    5. Lita says:

      More walkng, more walking, good for the body, good for the soul…..no need for cars in Manhattan…YEA!!!

    6. Lita says:

      More walking, more walking, good for the body, good for the soul…..no need for cars in Manhattan…YEA!!!

    7. Mike says:

      So if you’re heading North on Broadway intending to go to 65th Street, you need to go to 67th, then East to CPW, South to 66th, then West to Columbus, and finally left onto 65th. Considering considerable pedestrian traffic, bus stops, transverse backlogs, and light timing, that’s probably a 20-minute detour.

      What really also needs to be addressed throughout the entire Upper West are the cars/cabs/trucks that believe that when they are making a left off Broadway to any of the streets, the red light at the center aisle doesn’t pertain to them. I don’t exaggerate in the least when I say that EVERY day I see vehicles run through the intersections against the light, threatening pedestrians and Broadway traffic in the process. Taxis appear to be the worst offenders. Signs need to be posted in the intersections and on the lights themselves telling these obviously poorly-informed drivers that they have to wait for the light.

      • Zulu says:

        Not just on Broadway, I believe that if the median is over 6′ wide all turning vehicles must stop and wait for the light to turn green.

      • Woody says:

        You’re incorrect. Cars do not need to stop at the median unless it is posted like at many intersections on Park Avenue. Lights at medians are redundant just like at mostly every intersection in Manhattan.

        Their is no effect of a car completing its turn through a median on pedestrians who should not be crossing there anyway. There are no crosswalks between the medians.

        • Mike says:

          I’m sorry, but you’re grossly mistaken. I’m not referring to pedestrians crossing between the medians, which is improper, but crossing WITH the light north or southbound at the appropriate N/S crosswalks of Broadway. The cars turning east or west are indeed required to enter the path of traffic in those directions and proceed ONLY with the light, as they otherwise directly endanger any pedestrians who have the light and right of way at the proper crosswalks along Broadway. This is one of the primary reasons a number of pedestrians have been struck and killed or injured in just the last year.

        • Cato says:

          “Lights at medians are redundant”.

          Really?? The entire system of lights at every intersection along divided Broadway — how many miles is that? — is nothing but “redundant”.

          You should bring a fraud action against the City for wasting taxpayer funds installing, maintaining and operating a miles-long system of “redundant” traffic controls. This isn’t a one-time spending waste; you’re talking about keeping up an entire system, always. Constantly. For years and years.

          Or maybe stop a second and think: Maybe, just maybe, the City wouldn’t waste time, money and personnel long-term on a “redundant” system. So maybe, just maybe, the system *isn’t* redundant.

          So maybe, just maybe, what everyone else is saying is right: Traffic is expected to stop at the red light when turning through a divided highway (street).

          • Woody says:

            By redundant, I mean that intersections have multiple sets of traffic lights. The position of each has no bearing on where vehicles stop. Just because it’s located on the median means nothing unless it’s posted that vehicles must stop there if the light is red. Otherwise it’s just like any left turn across traffic.

        • Zulu says:

          I just looked it up and unfortunately you are correct. If the median is less than 30 feet wide you can continue through the left turn. I say unfortunately because drivers tend to not yield to either oncoming traffic or pedestrians who at that point have the right of way.

          • Woody says:

            Pedestrians have the right of way when the Walk signal is illuminated. Once it starts flashing Don’t Walk, pedestrians are not even supposed to step off the curb let alone start their crossing. That’s when the problem arises because cars miss the opportunity to turn if pedestrians don’t respect the laws that apply to them.

            As to cars being allowed to cross the median, I wouldn’t have posted what I did had I not known for sure. I was told that by an officer from the 20th precinct. The median is irrelevant to cars turning. Cars turn all the time on 2-way streets without medians and the same issue of pedestrians having to cross on the other side exist. How else would you expect cars to ever turn?

            • Christina says:

              Most of the light signals have countdown signals now. So the flashing lights are becoming the thing of the past.

    8. D.R. says:

      The traffic lights at 65th Street and Columbus are too low.
      When a large truck or a bus breaches the stop line ever so slightly, it is totally impossible to see the “walk/don’t walk” sign.
      Dangerous

    9. Elizabeth says:

      I don’t drive or bike in the city. If the city has bike lanes, they need to make them safe for pedestrians, old and young, in strollers, walking dogs, etc. Construction detours and street conditions are bad enough to make the bike lanes (that become also pedestrian paths) dangerous. But the bikers need to respect the law. No sidewalks, no riding uptown in the downtown lane, no speeding and no running lights and stop signs. And to be clear, these are not all food delivery people; by far the violators are not those guys. I think NYC should ticket bikers liberally for breaking those rules, just as they should drivers, and maybe even enforce jaywalking. No one class of New Yorker is above another. Riding a bike doesn’t automatically make you better than the rest of us. We are walking, running, driving, and using our crutches here too.

