Community Board to Consider Central Park West Protected Bike Lane Following Woman’s Death


The current bike lane on CPW is exposed to traffic.

On Tuesday, Community Board 7’s Transportation Committee will discuss the possibility of installing a protected bike lane on Central Park West in the wake of the death of Madison Jane Lyden, an Australian woman who was hit and killed by a truck while biking on the avenue last month.

Central Park West has a painted bike lane on the uptown side of the street next to the park. That’s where Lyden was biking until a livery cab pulled out into the lane, forcing her into the street. Advocacy group Transportation Alternatives argues that Lyden’s death was both “predictable and preventable,” noting that protected lanes (separated from moving cars by barriers or parked cars) make streets safer for everyone. The group posted a petition demanding a two-way protected lane on CPW. As of Monday, it had received 506 signatures.

The Community Board has previously asked the city to look into installing a protected lane on Central Park West, according to board member Ken Coughlin. City Council Member Helen Rosenthal backs a protected lane.

The city Department of Transportation said last month that it is studying “the Central Park West area” to determine if there are any “potential enhancements.” A spokesman did not respond to a question about why there had not been further action before.

The meeting will take place at 250 West 87th Street on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.

Photo by Carol Tannenhauser.

NEWS | 58 comments | permalink
    1. Genius boy UWS says:

      I think all bike lane should be eliminated from any major routing in New York City including Central Park West. Just waiting for another fatal accident to happen. “ I’ve been saying this for years… this is not a bicycle city!!!”

      • NPK says:

        Totally agree. New York City is not a biking city and most of the bike riders don’t obey traffic rules, like stopping for red lights. In cities like Amsterdam and Montreal where biking actually works the bike riders follow all the same rules as automobiles. Makes it safer for pedestrians, cars and the bikers themselves.

        • Woody says:

          Why do cyclists in NY have to follow every rule but pedestrians don’t? Pedestrians in Amsterdam and Montreal obey the laws at a much higher rate than pedestrians in NY.

      • Mia says:

        If there was a citywide refrendum on bike lanes, the majority would vote to abolish them. Another example of how taxpayers are not represented in NYC. Everything is done for the tourists and what we want doesn’t matter.
        Resist and revolt.

      • LC says:

        Yes! And eliminate all sidewalks and outlaw walking! Pedestrians are constantly jaywalking and otherwise encroaching upon drivers’ rights. If you’re not in a car you should be indoors.

        *ahem*

      • Kevin says:

        Over 800,000 people ride a bike in NYC “several times a month”. I am not one of those people, because I don’t think it’s safe without protected bike lanes. I am in the larger 1,600,000 group of New Yorkers that ride a bike each year.

        How many people in NYC own cars? Probably not that many. I am one of those people, and I can tell you that I only ever used my car to get into and out of the city. Not once in the last 3 years was it a better choice for traveling within the city.

        Biking is here to stay, and if the rest of the country is any indication we’re only going to see a greater proliferation of bike, e-bike, and scooter traffic.

        http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/cycling-in-the-city.pdf

    2. Moi says:

      There’s way too much traffic in NYC to have bikes here. Insane. I was in Berlin last year in an area of the city where hardly any cars were and it worked fine. Whoever is responsible for this bike culture is nuts. Oh I get it, it’s for the tourists like everything else that’s turning Manhattan into an untenable place to live.

      • Midtown Every Day says:

        Yet imagine how little traffic / how much safer the city would be if instead of taxi / uber / personal cars, most of the people were using bikes. 6th and 8th avenue are parking lots in the evenings. Replace those cars with bikes and you could remove 2 car lanes and expand the sidewalks and still the bike traffic would flow better. Uber / Citibike have it right with the move to electric citibikes. With the increased adoption more people may start to use bikes and reduce the ever increasing traffic.

      • Standupny says:

        I totally agree with both above comments. NYC is NOT a bike city. Businesses have closed, pedestrians are hit and parking has been eliminated all for mostly useless and annoying bike lanes.The ridiculous assumption by Mayor Bloomberg and Ms.Sadiq Kahn that we needed these citi-bikes for tourism has contributed to making our city unlivable. I believe it was Mr. Bloomberg who created the concept of pedestrian malls here. Now we cannot go near Times Square it’s so crowded and dirty. How do we fall victim to all these bad ideas?

