BOARD APPROVES AMSTERDAM AVENUE REDESIGN AFTER WILD MEETING; ‘SHOW US YOUR ZIP CODE!’

cb7 vote
Photo of community board members voting.

By Joy Bergmann

After years of planning, months of public meetings and 3.5 hours of heated Tuesday night debate, Community Board 7 approved the NYC DOT’s proposed redesign of Amsterdam Avenue to include a parking-protected bike lane and new pedestrian safety infrastructure from 72nd to 110th Street.

The vote was 28 in favor, 13 against and two abstentions. CB7 Transportation Committee co-chairs Dan Zweig and Andrew Albert voted against the plan, as did the co-chairs of the Business & Consumer Issues Committee, Michele Parker and George Zeppenfeldt-Cestero.

The redesign would shrink Amsterdam to three driving lines from four, while creating commercial parking zones at various strategic spots for businesses. It would eliminate about 21% of the parking on the avenue. The plan would also add pedestrian islands and left-hand-turn lanes. See the basic design below (click to enlarge), and the full DOT presentation here. The DOT has said that it would like to start the redesign this spring.

amsterdam proposed

An over-capacity crowd showed up at the Goddard Riverside Community Center’s meeting room with a legal limit of 243 persons. NYPD and FDNY officers told attendees that the 100+ people waiting in hallways would have to disperse for safety reasons. They did not go quietly.

CB7 Chair Elizabeth Caputo put a public commentary structure in place for the evening: 5 supporters of the plan would speak, then 5 against. Each would be allotted 1 minute unless speaking as a group sharing time. The format worked, but did not stop audience members from hissing at speakers, shouting “Shut up!”, booing, clapping or demanding, “Show us your zip code!”

Speakers did not always identify themselves, and none spelled their names, so WSR has made abbreviations here.

Families for Safe Streets, a group for people who have lost loved ones in crashes, spoke first, with a dozen members holding large color photos of killed family members. Kathleen McAnulty, daughter of Thomas McAnulty who died at 96th Street and Amsterdam several weeks ago, said, “Something has to be done.” Her brother, Steve McAnulty, continued, “19 deaths. If there were 19 deaths due to a terrorism incident, there wouldn’t be debate. There would be infrastructure to change it.”

KathleenMcAnulty
Kathleen McAnulty, daughter of crash victim Thomas McAnulty.

Themes repeated in opponents’ comments included distrust of DOT’s numbers and abilities, fear of traffic congestion and loss of parking:

“The DOT has a history of not telling the truth; it’s easy to manipulate these [traffic study] results,” Dave Z.

“There will be unintended consequences not considered here,” Betty L.

“The congestion will be horrible,” Carmen Q.

“DOT has a credibility problem with the disaster above 96th Street,” Dave L.

“There were procedural defects in the process…this is a bad plan,” Seth Kaufman.

OpponentSethKaufman
Seth Kaufman speaks against the plan.

“Who here is in favor of heart attacks? Well then, why are we clogging the biggest artery on the UWS?” said another man.

Supporters’ printed signs – Safety Is The #1 Priority – echoed their comments:

safety“I can’t believe we are talking about parking spaces over people’s lives,” Andreas T.

“This will increase pedestrian safety for seniors,” Jack K.

“The bike lane is really good for our business,” Beth S.

“DOT has thoroughly and professionally done their job. I look forward to a safer flow of traffic for all,” Richard F.

“This is about traffic calming; if everyone’s going slower, fewer people are getting hurt,” said a PS 84 PTA member.

In a surprising plot twist, CB7 member Sheldon Fine announced he had an alternative resolution to the DOT plan, one he intended to see debated and voted on at the meeting. Passing paper copies along the dais, Fine read his resolution, essentially seeking to put pedestrian safety infrastructure into Amsterdam Avenue, but no bike lane. Fine proposed making the current Columbus Avenue bike lane run northbound as well as southbound.

Some CB7 members greeted Fine’s alternative as a viable compromise. However many took issue with its sudden arrival and complete lack of due process. “This sandbags a two-year process,” said Mel Wymore. “We need a bike lane to calm traffic.” Added Richard Robbins, “This short-circuits the entire point of having a community board.”

