SURPRISING STALEMATE ON AMSTERDAM AVENUE REDESIGN, BIKE LANE

speakers bike lane

By Meredith Kurz

Community Board 7’s transportation committee ended up deadlocked Tuesday night over a city proposal to transform Amsterdam Avenue by adding bike lanes, turn lanes and designated loading areas, and cutting one lane of traffic and about 25% of the parking spots. The committee’s 4-4 vote means the proposal was rejected, but it is expected to go up for a vote at next month’s full board meeting and could face a different outcome there.

Amsterdam would morph from four driving lanes to three. A protected bike lane, which would divide bicyclists from car traffic, would run northbound from W. 72nd to W. 110th St. The section below 72nd is trickier and hasn’t been designed. The DOT’s main presentation o the changes is at the bottom of this post.

About 260 people showed up to the meeting, held at Fordham’s campus on West 60th street.

The DOT says its modifications would cause vehicles to slow down, clarify the traffic lines, provide more safety to pedestrians crossing the street with safe islands, and reduce congestion. The DOT modified its plans for changes to parking rules since it first presented the plan in November; it initially said it wanted to make the East side of Amsterdam into a commercial parking zone, but now expects to create commercial parking zones at staggered intervals on either side of Amsterdam depending on business needs.

Of the 27 speakers, all from the Upper West Side, 21 were for the proposal, 4 were against, and 2 were essentially neutral.  Proponents submitted a petition with 3,600 signatures, including 206 from businesses and cultural institutions. Many of the speakers at the meeting were cyclists.

One of the speakers in favor of the proposal said, it will make Amsterdam “more neighborhoody.”

Others, including a trauma center nurse, talked about the benefits to safety. “We are constantly treating victims hit by cars or cyclists being hit or hitting other pedestrians. We deal with the mothers and fathers and children and we see them suffer. I am for this proposal.” When asked to clarify the relative danger of Amsterdam Avenue, the DOT explained that Amsterdam’s accident rates are high, but not the highest, and not within Vision Zero range.

But opponents also spoke out. “The idea of reducing merged lanes from Broadway and 10th Avenue from four to three lanes, between 72nd Street to 110th Street, defies common sense. The resulting traffic congestion will result in air and noise pollution, to businesses and residents alike.” said Joseph Bolanos, president of the West 76th Street Block Association.

Others expressed concerns about the complicated logistics of the commercial loading spaces on the West side of the street, the cyclists who don’t obey the current laws, the loss of parking spaces, the lack of other alternatives for the bike lane locations such as Central Park West, and the vagueness of the traffic study and project approval interviews that were done by the DOT.

Despite the generally positive tenor at the meeting, the community board committee ended deadlocked. Board members who were against the resolution proposed alternatives to an Amsterdam bike lane, such as adding an additional northbound bike lane to Columbus, or adding the northbound bike lane to Central Park West, which could potentially connect to the 8th Avenue bike lane (among the opponents were board chairmen Andrew Albert and Dan Zweig). Another proposal that was floated was to have the DOT keep all or the proposal, but remove the bike lane.

The city had initially said they’d like to start work on the lane this spring if it’s approved. but on Tuesday, the DOT mentioned summer as a more likely start date.

Rosenthal still sounds optimistic:

Correction: We initially gave the wrong number of signatures for the petition supporting the redesign.

Photo by Meredith Kurz.

NEWS | 78 comments | permalink
    1. AC says:

      Joe Bolanos hit it on the nose. The number of cars entering NYC is not decreasing and when you consider all the new condo developments being built & new residents (car owners/renters), the pollution level will increase overtime in the UWS.

      Ps: the true winners who are secretly lobbying and benefiting from these changes (25% reduction in parking spots) are the garages in the UWS.

      • Zulu says:

        Pollution levels have not increased for Columbus avenue and traffic flows much better than it used to. Keeping cars at a steady 25 mph flow is both more efficient and less toxic than having cars gunning it to 45+ mph between lights in Amsterdam.

        Car ownership will not rise at the same rate as population growth in this area. This is not suburbia where every household has 2.75 cars on the driveway.

        Even if what you say is true, that car garages are the only ones to benefit from the bike lane on Amsterdam, I say so what? Isn’t a calmer and safer street worth it? Don’t you ever cross the street? Your wife/husband, your kids, your elders? Isn’t the affordability of safety part of a higher standard of living?