        • Sid says:

          You seem to have confused the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, with Mayor Bloomberg’s DOT chief, Janette Sadik-Khan

        • Genius boy UWS says:

          I totally agree time square is turning into what it was before a disgrace dirty filthy city. I am so embarrassed of what time square has turned back to be. I never go there!!! I will not be seeing dead in time square and I don’t recommend any of my friends from out of New York who is visiting to go to Times Square, their life is in their hands…. that place is disgusting.

      • David Solnick says:

        The reason that Berlin, and many other cities throughout the world, have room for bikes is because the government has put strong limits on car access to city centers. Our refusal to do that in New York is shamefully regressive. Unfortunately, it appears that we will take the approach of putting alternative transportation onto the roads first, before realizing through tragedy that it doesn’t work. The problem is the cars, not the bikes.

    3. Kathleen says:

      Why does NYC have to ALWAYS wait until some poor soul is killed…? Another preventable death.

    4. Peter Drummond says:

      The idea of using parked cars as a fender is a good one and as everyone knows,is already in place on Colombus.
      A double bike lane will rule out the possibility of maintaining 2 lanes for cars in each direction.That would seem to be the issue to be solved.

    5. Ethan says:

      Cars or bikes, but not both, and preferably neither.

    6. Hambone says:

      As a cyclist and driver I see both the benefit and the unintended consequence. CPW is now a major biking artery. Designating a lane and making it two way will be welcomed by many riders. The consequence is traffic will be brutal especially when schools let out (Ethical Culture, Trevor, Columbia) all have major traffic issues already and that is with Uber driver laying up in the bike lane. Take away that ability and how Fedex and UPS leave their trucks in the road, I can see major traffic issues. My suggestion would be to have Fedex and UPS have a designated spot (curbside) to leave their trucks. At best you’d lose 1.5 spots every 10 blocks.

      • B.B. says:

        Obviously you have missed the fact when dedicated bike lanes go in, and parking lane is moved spots are created for “standing”. This allows trucks and other vehicles an area to park or whatever.

        This and or parking in the new lane is same as curb. Either first come, first served (so trucks can park where they can find a spot). Commercial or other meter rules also aren’t affected. Instead of parking at the curb, trucks or whatever do so in the new “lane”, but have to go over to the machines to get tickets.

    7. Susan Nicholson says:

      Yes, we need all bike lanes to be protected. It’s so unsafe, but improving. Both cars and bicyclists (especially those silent electric delivery bikes) need to follow traffic rules.

    8. GMS says:

      It is a well-known feature of urban planning (including the interstates linking urban areas that if you make a road wider it will soon fill up with new traffic, and if you make a road narrower people in cars will soon use alternative transportation. The pollution from cars creeping along CPW esp in the morning is appalling. A protected bike lane will soon lessen the traffic. It will be a win for all of us who breathe.

      • Chris says:

        LOL The traffic would decrease. Not a valid argument the traffic has become worse with the addition of the bike lanes. Biking might be great for the under 30’s crowd but most people my age would not be caught dead on a bike.

    9. Josh says:

      Just have to chime in to counter-balance the anti-bike comments 1 and 2 above. Get rid of all bikes?! Too many cars for bikes to survive here?! I suspect these comments come from the same out-of-touch and tone-deaf poster, or it’s just a coincidence of like-minded, off the bell-curve un-thinkers.

    10. Sophia says:

      Why do we need a two-way bike lane on CPW? Is it so inconvenient for cyclists to use the (protected) downtown bike lane on Columbus Avenue which is one block away? I say redesign CPW to protect the uptown bike lane only. I don’t bike in NYC, so this thought may be redundant: create an app for cyclists showing the direction of each bike lane. And give summonses out to ordinary cyclists, messengers and delivery cyclists for riding improperly. I know, I know… if only the city had more traffic cops what a wonderful world it would be…

      • Woody says:

        If you don’t bike in NYC, then you can’t appreciate how difficult it is for cyclists to take an ordinary ride given the obnoxious behavior of vehicles and pedestrians toward them.
        Stop opining on the behavior of cyclists and pay attention to what you do to make it difficult for other modes of transportation to get around.