The Board did vote on Fine’s proposal: 15 supporting, 28 against, one abstention.

Photos by Joy Bergmann.

NEWS | 91 comments | permalink
    1. Jeffrey says:

      Every city needs fewer cars, just for the air quality alone.

    2. Zulu says:

      FANTASTIC!

      Any word on when the work will start?

    3. Jane says:

      YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xt0V0_1MS0Q

    4. Gofug Yuself says:

      Garbage… no one respects the bike lanes.. you still have idiots that don’t use helmets… the delivery guys ride opposite traffic… there is hardly any parking in that neighborhood especially with fresh direct taking up spots…the double parking alone will limit the avenue.. and yuppie bikes are another way to take small business away from bike shops that have been around 20 years plus. These surveys were done with crunched and trumped up numbers by non upw residents .. those that approved got something in return and… those fools will also be the first ones that break the rules… wait till the bike bank crackdown begins and when all who became comfortable with these bike lane”improvements” get hit with tickets for not observing the pedestrians right of way.. traffic ..stop signs.. street markings.. speed limits… ooooh then they will cry…

      • Richard Katz says:

        Not so. If you were at the meeting last night one of the speakers mentioned this was an outsider plot by transportation alternatives and several dozen people responded from the audience that they were UWS bikers

      • Woody says:

        You have some serious anger issues

      • Mark says:

        Your laundry list of complaints is a bit perplexing, but I’ll touch on only one point. How does yuppie bikes take away from local bike shops? I bought my bike on craigslist, but my wife’s was purchased from Master Bike Shop on 72nd, along with helmets, various upgrades/repairs, and other accesories. I have poured easily $750 into a local business over the past year that I would not have otherwise spent if my wife didn’t feel safe riding on the UWS (the West End redesign was the catalyst). Maybe some yuppies won’t buy a bike from a local shop, but increased bike riding would certainly lead to more ancillary business for these shops. You (and other opponents) discredit yourself with baseless criticism.
        The traffic calming benefits of this redesign are the true benefit. I’m happy to have a bike lane, but I’m far happier for the benefits as a pedestrian, which will be enjoyed by all of us.

        • Tyson White says:

          The original poster is an idiot. Is there a single bike shop who feels threatened by the bicycle lane?

        • John says:

          Your Statement was fine till you said”traffic calming”. There will be more traffic with irate drivers honking horns and driving like idiots.

          • Tyson White says:

            He said TRAFFIC calming, not driver calming. Drivers never have been, and never will be happy no matter how many lanes you give them.

    5. Richard Katz says:

      We need this. Kudos CB7

    6. Bruce says:

      Thank you to the Community Board for putting safety first!

    7. Wendy says:

      I have every confidence that this bike lane will be way more successful and more utilized, than the Col. Ave. bike lane ever was. For one thing, it actually goes somewhere! – 2 miles up towards Columbia Univ. area. Secondly, Amst. Ave is filled with restaurants and bicyclists making deliveries. As a recreational cyclist I will use it all the time and welcome its arrival. I just hope they provided for adequate loading areas and parking spaces…. and that they will remove citibikes from the main avenue (like the huge swatch between 81st or 82nd and 83rd), so those can be converted to parking /loading spots.

      I don’t think this is going to reduce # of cars one iota, but that is not the point. It’s about a safer way for cyclists, pedestrians and cars to co-exist. If they want to reduce the number of cars, there’s only one way – congestion pricing.

    8. PedestrianJustice says:

      Hooray!

      I was there and appalled by those shouting about zip codes as if people from across the city cannot be concerned about traffic violence, gun violence or any other issue affecting NYC. And BTW, almost every speaker provided an UWS address.

    9. Judy Berek says:

      I think the Columbus Ave redesign has slowed down travel significantly. I think the problem is not the design but the failure to stop double parking. If instead of focusing on parking meters the traffic enforcement officers focused on double parked trucks, the system might work. Now tickets are infrequent enough they are a cost of doing business. You see trucks double parked when there are nearby parking places.