      • Margaret says:

        AC, may I ask where you get those numbers? The census bureau reports I’ve seen show growing populations along with falling car ownership for Manhattan and the Upper West Side. It fits with access to zipcar and car-sharing, and a focus on sustainability. Manhattan’s share of car-free households increased from 77.7% in 2010 to 78.3% in 2014, according to the census. The number of Manhattan households that own a car fell by 1% over this period, and car-free household growth was positive.

    2. Steve says:

      CB7 has a real leadership problem…I’ve been in the community a long time, and I’ve never seen such a supportive crowd for anything else in the neighborhood. Members of the committee treated the large majority of the audience with open contempt at times.

      I’ve never seen anything like it.

      Shame, shame. I’ll be contacting Gale to let her know she needs to fix a serious problem.

    3. Joe Rappaport says:

      I’m very disappointed the Transportation Committee didn’t pass the bike lane proposal, and I hope the full board will approve it. The bike lane is a smart idea because it’s safer for pedestrians

      It’s simple: Fewer lanes for traffic means less exposure for those of us who are walking across the street. It means one less lane where cars and trucks, which now often travel at 30 or 35 mph, can kill or maim us. I know people are frightened of bicyclists as well, but I fear automobiles and trucks much more. And given the 242 traffic deaths in New York City in 2015, including 131 pedestrians, I think I’m justified in that fear. (As far as I was able to find out, every one of these deaths resulted from a car, truck or bus hitting another vehicle, a bicyclist or a pedestrian. Bikes or other pedestrians did not cause any of them.)

      I’m also a driver, and realize that traffic may slow on Amsterdam. But slower speeds increase pedestrian safety as well, since you have a better chance of surviving a crash if you’re hit by a slower-moving vehicle.

      I understand the concerns some of the opponents have raised. But engineering changes like the bike lane proposed for Amsterdam Avenue are essential to make the city safer.

      • Isaac Levy says:

        Cars and trucks going 30-35 MPH? I wish. They go 45+ from what I can tell when I’m behind the wheel. These drivers seem to think that if they don’t get to the front of the pack, they stand to lose all…

        In addition to the 130 pedestrians killed that you mentioned, let’s not forget the roughly 12,000 pedestrians injured by vehicles. People walking the streets are defenseless as they don’t have seatbelts and airbag the way motor vehicle occupants do.

        I’d like to see DOT make this change and turn the street around and make it civil.

        IL

        • Joe Rappaport says:

          You’re right–plenty going faster than 35 mph. But at least some drivers know that if you keep to the speed limit, it’s green lights virtually all the way north.

    4. Isaac Levy says:

      The effect of removing those parking spaces is that it improves traffic flow by creating a turning bay. This would be a good idea even if there wasn’t a bike lane. To create a bike lane along with that is a win-win.

    5. Willow says:

      This was really disappointing. The committee is not listening to the community, the vast majority of which wants this redesign.

      I can only hope the full board cares more about street safety than the transportation committee does.

    6. RR says:

      I am stunned by the vote. Where is the leadership we need to promote safe streets in our neighborhood? Why are those opposed going back to square one when action is needed? I certainly hope that the two committee members who voted against the proposal because they did not have “the data” will take a look at the data that others said they had looked at (available public information) and be able to sort things out for themselves. And, I hope that another member who questions the analysis and evidence presented by DOT will be in a position to offer more than a casual opinion otherwise. What is required is serious debate by serious participants prepared to lead.

    7. PedestrianJustice says:

      Very disappointed with Andrew Albert and Dan Zweig opposing this project to improve safety for pedestrians and bikers on the UWS. Had thought them more thoughtful.

    8. richard fine says:

      shame on those on the committee for spending years hearing the full benefits of complete ”safe streets” from the experts at DOT [they have done several thorough, clear, and positive presentations of their studies] and still not seeing ‘safe’ in safe streets that work. even after yet another presentation a few months ago, a meeting tuesday where a huge majority of speakers approved the plan for many varied reasons [like clearly safer roads for all], questions came up during the vote that should have been addressed way back when; the NEED to SEE the police input report after DOT explained NYPD had given input and approval to the plan. the need to now study
      C P West [DOT explained it was too narrow]. these distractions coming up at the time we are finally getting a vote are a sad delaying tactic.
      lets hope the February full board meeting gets us a safe, civil, and more predictable flow of traffic on Amsterdam Av—with getting from point A to B in the same time frame that todays dangerous wild west Amsterdam provides.
      thank you and good luck to those of us who use Amsterdam ave. in every mode of getting around. richard fine

    9. CB says:

      If you think adding a bike lane to Amsterdam is a good idea, I suggest you spend some time on Columbus Avenue. Same idea…they added a bike lane and reduced vehicle lanes to three. Double-parked cars and taxis dropping off passengers on the outside vehicle lanes essentially translates to ONE flowing traffic lane.