      • Zulu says:

        I can definitely get behind this sentiment.

      • D.R. says:

        As you probably read in “Morning Bulletin”, Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal filed a bill to require that delivery bicyclists be identifiable with the business that employs them. (Possibly, via a luminescent vest?)
        But it seems to me that the businesses would ignore such a requirement rather than risk fines for employees’ violations.

        • Elizabeth says:

          They are not the whole problem. They should be identifiable, but so should the other cyclists that disobey the law and endanger people in the street. I know you are probably just on this information, but it’s important not to put the whole burden on one class of rider. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been hit by a non-delivery person riding in the wrong direction on the corner of 75th Street, sometimes making a turn east from the bike lane, which is also against the traffic on 75th Street. post a license on all of them, I say.

          • Christina says:

            I know! Now the old adage “Look both ways before crossing the street” pertains to one way streets as well.

        • Aunt Renie says:

          Great idea…its only a start though.

          ALSO, bikes should require a license at a nominal fee. A plate can be put on the bike so it can be identified in an accident by those probing street cameras that catch everything you do these days.

          • Zulu says:

            The plate on the bikes have been tried before and has failed in every single city that has attempted it. The amount of work and money required for this to take place eclipses any of the perceived benefits. BTW bicyclist do get ticketed by NYPD as it is.

      • Woody says:

        Among the three groups, pedestrians interfere with the other two groups (cyclists and vehicles) far more than the others with either each other or pedestrians.

        All the focus on cyclists and vehicles as being the disruptive factors is ridiculous. Pedestrians have no regard for anyone else and will do whatever they want to get somewhere. Is it any wonder that drivers and cyclists get frustrated when they can’t make a turn when it’s their right-of-way?

        It’s ironic that one of the poles in Lincoln Square at Broadway and 65th St (on the triangle) has a small sign that instructs pedestrians that they should not step off the crosswalk when the Don’t Walk signal is flashing.

      • Richard says:

        As one who regularly bikes all over the UWS – stopping for lights, signaling turns and NOT riding in the wrong direction – I couldn’t agree more.

        Instead of ticketing cyclists running red lights in Central Park at 6am when no pedestrians are crossing (and no, I’m not one of those cyclists, either), how hard could it be to station a cop on ANY bike lane and simply arrest all the cyclists riding the wrong way (both delivery and non-delivery cyclists)? I mean, they’d be riding right towards you; no chasing necessary. Honestly, what could be easier?

        • elizabeth says:

          That would be what? A cop on every corner, on every avenue with a bike lane. I’d say that’s a pretty big deal.

          • Richard says:

            No. Instead of having a cop (or more usually cops) chasing down/ticketing cyclists who roll through a red light WHEN NO ONE IS COMING (the way pedestrians do when they cross against the light – I believe it’s called jaywalking), have just a single cop stand on the corner of, say, Columbus and 85th holding his ticket book. Every time a cyclist approaches heading north (the wrong way), simply stand in that cyclist’s path and issue a ticket. ONE COP to cover the entire Columbus Ave bike path from, say, 95th to 65th could ticket dozens of wrong-way cyclists every hour. One cop. Without having to take even a single step, let alone give chase, one cop could easily ticket dozens of wrong way cyclists every hour.

    10. Bibi says:

      I frankly hate the bike lanes. They made the street look more crowded and congested the traffic even more. I remember looking up Columbus Avenue and it was so beautiful and so wide – now with the bike lanes and the “floating parking” it looks horrible and the double parking and trucks unloading, you are lucky if you get ONE working lane!!! Not to mention, the bikers ARE STILL USING THE CAR LANES AND NOT THE BIKE LANE. I have sat there and just watched them. And when they do, they speed – I have more of a chance of getting run over by a biker than I do by a car!

      • D.R. says:

        Although sometimes the bicyclists are not to blame for avoiding the bike lane.
        I noticed, last week, on 8th Avenue in the 50s, that the bike lane was replete with slippery road apples from NYPD horses.
        Hazardous.

      • Mike says:

        You took the words out of my mouth. The bicyclists are not just a hazard for pedestrians, but for cars, too. I try to be mindful of bicyclists when driving, but they seem intent on zipping from lane to lane as if they are playing a video game. The bike lanes are useless if the people who they’re intended for ignore them. All they do is make the avenues narrower, create a hazard when cars are trying to park in the spots that have now impinged on a lane, and make it harder for pedestrians to see oncoming traffic from the corner.