    10. John says:

      Like I have said before during the week there will be only one travel lane with all the double parking (just like Columbus ave) this will be the new reality. Will take 50% longer on this bus route

    11. Pedestrian says:

      Maybe it will and maybe it won’t; however, it won’t protect pedestrians from cyclists. Cyclists insist on riding on the side walk, the street, in the cycling lanes the wrong way; the wrong way on one way streets. They don’t stop at traffic lights and many refuse to use lights at night. Pedestrians are not permitted any safe lane. Bikes, skate boards and scooters on side walks and street command the right of way and get it. When someone speaks up the “riders” arrogantly lecture “mind your own business”.

    12. Martin Rosenblatt says:

      How many of the people that showed up for this meeting
      actually live in our community? Transportation Alternatives
      has continually brought in people from other parts of the NYC to make it appear that there is large support for bike lanes. Many of these bike lanes have no riders for long periods of time. Bikers also cause injuries. CB 7 has made
      a serious mistake in voting for this proposal. We will all see
      soon how the traffic congestion will grow. When that happens, CB7 will bare an important part of that blame.
      Bike lanes alone do not bring safety!! I do not own a car nor
      do I ride a bike. I am a pedestrian.

      • Margaret says:

        I’m a resident who lives on Amsterdam Avenue, had my name in to make comments in support, but the board called time on public comments before I got a chance to speak.

        Let me say that again – the community board agenda didn’t allow time to hear from constituents who live on Amsterdam Ave and were very supportive of the plan.

        So I think every single speaker in opposition was heard, while numerous voices in support did not have time.

        I’m relieved by the approval; incrediy grateful for the support of electeds Mark Levine, Helen Rosenthal, and Ydanis Rodriguez. I think the community board governance could use some tweaks. I walked in concerned that the transpo committee chairs misunderstand transportation (it includes bikes) and at the risk of ruffling feathers, I think the transpo committee chairs need to show understanding of bicyclists’ needs and a commitment to transportation goals beyond driving and parking.

        • lis says:

          Margaret
          Your comment discusses bikes and vehicles – but no mention of bus transportation including M7 and M11?

          • Margaret says:

            lis, yes, I take the bus regularly. I think two things that would speed up Amsterdam and Columbus Avenue buses the most are SBS-style pre-boarding payment, and signal prioritizion.

            Neither of those are on the table yet but I would absolutely like to see them. I also think ADA-compliant subway stations in NYC are long overdue. Projects like the resi construction at 80th and Broadway, where the excavation is going deep below street level, should include ADA retrofits at the 79th Street station. I’m glad to see Gale Brewer advocating for issues like this.

            At the same time, Amsterdam Avenue needs traffic calming and has space for a bike lane. I can’t believe I listened to a transportation committee chair beg DOT to put anything except space for safe bicycling on a 60-feet-wide Amsterdam Avenue. Buses have blind spots, bicyclists are a lot smaller than cars and trucks.

      • Kevin says:

        I live on Amsterdam and don’t have a bike and I am support of it.

      • Siddhartha says:

        I am 20+ year resident of the UWS and a driver, AND a Transportation Alternatives member.

        Also, this is not just about a bike lane. The bike lanes comes with pedestrian safety improvements.

    13. Thomas Reardon says:

      “Show us your zipcode”

      Oh come on, this is standard nativist slander. The crusty crab who shouted this out should be ashamed.

      So happy that the REAL UWS showed up in overwhelming support of this project! 100+ supporters–almost entirely from UWS–were turned away, but our positive voices were heard by the super-majority of the CB.

      -a longterm resident of 74th St

    14. Lucette says:

      Has there been a count of the number of cyclists who use the lane?why have the needs of individuals who use buses been disregarded. Now buses rides will take much longer and we try to encourage people to use mass transit and this is supposed to get people from one place to another in an efficient amount of time. Not everyone is able to use the subways because of steps. This plan will actually be hurtful to west side businesses. Put the bike lanes on the east side they deserve this “”wonderful” means of transit.

      • Tyson White says:

        That’s like saying, hey, why are you building a railway if no trains go there… There currently isn’t a single safe way for a person to bike uptown.

        Can you name one business that has been “hurt” by any of the bike lanes that have been installed all over NYC?

        Can we get data instead of fear mongering?