      The result is a dangerous bottleneck with cars from the outside lanes continuously, and forcefully, trying to merge into the center lane.

      If you wanna get some exercise and/or ride a bike to work, I suggest you use the Columbus Avenue bike lane to go South and Central Park to go North.

      This proposal lacks practicality and common sense. If it passes, it’s because of the misappropriated construction funds that will be changing hands behind-the-scenes.

      • Kevin says:

        I live between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues in the 70s.

        To me it’s a night and day difference. Amsterdam feels like a highway, Columbus feels like a neighborhood street. I’d love to see Amsterdam broken up into divided lanes. It will be safer for everyone and much more pleasant for the neighborhood.

        I think pollution is a red herring when it comes to bike lanes. Pollution follows the classic 80/20 rule, the bulk of it comes from a handful of trucks & busses that do not have properly functioning exhaust systems. If you are worried about pollution (and I am), then we should push on enforcement of truck emissions inspections.

        Undoudetly traffic & parking will get a little bit worse. I say that is a decent trade off for making biking and walking more pleasant and safer. 80% of the people in the neighborhood don’t own cars, why do the priorities of the 20% outweigh that? Space is at an absolute premium and we dedicate a huge amount to subsidized parking already.

    10. Mary Beth Kelly says:

      The CB7 committee opponents of a safer Amsterdam, lack the vision our community deserves.Who do they think they are to deprive us of what the community has overwhelming expressed they want? As political appointees, how dare they deprive us of the livable streets other neighborhoods throughout the city have welcomed? If their refusal to support safer streets puts us at greater risk, rather than protecting it, they should be removed from their positions since their personal interests serve a precious few.
      MB Kelly, widow of Dr. Carl H Nacht

    11. GB says:

      Reducing the number of traffic lanes from four to three through this residential area is a great idea. If cars and trucks slow down as a result, so much the better. Southbound Columbus has three lanes and works just fine. Speeding on Amsterdam is a problem, not congestion. Crossing four lanes can be especially treacherous for the old, the young, and the infirm. Give us safe streets, not a superhighway.

      • Chris says:

        I live and drive on West End Ave and the reduction of lanes from 4 to 2 has been great, for drivers as well as pedestrians.

    12. Tom says:

      I think that putting in a bike lane and slowing down traffic is an excellent thing, but one of my concerns is what is already happening on Columbus Avenue during the day. Although three lanes for the movement of traffic remain, in essence it at times becomes only one lane due to trucks double parking and making deliveries on both sides of the Avenue. What’s going to be done to deal with this issue.

      • Zulu says:

        Take a few extra spots out and designate them for truck deliveries.

      • Tyson White says:

        Except that Columbus Avenue was always 3 lanes, even before the bike lane. You don’t have to take my word for it. Check Google StreetView – it lets you look at older images of the street.

      • Kindly Dr Dave says:

        I totally concur. The double-double parking reduces the street to a Le Mans single lane, endangering pedestrians, bikers and drivers.

    13. Margaret says:

      Question for the Transportation Committee. Did you check the proposed bike lane and the current conditions out by biking on Amsterdam from 72nd to 110th?

      As part of the community-based research and checks on problem areas you did, did your group bike up Amsterdam Ave from 72nd to 110th and back down on the Columbus Ave bike lane? When you biked six-lane Amsterdam without a bike lane, as part of representing CB7, what did you think of it? What’s your takeaway for thousands of people who patiently but urgently support a safer, calmer Amsterdam Ave with protected bike lanes, and are asking DOT to move forward on its plan.

      If you didn’t bother to consider transportation by bike along Amsterdam Avenue, please do. You’re the transportation committee!! You represent transportation for a thriving community where people bike (and 3/4 of households don’t own a car).

    14. Barbara says:

      On Columbus, where there are now bike lanes,
      traffic is heavier and bicyclists still ride in the non-bike lanes. Must we continue this on Amsterdam where traffic is even more of a nightmare?