    11. Jamie says:

      I am a resident of the Upper West Side and a bike commuter since 2002. I bike up Central Park West with my 7 year old daughter. I would absolutely love a protected bike lane and really hope that the community will support bike lanes as life-saving urban planning initiatives.

    12. UWS40 says:

      Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio on January 1, 2014.

    13. Jan H. says:

      I agree. I don’t think biking is a viable alternative in NYC. It would be better to spend this funding on improving mass transit. Mass transit benefits everyone, not just a section of the population and it’s available in all kinds of weather. Bike lames are also making traffic much worse and is hurting retailers. Altogether a mistaken move by the City.

      • Woody says:

        That is nonsense. How much mass transit benefit would we get from reallocating the minimal costs needed to create bike lanes?

    14. Chris says:

      The park already has a bike lane no need for one on CPW

      • Jane says:

        comments this stupid make me wonder about the educational system in NYC. The “bike lane” in the park goes south on west side of the park and then follows a loop all the way around. The lane in which the young Australian was killed goes north. And she was trying to get into the park, presumably a bit north of where she rented the bike. So I guess you think it’s reasonable to expect bicyclists to do a full loop around the park in order to go anywhere that is in an opposite direction to it.

        A major park designed for safe riding needs to be safely accessible or else it’s just a travesty.

        Or perhaps you would suggest that we carry our bicycles to Central Park?

        • chris says:

          Jane I see riders going north in the park Daily. And just to let you know I can afford my park view apartment so the Education system did a fantastic job. But yes the schools in NYC are horrible and those folks are the ones riding the bikes.

          • Jane says:

            You see them going north daily….I’m sure that could be true, but it’s against the law….one or two of them are probably given summonses daily as well. The signs are all over the place so I guess your education didn’t include paying attention to signage. Or I guess if what you are saying is the bicyclists should be able to break rules selectively for safety’s sake if there is no other alternative, then I’m with you at least in this case. but I’m talking about lawful bike riding, as in being able to choose a route that is both safe AND legal, and not having to decide between the two.

            • B.B. says:

              *Thank you!*

              Amazing how someone can boast about living overlooking CP and or otherwise claim familiarity but is totally ignorant of facts.

              West drive goes south, east drive north. And while yes some bikers, joggers, and others using the loop do go against traffic it is *against the law*.

              Then you have the fact there are only a certain limited entry/exit points from the loops or park in general.

              By law and or in theory yes, someone at Columbus Circle who wishes to bike northwards is supposed to bike long south portion of loop, then proceed north along east drive. Proceeding along ED until it becomes WD *then* head south. This or take the cutoff at 102nd and proceed same.

              Either way you’d then have to exit at only points allowed then continue on to final destination.

    15. Sid says:

      They should also have charged the driver who cut this woman off and stopped short in her path, causing her to swerve.

      • Woody says:

        You don’t know that and shouldn’t be assigning guilt to the driver. It isn’t illegal to pick up at the curb and get back into the traffic flow by driving across the bike lane. That’s what buses do every couple blocks. She was inexperienced and made a fatal decision to lurch into the traffic lane instead of waiting for the car to clear the bike lane.

        • Sid says:

          Actually, a number of legal experts in traffic law have deemed the cabbie responsible. This is an obvious violation of the Right of Way law. You don’t pull out of the curbside lane into a bike lane without looking for bike traffic. Failure to do so is failure of due care.

          • Woody says:

            Who are these legal experts that you refer to? I would think that prosecutors in the District Attorney’s office are also considered legal experts and they think otherwise.

            The rest of what you say comes off as your knowing the exact details of what happened. But you don’t have that knowledge so you’re just making it up to suit your story. Throwing out ambiguous legal terms like ‘right of way’ and ‘failure of due care’ and misapplying them is what makes real lawyers cringe at wannabe lawyers.

            I suggest that the cab didn’t speedily jump out from the curb into traffic or he would have been hit by the construction vehicle, too. He probably started to pull away and the cyclist was impatient. She should have waited for him to complete his merge into a traffic lane.

      • Scott says:

        Truth is, it was her swerve that caused her death. She didn’t look. Yes the cab shouldn’t have cut her off, and she was in the right but now she’s dead. Being right didn’t help her much. Cyclists need to be defensive to the point where they stop completely if there’s any doubt about proceeding.