        • Jeremy says:

          “There currently isn’t a single safe way for a person to bike uptown.”

          “Can we get data instead of fear mongering?”

          Um, I can think of a great place to start. . .

          • Margaret says:

            An ER trauma nurse urged CB7 to pass this plan. Families for Safe Streets stood up there with pictures of their loved ones.

            The community board isn’t exactly accountable to the public, but every elected spoke in favor of the plan.

            Nothing will convince some people, it seems.

    15. jill says:

      bike lanes are not going to stop cares hitting people now they will get hit by bikes.
      Columbus ave. bike lanes are not used that much and in the winter have snow.in the summer they all go to the country houses.

    16. TrueUWS says:

      CB7’s Transportation Board co-chair Albert Andrew must go. His 30+ year record shows a consistent bent against road safety, the antithesis of the committee’s mission. The community board votes FOR what he is AGAINST. The majority of community members speak and petition FOR what he is against. Safety Statistics are FOR what he is against. He DID vote ONCE for road safety, immediately after a 9 year old boy DIED. Albert has to go because his delay and distraction tactics postpone improvements, leave us vulnerable, sometimes for years. He’s the Exec. Dir. of the local Chamber (paid? we don’t know. Business? not in the directory). Maybe the Community Board can oust him with a vote of No Confidence. Good bye Mr. Albert.

      • Jeremy says:

        Y’know, I think this is a good example of why normal UWS-ers have so much trouble understanding the cycling advocates. It’s obvious that the CB7 transpo co-chairs have done extraordinary work to improve safety in our neighborhood. However, they both have taken a very cautious path with cycling infrastructure. Those two things can both be true. Anyone stomping around, accusing the co-chairs of “doing nothing” is just exposing himself as someone who does not truly care about everyone’s “safety,” but is primarily focused on the narrow issue of increased bike access.

        The hyperbole and hysteria inherent in that position is so distasteful and foreign to so many independent UWS-ers.

        • TrueUWS says:

          Fact Check: CB7 meeting minutes and votes, comments and distractions. June 2010 – No for Columbus Ave., although Community Board votes yes | Nov. 2012 – Zweig the lone vote no – Albert wasn’t there for bike lane vote. | Zeig and Albert no on Bike Racks, but the whole board votes it in | 1/2013 Board overrules Zweig&Albert | These Two Aren’t Representing You

    17. jd says:

      So now bikers have Riverside & Central park, Columbus ave & Amsterdam Ave. I guess those meters in taxi are going to get even more expensive, because traffic on the UWS is going to be a nightmare.

    18. Kate from the block says:

      I regret any loss of life be it a bike rider or pedestrian. We need safer streets. I am thankful to the FDNY and NYPD for keeping us safe when the room was OBVIOUSLY over capacity and a death trap on at a meeting where safety was sited as a major need for the bike lane. I regret that the behavior of my neighbors or activists who boo’d and hissed at our first responders who risk their lives for us everyday. I pray that the people who brought children that all looked under 13 and were carrying photos of lost loved ones explain the role these first responders had Iin trying to save their loved ones.

      I hope they remember what they learned in kindergarten. Look both ways before crossing the street. If you are in trouble find a police person, firefighter, or other adult for help. Raise your hand or wait to be called on before speaking. Sadly based on behavior last night I worry that these children were exposed to age imapropriate comments and behavior.

      I believe most at the meeting (other than those who ignored first responders safety cautions) are for safety. Sadly I believe this plan to be flawed and will not save lives but increase asthma and have other negative consequences we haven’t even dreamed possible yet.

      Please excuse any typos as it is difficult for me to type due to my disability. It doesn’t make me stupid nor should it substantially impact the message I was trying to convey.

    19. I am so happy to hear this bike lane is finally coming. Thirty years ago, when I first moved to the UWS, I remember waiting in line at Good Enough To Eat thinking “look at this street! It’s a wide, ugly multi-lane expressway filled with wave after wave of huge, deafening trucks barreling up the avenue at speeds approaching 50 mph!! A blight on my new neighborhood!” I felt the same way about Columbus, but thanks to the bike lane, that avenue now has a relaxed charm it never enjoyed before. This is a great day for the UWS!