      • Zulu says:

        Traffic on Columbus is not heavier, it flows much better than it used to. The vast majority of cyclists use the bike lane on Columbus. There will always be somebody not using them but those are the minority.

      • Tyson White says:

        Well, actually…. Average daily traffic volume on Columbus Av is slightly higher than on Amsterdam. You can check the State DOT figures here
        http://gis3.dot.ny.gov/html5viewer/?viewer=tdv

        It seems that all the claims by opponents of the bike lanes have no data to back it up. Like the claim made by board member Isaac Booker that businesses will shut down or struggle to survive if a bike lane is installed. A DOT study a few years back actually found that sales at shops on 9th Av actually increased since the bike lane was installed there.

        Please do some factual research before making alarmist claims. The DOT put together a shitload of data that you can look at and see that the plan is based on sound logic.

    15. Tom says:

      Who’s responsibility is it to keep trucks from double parking? It doesn’t seem that anyone cares on Columbus and for sure the same thing is going to happen on Amsterdam avenue!!

      • Zulu says:

        Trucks are double parking on Amsterdam right now as I right this. They double park on both sides of the street. Buses load and unload from the travel lanes when cars are parked on the bus stops or there are other buses there already. What’s your point?

        If anything the bike lane reconfiguration provides some spaces for deliveries which is not something that can be said of the current configuration. Also most importantly shorten the walking distance to cross the street and afford safety to those moving about on bicycles. Overall they calm traffic and make for a better neighborhood.

    16. UWSer says:

      I sit on an alumni board myself. Were our board, or any committee within, constitututed with obstructionists the same way the CB7 apparently is then our community would consider us a disgrace. To vote against a positive plan of action without an equally complete alternative, which this committee has the power to develop (it’s been over 2 yrs), demonstrates that such committee members are undeserving of their seat. It is true dysfunction.

      The tin-eared, do-nothing behavior of the obstructionists is shameful. Shame on you for persisting a dangerous, blightful, 60yr old road design that each and every one of us must navigate with trepidation.

      Shame on you obstructionists.

    17. Rick Titone says:

      I’m disappointed in this committee as they continue to stymie life-saving traffic calming measures on Amsterdam. I lived on this street until last summer and daily saw reckless driving and rampant speeding. Also disappointed in Helen Rosenthal for not removing Andrew Albert and Dan Zweig from this committee last year despite many calls for the change. We will return in force to the full board meeting February 2 to ensure this measure passes.

    18. Ken says:

      Are we going to let fearful observers like Mr. Zweig and Mr. Bolanos dictate how we design our streets, or leave that to the engineers and other trained professionals at DOT? We know for a fact that redesigning Amsterdam will result in an average one-fifth reduction in injuries to all users. We know that the pros at DOT have closely studied the changes and believe that they will result in no meaningful increased congestion (and some intersections will actually improve). On the other side, we have the same predictions of traffic chaos and parking purgatory that are heard EVERY time a change to a street is proposed. These dire predictions never come to pass. Drivers adjust, traffic finds a new equilibrium, and life goes on. How long can you cry “wolf” before people stop believing you?

    19. Leslie Merlin says:

      The leadership of the congregation of Second Presbyterian Church is solidly in favor of making Amsterdam Ave. a “safe street.” When ALL New Yorkers are respected and safe it makes our community better and more vibrant. Choose life, as the Good Book says.

    20. UWSer84 says:

      Did anyone propose that commercial vehicles and buses be allowed or should be directed to use west end avenue? Why must all commercial vehicles travel on amsterdam avenue? For the trucks that need to make deliveries, that’s fine, but for those trucks looking to be further uptown, why not use west end avenue? Is there a law in place that prevents this? If so, why?

      • Tyson White says:

        The better question is why don’t they allow commercial vehicles on the West Side Highway/HH Pkwy and the FDR Drive. This restriction hurts business and is absurdly anti-progressive when everywhere else governments are trying to promote alternatives to single occupancy vehicle usage.

        • Zulu says:

          For the FDR I believe it’s an issue with clearences:
          http://gothamist.com/2013/08/26/photo_when_your_truck_is_too_tall_f.php

          But I don’t know why that would be a problem for the Henry Hudson.

          • sam says:

            National Parkways are federally protected scenic roadways that are surrounded by a “corridor” of parkland and are administered by the National Park Service. By law, they cannot allow commercial vehicles.