      • Woody says:

        I’m a frequent cyclist and find the city’s approach to bike lanes deplorable. It’s very good at installing them but terrible at enforcing them so cyclists can use them safely. I, too, avoid the protected bike lanes many times since it’s impossible to navigate them with all the pedestrians, vehicles, and other objects blocking them.

      • lmr says:

        Oh, I forgot that the road is there to look pretty as opposed to being used for transportation.

      • lynn says:

        I’m with you on this one. I’ve been hit by cyclists twice and both times they were adult males in racing gear (not delivery people) and they were NOT using the bike lane and were obviously too entitled to obey traffic lights. Both times the police told me there was nothing they could do unless I went to the hospital. The first time I was just knocked over, and the second time I was walking two dogs and sustained a permanent injury when I pulled them to safety. I’m confused by the poster who said that pedestrians “have no regard for anyone else and will do whatever they want to get somewhere.” What does that even mean? Are pedestrians aimlessly dashing through the intersections at 20 mph? If I’m standing on a corner and a cyclist runs into me I would say the cyclists are the problem. I would definitely like them to be licensed and identifiable.

    11. UWS neighbor says:

      The UWS Community really needs to address the local BID who does nothing to assist long time business owners and make the area bicycle friendly. It’s time the President of the BID retired since she seems to not be engaged to what her neighbors like and just listens to her REBNY/real estate/chain store owners. Thus the area is simple very boring to shop now.

    12. D.R. says:

      Two questions:
      #1) I think that I skimmed a comment here about a month or so ago, stating that licensing bikers is not practicable. If not practicable, does anyone know why?

      #2) When the bike lanes were planned, was it contemplated that they would serve as NYPD horse trails as well? (I’ve seen evidence of this both on Columbus and on 8th Avenue.)

      • Zulu says:

        A licensing plan would not have a positive cost/benefit analysis.
        Here are my $.02:
        -It would require new plate sizes since current vehicular plates would be too large an potentially hazardous in the event of crash (sharp edges).
        -Smaller plates would not be as visible as current vehicular ones.
        -DMV would have to hire additional people to handle the work load. Perhaps new computer system?
        -The fees for registering a bicycle would have to substantially lower than a motorized vehicle given the weight and road usage, perhaps not offsetting the cost of issuing such licenses.
        -It would discourage people from bicycling given the additional layer of bureaucracy (have you been to a DMV office lately?)
        -Would not necessarily keep bad behavior from occurring.
        -Difficult to match a license plate to a bicycle make or brand since there are lots of ratty bikes out there with no paint or discernible features.

        As far as bike lanes being used for official use like mounted police, emergency vehicles (ambulances or fire trucks) during a call or so, I’m all for it. I will gladly step on a sidewalk and let an ambulance go by. In fact I would feel happy to know that the ambulance has a means to get around a traffic jam by means of a bike lane.

        • D.R. says:

          Thank you so much for your time in replying so comprehensively, Zulu.

          Perhaps you can copy and save your comments about the licensing, and paste them *each time* that the licensing suggestion comes up — including, right now, into the current “Citibike” story.

          I am totally, totally respectful of any emergency operations.

    13. DMH says:

      So happy for these long-awaited changes. Thanks, DOT!

      I wonder if serious consideration is given to opening Central Park West southbound to Columbus Circle. At least a southbound bike lane? It seems like a shame the street is closed, but I don’t know the whole backstory.

      • Steve says:

        Most European cities have SAFE and SEPARATED Bicycle Lanes.

        Many with sophistated well-designed barrier posts lining the bike routes or other sensible architecturally applied methods.

        With clear communication displayed on smart, uncluttered and easy-to-understand attractive graphic signage.

        The surface of a BIKE route is generally green – which clearly indicates a recognizable designated bike lane usage to any crossing pedestrians.

        I suggest bike lanes along our major north-south arteries like Broadway and east-west routes like 81 Street by REMOVING ONE PARKED CAR LANE from our congested and noisy thoroughfares! This will allow the proper space for a sensible bike lane. With a green surface and smart graphic signage: Less parked cars = less congestion and less street noise!

        Our political leaders must consider smarter urban infrastructure bicycle lane planning – resulting in an environmentally friendly, healthier and safer quality of life.

      • CPW needs to have a protected north bound lane to compliment the south bounds in Central Park and Columbus Avenue. It could then continue up Frederick Douglass Boulevard passing near all of the parks uptown.