    20. Nancy Polin says:

      I am now free to ride on amsterdam with out fearing for my life.
      Cant wait for the bike lanes to be expanded.
      Thank you CB7 for thinking peoples lives are more important than traffic and parking spaces.

    21. Follow the money says:

      Clearly, no one who voted for this bothered to spend a few minutes on Columbus Avenue, where the same layout was recently implemented. 3 lanes w/ constant double parked cars, taxis drop-offs and deliveries on outer lanes = ONE lane of traffic.

      This decision will increase stand-still pollution, honking and accidents resulting from cars constantly trying to forcefully merge into the center lane when their flow is interrupted.

      Nice job, Community Board 7, on approving something that will be unhealthy and exponentially dangerous.

      On a positive note, I’m sure it will be on-budget and on-schedule like all past NYC boondoggle projects.

    22. Bee says:

      The resulting traffic jams, horns honking and increased pollution will have UWS residents fuming. The bicycle lane is a hazard. Bicyclists do not obey traffic laws. Guaranteed that pedestrians will be struck as they cross with the light but bikers don’t brake. This plan does not help seniors or school aged kids. They use the buses which will be slower. I cannot believe that this passed. Have people not seen what happened on Columbus and West End? Continuous slow traffic. Double parked cars. A mess.

      • manhattan mark says:

        Kate from the block has the right idea…thank you. In my
        lifetime on the westside cars and bikes shared the streets,
        they learned to respect each other and moved along with
        caution, looking out for each other…I’ve walked these streets,
        I’ve biked on these streets and I’ve driven on these streets. I
        never had an accident. Being cautious while sharing the roads is the safest way to get around this city.

        • Zulu says:

          Yes, being cautious while sharing the road would be the best way to do this. Everybody, please be cautious.

          There, I fixed it!

      • Nathan says:

        No idea what you’re talking about. Columbus Ave is anything but a mess. Buses move just fine.

        • RK says:

          Agreed! As a longime neighborhood resident, pedestrian, biker AND driver. The main difference with Columbus is that people (including me, shamefully) used to jackrabbit accelerate and weave around traffic. Still do on Amsterdam. The narrower avenue forces a slower but more steady speed. The average travel time is the same.

    23. Lee Honickman says:

      I think the change is a good thing, but nothing is going to work if bikers, drivers and pedestrians don’t obey the law!!
      I believe that bikers should have to have insurance and licenses just like other vehicles that use the public streets. I believe that law enforcement should enforce the laws.

      • Zulu says:

        The insurance and licensing of bicycles has been tried many times before and failed. The major sticking point is the cost. Ultimately it would be a burden to the system for what would be very little in return.

        I believe that as ridership increases so will acceptance by the general public and general compliance with the laws by riders. In other words, the more main stream it becomes the more people will follow the rules of the road. I hate to make comparisons but Amsterdam and Copenhagen are good examples. Sixty years ago Amsterdam started a grass root movement much like this one and look at them today.

      • John says:

        They should have insurance period. If I ever get hit I will bankrupt the rider and his family and they will be living on the street.

        • Zulu says:

          What if, whom ever hits you is already living on the street?

        • Anon says:

          You won’t bankrupt him unless you are able to figure out who he is. Without licence plates this would be nearly impossible.

          • Zulu says:

            So let’s create an entire department to issue license plates to bicyclists so that when they strike a pedestrian they can be held accountable. Sounds like a fair and logical idea.

            Except, it costs more money than it would generate. It would become a hindrance to bicycling which would reduce the numbers and hence the registrations and eventually go defunct. All this for a perceived problem that’s not as acute as say, drivers striking pedestrians. And may I add, even though cars are equipped with license plates (some) choose to drive away from the scene of an accident leaving the victim to fend for themselves.

            Let’s face it, the whole idea of plating and insuring bicyclists is just an effort to make bicycling more cumbersome than it needs to be. Obstructionism hidden in a thin veil of safety.

      • Richard says:

        Yes, and they should start with jaywalking. Just because pedestrians have carelessly flaunted the law for over a century and we’re “used to it” doesn’t make it right!