            Local Parkways are different, but were still designed only to accommodate smaller/lighter vehicles – as such, many of their bridges and trusses simply cannot handle the weight of trucks, and they have narrow or sharper turns that you may not even notice in a car but that will jackknife a semi.

            More than once, driving home on the Merritt, I witnessed an “illegal” truck literally get stuck under an overpass because it was too tall. One time one had its entire top sheared off.

          • Tyson White says:

            Not all commercial vehicles are too big for lower clearances. There’s no reason they can’t allow them on the FDR and have vehicle clearance restrictions with yellow pendulums on the entrance ramps. This is how it’s done on every other highway. Same for weight restrictions.

      • Bz says:

        Doesn’t need to be proposed. Trucks and other commercial vehicles use WEA as if it were a commercial vehicle street. The law isn’t enforced and truckers know it.

      • manhattan mark says:

        Yes! there is a law that West End Avenue is a residential
        street…and Amsterdam Ave. is a commercial street. Time
        has added more residential buildings to Amsterdam creating
        this problem. Amsterdam was timed to make every light
        at 23 miles per hour continuously moving commercial
        traffic thru manhattan to the outer boroughs and suburbs.Both Amsterdam and Columbus avenues were two
        way (north & south) avenues when I was young.

    21. Elva says:

      Commercial loading should be done from 10:00 pm – 6:00 am, same for Sanitation (have you ever seen cross streets in the UWS and UES in the morning basically closed during sanitation pick ups and school buses drop offs? Many South American countries have adopted these measures and it seems to have reduced traffic.

      • Sprinkles says:

        I think the union has a big say in the hours deliveries happen – unfortunately that can’t be changed quickly and simply.

    22. Bruce says:

      Its funny how opponents of a safe Amsterdam Avenue are using the same (disproved) talking points that they used when it was proposed for Columbus Avenue. That there will be “carmageddon” if a bike lane is put in! That shop will lose business and go close up!

      The opponents are kind of like the Senator who held up a snowball on the floor of the Senate and said, “See! There is no global warming!”

      The data bear out the safety improvements that have already happened on Columbus, and will happen on Amsterdam when traffic is calmed. The data shows that only 2% of customers at Amsterdam Ave businesses arrive by auto. And that on Columbus Avenue, retail continues to thrive after the installation of a protected bike lane, and injury crashes fell 25 percent!

      Lots of data to read here:
      http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/dot-making-safer-streets.pdf

    23. Sprinkles says:

      Some of the community board members behaved disgracefully. They do not care for facts, and no matter how much data you put in front of them to the contrary, they will stand by their unfounded beliefs that congestion will worsen and businesses will be harmed. There is no place for hard-headed dogma on the community board and I hope the DOT remembers that their job is to go through with safe and effective street redesign, not yield to stubborn NIMBYs.

      And the comment that losing free parking is like losing affordable housing is an insult to everybody struggling to make rent. 100% of UWS households need housing. Only 25% own cars, and even fewer truly need them.

    24. AC says:

      Zulu, pollution levels don’t increase over night. The reduction of lanes will slow traffic, thus increasing congestion, which leads to pollution ‘lingering’ around. All these factors are tied-in and have a domino effect. People tend to look at the short picture. Case in Point, East Harlem (back in the 1950’s) was burdened with the construction of polluting facilities, like a multi-storied diesel bus depot operated by the MTA and a sanitation truck depot. Fast forward 1990’s, thousands of kids in the area have been documented with Asthma and other health related ailments. As a matter of fact, the areas surrounding these polluting generating facilities have the highest rates of asthma in New York City.

      Margaret, I’ve been a resident of the UWS for nearly 50 years and my experiences have taught me that figures, such as those you have referenced, tend to contain lots of errors and mis-interpretation. Have to hit the pavement. I have visited several of the local garages and in talking to the people who work there, in particular the big ones like on 79, 80, and 83 streets, they have told me that the of number of cars being parked has increased over the last several years (includes Zip cars). And with the recent decrease of street/public parking, they have seen an increase in cars being parked in their facilities – I should be clear that this was only at these three facilities. Here is an interesting tidbit, there is a ‘little’ company called SP+Corp., which has invested in parking facilities these last few years (they own several in the city). If you dig further into their financial ties, you’ll find they’re pretty close to a certain bank supporting the installation of bike lanes.

      Though the Vote didn’t pass, it will eventually. Those in City Hall will feel pressure from the Corporate World, and it kind of trickles down from there. Those on the transportation committee who opposed the Bike Lanes have legitimate concerns, but they too will succumb to the political pressure.