      • Menachem Goldstein says:

        How about we start with banning the rental of UHAUL trucks by people who don’t have a license to drive a truck?

        Who the hell ever let that become a thing?

    24. Hannah says:

      It is upsetting to hear that this passed without any new laws that would require licenses for bikers and substantial fines for going the wrong way on one way streets, or through traffic lights and stop signs. Until these changes are put into effect, crossing a bike lane, even at a stop sign or stop light, will be an act of potential danger.

    25. Menachem Goldstein says:

      Sounds like it was a real NIMBY showdown, but glad it passed.

      I could only imagine what it would be like if when the roads were paved we had to ask permission from each of these people if we could build a road in front of their home or shop. Would a patchwork of disconnected roads work for anyone trying to travel anywhere?

    26. Say Yay AND Support Local Biz says:

      It’s taken several YEARS; blame Zweig and Albert (just Google it). Now, let’s support our local businesses while we start the street changes. Our shops are what make Amsterdam and Columbus great – show them your support of safer streets and easy shopping!

    27. Anon says:

      With all due respect to the family of Thomas McAnulty, how would bike lanes on Amsterdam prevent a motorcycle on 96th St from hitting a pedestrian who was crossing against the light?

      • Zulu says:

        It’s hard to say, and more than likely it probably wouldn’t have prevented such tragedy.

        Or maybe it could’ve had? Perhaps the installation of the bike lane (along with the proposed traffic calming elements) could have slowed down the motorcyclist enough that Mr. McAnulty would have survived the collision. Or maybe the collision would have never taken place in the first place, nobody will ever know. But that’s not the point and your question is a red herring. Trying to minimize the importance of these changes to Amsterdam Av. by blaming the victim is just wrong. The data proves that similar designs have reduced collisions and injuries. If you don’t believe in the data then the burden to disprove it is upon you. Bring it.

        • Kate from the block. says:

          If only we could turn back the hands of time perhaps there wouldn’t have been a horrific, fatal accident but we can’t. A beloved father and father in law is gone and that is nothing short of a heartbreaking tragedy. In this instance I don’t think the original poster was meaning to assign blame to the victim or introduce a red herring. The bottom line is that the numbers and statistics weren’t verified or vetted by an independent third party. That troubles me greatly and raises concern. Lord knows it is easy enough to get grant to pay for it.

          You may call me a conspiracy theorist but I will let you in on a little secret. After 9/11 the local government was reporting air quality at ground zero safe unless you were actually working on the pile. Now read closely here. The numbers released by the federal government directly contradicted the numbers the city released for the SAME geography. And guess what, those lies have led to significant health issues and deaths. So if you are comfortable with single source data that wasn’t shown to be vetted have at it. However, sometimes you need to question things and decide if you think the source is trustworthy. I heard a lot of concern about the source of the data.

          The bottom line is we need SAFE streets so we can avoid or reduce needless tragedy. The bike path plan is smoke and mirrors and I pray that DOT will make adjustments as needed which I believe they may have agreed to. The meeting was long and emotions were high so I may be incorrect on saying DOT agreed to be more collaborative and responsive them they have been with the Columbus Ave debacle.

          • Zulu says:

            Columbus Av runs much smoother than it used to before it went on a road diet. Again the data proves it and so does the experience of many, myself included. Road diets have not only work in NY but across the country. So to say that Columbus ave is smoke and mirrors is simply your opinion with no basis on reality. Anecdotal evidence at best. 9/11 was a major catastrophe with too many political interests in the mix.You’re not wrong in saying what you said but thankfully it doesn’t apply to the topic at hand. Road diets work in NY, in Chicago, in san Francisco, in LA and so on. All that set aside I’m really looking forward to not having a four lane wide stretch of asphalt disect my neighborhood (yes I have an UWS zip code if anybody is wondering). If anything it will beautify the place and slow down the red light racers.

        • Tyson White says:

          His family is not trying to bring him back. They are asking that we make the streets safer. All streets. Why is it so hard for this guy to understand?

    28. lis says:

      There does not seem to have been much discussion about how the reduction of a lane will impact on M7 and M11 buses?

      Am curious if cyclists use these buses?