      • Margaret says:

        That makes sense since as you know, two garages on west 77th street closed and are being redeveloped as housing and garages.

        Housing for people and safe passage for bicycling are really great uses for Manhattan real estate. If you own a car, pay the market price to store it. End of story.

      • Willow says:

        AC, traffic calming does not mean there will be congestion. Quite the opposite on streets that have been redesigned to calm traffic. The flow of traffic is slower, but smoother. A bonus is that getting from point A to point B is actually faster for drivers.

        I don’t know where you get the idea that there are corporations involved with this effort. As a local resident, I have been very involved from Day 1 and I can tell you it’s a grass roots movement, with support from organizations like Transportation Alternatives and other non-profits, but not from corporations. Not that it would be a bad thing, since business is important and most local businesses see this would benefit them, but I just haven’t seen it.

    25. Shoba Krishnan says:

      2 evenings ago, as I was returning home from work, I witnessed a black cab hit a 15 year old boy outside 71st and Amsterdam Ave at about 6pm.  The kid was just walking next to me and the next moment, he went flying onto the middle of the road.  The black cab had run the red light at that busy junction. The kid was screaming in agony in the middle of the road. New Yorkers are a helpful bunch – several stood by the driver of the black cab who had stopped and others ensured the traffic stopped so that we could render aid to the kid.

      I stayed with the kid, holding his hand, until the police and paramedics arrived.  I managed to get a hold of his mother too from his phone – his parents ran all the way from their apartment to the scene of the accident.  Luckily the boy’s injuries didn’t seem life threatening and I left my details with the NYPD in case they needed a witness.

      Thus, I was extremely disappointed and dismayed to hear about the continued safe-streets obstructionism on the CB7 Transportation Committee. The young and elderly and disproportionately affected by traffic violence. They often do not have a voice. What is more important than child safety?

      • Brandon says:

        The proposed redesign doesn’t impact 71st and Amsterdam. As the story states “The section below 72nd is trickier and hasn’t been designed.”
        Trickier for bikes, cars, and pedestrians. I’d rather see the DOT untangle that mess than focus on bike lanes. I have children just reaching the age when they are out in the neighborhood on their own. They’ve been told to never attempt to cross the Broadway/Amsterdam/72nd St intersection. I know my ban can’t last forever.

        • UWSer says:

          In fact the current plan is phase 1 of 2. The second phase extends through and below the bow tie to 59th street. Without phase 1 we won’t get phase 2.

        • Willow says:

          @Brandon – the second phase would cover 59th to 72nd. If anything, this story highlights the urgency to expedite phase 2 of the project.

          Plus, we know this kind of crash can happen anywhere along Amsterdam. Ariel Russo, the 4 year old hit by a car on the sidewalk with her grandmother, who was also injured, died at Amsterdam and 97th. Protected bike lanes provide additional buffer between traveling cars and pedestrians.

          • Brandon says:

            Yes, crashes can happen anywhere and I know I’ve read about more accidents at 96th and Amsterdam than at the B’way/Amsterdam/72nd St nexus but I live closer to that so know those perils first hand. I don’t know why we can’t get Phase 2 without Phase 1 — they’re redoing the area in front of Lincoln Center on Broadway. There’s no reason to go from North to South. Doesn’t matter though. They can start construction north of 72nd St while deciding what to do south of there.

            • Shoba Krishnan says:

              @Brandon
              I’m a mother of 2 kids – a toddler and a baby and I’ve banned my nanny from going with the double stroller on Amsterdam/Broadway/71st/72nd street too. I’m just learning about this proposal and I would definitely like something to be done about this area.

    26. Ted says:

      I am heartened that the board did not cave to special interests and rubber stamp a fad that benefits few people at a high cost to many.

      The Columbus bike lane is a white elephant. Few people use it. Those who do use it don’t obey the rules most of the time. Bikers who think it’s bi-directional endanger pedestrians who rightly think traffic will be coming from one direction. Saddest of all is that about half the bikes I see on Columbus don’t use the bike lane at all.

      Bike lanes make sense downtown where there are more people who use bikes on a constant basis. Trying to force fit a solution to every neighborhood is poor planning.

      • Jon says:

        Considering that most CitiBike docks are empty by 8:00 am every morning, and Columbus Ave is the only protected bike lane on the UWS, I will have to disagree with your statement that few people use the bike lane, and it’s certainly not a “fad”.

        I don’t support “salmoning”, but perhaps people would stop biking in the wrong direction on Columbus Avenue if there was a protected bike lane running uptown…

        • Anon says:

          Jon,

          Isn’t there a bike lane on CPW?

          • Anon says:

            I’ll answer my own question. It isn’t protected. Do people really think it’s safer for everyone to go the wrong way in a protected lane than to ride in the right direction in a non-protected lane?

            • Jon says:

              Correct, the lane is unprotected, often forcing riders to maneuver out of the lane to avoid being doored—or navigate around buses or double-parked cars—all of which force the bike rider to take the road.

              For what it’s worth, the DOT study ruled out CPW for a protected bike lane. The second and third choices were a northbound (only) bike lane on Broadway, and a two-way lane on Columbus.

            • Willow says:

              @Anon – going the wrong way on a protected bike lane is definitely safer for cyclists than riding on the CPW unprotected lane. The transportation committee studied the data and, if I remember correctly, CPW had the highest incidents of cyclists injuries, except for Broadway.

              Though I am against salmoning (biking in the wrong direction), I understand why some people do it. This is one of many reasons we need a northbound protected bike lane.

      • Margaret says:

        What “high cost to many”, Ted? What are you referring to?

        In dollar terms, in the $840 million annual city transportation budget, the bike lanes cost the city exactly zero. They’re 100% federally funded.

        Since you mentioned the Columbus Ave bike lane, it is FANTASTIC with the new Lincoln Square connectivity. I take it down to Penn Station for my weekend getaways out of the city, to Bucks County and up to Saratoga Springs. This is a huge step change in connectivity from the old stub we had before. I just wish that so many pedestrians weren’t injured or killed around Lincoln Square before DOT and the CB went forward with it.

    27. S. Hayes says:

      Amsterdam = Lexington Ave., 1st Ave
      Columbus = Madison Ave. To each his/her own.
      Few bikes = smiles whether on streets or in CP.
      Want to keep property values status quo? Well?
      Want to raise them and quality of life on UWS?
      Put in the bike lane, oh and a few more trees.

    28. John says:

      Can we create a pedestrian only lane this way we won’t get hit by bikes and Hoover boards on the sidewalks.

    29. Jay says:

      Very disappointing.
      But not surprising.

      But it will happen. Hopefully sooner rather than later.All the double-parked delivery trucks in the world and all the traffic madly swirling around them in search cannot stop an idea whose time has come.

    30. Don Correia says:

      In addition, or instead, I think that someone should consider fixing the west corner of 71st and Amsterdam. The bottleneck of cars trying to turn left is a real problem. Cut down the large sidewalk allowing a separate turn lane so that through traffic can continue unimpeded.

    31. Julia b says:

      Anybody who is a driver, as I am (as well as a bicyclist), knows from experience that it is impossible to drive 45 mph on Amsterdam Avenue the way the lights are constructed now. If you rev to 45 miles an hour starting from any red light you will immediately hit the next red light. You can only be driving at a maximum of 25-27 miles an hour in order to travel with the flow of the red lights changing to green. This is the case starting from 14th St. in the Village and going all the way up north into Harlem. So now that the misconception has been corrected, as a driver and a bicyclist I am in favor of creating a bike lane on Amsterdam Avenue. I do think as many parking spots as possible should be kept, and loading zones should be established as they were not established on Columbus Avenue. Citibike racks should be taken off of the main avenue as they take up way too many parking spaces for people that need them to do commercial deliveries and parking.

    32. Liz says:

      Enough already with the bike lanes. We really don’t need another one on Amsterdam Ave. That Ave is a major thoroughfare that does not need to be reduced in size.

      I agree it will just make traffic worse, cause more congestion and add to the pollution in the area. So — so much, for riding a bike cause it is healthier, etc., etc., etc.

      Want to ride a bike — use Central Park. NYC is not Amsterdam (no pun intended).

      Bike Lanes on Columbus. Who ever uses them except food delivery guys going to wrong way?

      I am truly sick of bike lanes. Bring back the Old New York.

    33. Debby Fortier says:

      How many more people will be maimed or killed before the community board votes for people over cars? One can only hope: none, but my experience as a bike commuter shows me we remain sitting ducks. Progress, maybe. But too slow, in my opinion. Bicyclists and pedestrians do not pollute or kill like cars do. We should be rewarded for that – not put in harm’s way.