    29. Tyson White says:

      How many of the cars and SUV’s that speed up Amsterdam and blast their horns all hours of the day and night are from this “zip-code”?

    30. AC says:

      Hey Jay , , , told you it would pass. City was putting pressure to pass this.

    31. MJ says:

      It’s about time Amsterdam Avenue has a dedicated and protected bike lane. People are going the wrong way up the bike path BECAUSE there’s no north-bound protected lane.
      I for one am very happy the city is becoming more bike- and pedestrian-friendly. And safer for everyone, motorists included. This is a GOOD thing. Hey, maybe Amsterdam Ave will start to resemble the city after which it’s named! 🙂
      Thanks to CB7 for doing the right thing.

    32. Margareta says:

      I want to thank Sheldon Fine for proposing an alternative plan which could have been an alternative plan for the future of a more livable UWS.

      • Sprinkles says:

        His plan was ridiculous and a non-starter. Bike lanes are an integral part of a safe street, not something separate and optional. A two-way bike lane on Columbus would have been a disaster waiting to happen and would have been utterly pointless, dangerous, and responsible for worse traffic congestion because of the need to signalize turns at every intersection. Shelly Fine should be ashamed by his bait-and-switch tactic that attempted to bypass the community’s input. Disgraceful.

    33. Ted says:

      During the recent blizzard the Citibike station at 82nd and Riverside was nearly empty. The Citibike program was formally shut down for most of the storm (yes, I am a member of the program). This would seem to indicate one of the major arguments that has been advanced by commenters here on the WSR are mistaken when the claim that the empty Citibike stations are evidence of high utilization. If the stations are not full in the middle of a storm when the program is closed and there is a travel ban, it more likely indicates that bikes have simply ended up in other parts of the city and are not necessarily in use by residents of the UWS.

    34. RK says:

      Of interest:
      https://coe-sufs.org/wordpress/ncfrp33/case-studies/nyc/2ca/

      tl;dr: Columbus avenue redesign has improved traffic flow but not safety. Truck loading windows are critical to project success.

    35. CS says:

      There are understandably comments that there are too many cars/cars should be banned etc. But much of traffic is due to commercial vehicles from construction to building service to Fresh Direct and e-commerce. (For example, if we all stopped our ecommerce deliveries, we’d cut down on vehicle usage 🙂 )
      And rising cost of housing/long commute issues play a role in vehicle use as well.

      Here are some actual examples of vehicle usage. (IMO some are justified while others not.)
      Thoughts?

      Pamela – Works as an aide at a nursing home. Has second, PT evening job doing cleaning. At night, when she is done with her second job, her nephew picks her and a friend up in a car and drives them home to Brooklyn.

      Mary – Works as an office cleaner at night in Manhattan. Works 6:00 – midnight. Drives to Manhattan job from Queens.

      Carlos – Works in a Manhattan residential building as a porter. He and a relative carpool from Yonkers each morning. Cannot afford housing closer to work. Cycles in Yonkers.

      Jack – Architect. Lives on UWS. Takes subway to work but uses car to visit elderly parents in the Bronx and take them to appointments. Trip to the Bronx via mass transit would require subway and bus.

      Lee – Cellist who works gigs all over the tri-state area. Lives on UWS. Typically drives to gigs, sometimes with other musicians.

      Kelly – Works in luxury real estate. Lives in NJ. Drives to NYC for work.

      Dan – Tech/start-up. Lives in Manhattan. Cycles to work in good weather and subway when weather is bad. Uses Uber for night/bars/social. Other vehicle use with respect to regular ecommerce deliveries.

      Jon – Works in finance. Avid cyclist. Lives on UWS. On weekends frequently goes outside NYC to cycle – drives SUV with bike to cycling destination. Wife takes kids to school via Uber rather than public transportation. Typically use Uber or SUV to take kids to weekend soccer. Also vehicle users with respect to regular e-commerce and Fresh Direct deliveries.

      Marc – Runs a hedge fund. Avid cyclist. Vehicle user with respect to regular e-commerce and food deliveries as it is not convenient for him to walk a few blocks from his Manhattan brownstone to shop. Also vehicle user with respect to regular service/brownstone maintenance etc vehicles.