    16. SHG says:

      I simply can’t understand the placement of these bike lanes. Put them next to the curbs. Put the citibikes up against the wall. Put double “curbs” separating bike lanes from opening doors and cars pulling in and out of parking spots and dropping passengers off. IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. WAKE UP BILL DE BLASIO.

    17. Mia says:

      How bout if the police department just enforces all the trucks running up and down CPW instead? It is not an official commercial route, but has become one.

    18. smartNYer says:

      I really don’t understand the overabundance of cars in this city. It makes absolutely no sense. Congestion pricing to keep out the cars, I say.

    19. Lori says:

      So sorry about the woman’s death. I bike almost every day, both recreationally and as a commuter . I fault ALL bikers going the wrong way in bike lanes, and on streets and riding on sidewalks. The rest of the City has been forced to share the road, at much inconvenience to them. Bikers need to be especially mindful and respectful. Over the years, my biking habits have changed. I am extra patient and cautious. On this specific bike lane, my opinion is it works well enough if everyone stays where they are supposed to. Police need to enforce, that means jaywalkers, speeding bikers, illegally parked vehicles and the rest of us.

    20. michael stearns says:

      Installing a protected bicycle lane will narrow the travel space for motor vehicles as already seen in spades on major north-south avenues on the East and West sides. Improved signage about who can travel in the painted bicycle lanes would make it clear that motor vehicles should stay out.

    21. nycityny says:

      I don’t bike nor drive a car in NYC. But I do walk a lot and the bike lanes have made the streets less safe for me. I used to be able to cross on a green light without worrying about a car running their red light and hitting me. Now I have to worry about bicyclists running red lights, as they almost universally do, before crossing on a green. Thanks for nothing.

      I have been hit by a bicyclist riding the wrong way on a one-way street. It isn’t fun and it hurt for days. He fell off his bike so it probably hurt him more.

    22. Jmom says:

      I’m a 76 y.o woman who has been biking in the city for 40 years. Yes it is dangerous. I say I will move out of the city when I can no longer bike. It’s a beautiful way to get around. Why can’t we figure out a way for bike, car and pedestrian to co-exist?

      BTW: if you want to see a biking city, check out Shangai.. masses and masses of bikes..and of cars.

    23. robert says:

      This was a terrible accident, with that said it makes no sense to compound the errors of Amsterdam & Columbus.
      This quote says it all
      Enough with this already…….Cyclists in New York City aren’t as legion as they might seem. Despite a “boom” touted by City Hall and The New York Times, the number of citizens who bike to work remains a minute fraction of all commuters. According to the US Census, 3,599,786 New Yorkers get to work by means other than cycling, while the DOT reports that just 45,800 commute by bike.

      • Margaret says:

        The Columbus and Amsterdam Avenue bike lanes aren’t “errors.” It says so much about your deadly preferences that you call them that. Seriously messed up.

        You should be aware that the stats you’re citing (the number of people who commute to work by bike more than any other means of transportation, averaged over 2012-2016) are not in any way, remotely relevant to whether a *tourist* lives or dies when she rides a bike on Central Park West or anywhere else in the city. Nor someone who takes the subway to work and then works long shifts delivering dinner to UWS homes by bike. Nor someone who rides a bike to work twice a week. Nor a parent who bikes with their sons or daughters to the park. If you understood this topic, you would know this. None of those people get counted in the stat you used, but they make our neighborhood vibrant, they matter, and they need and deserve safe passage.

        Once again, it seems you either are disastrously clueless or your goal is to ignore ALL those people and make the neighborhood a worse place. I guess one dead tourist isn’t enough to change your mind. Shame on you.

      • Margaret says:

        By the way, of course it’s possible you’re a perfectly nice person in real life. Forgive me my anger at having to remind you that 60 million tourists a year, working-class people who bike, locals who bike for errands, and locals who commute by bike less than four days a week since 2017 were overlooked in your comment. Like you mentioned, these are life-and-death engineering decisions and reflections of the neighborhood’s priorities. It’s too bad you think Columbus and Amsterdam avenues shouldn’t have protected bike lanes.

    24. Bob Lamm says:

      Here are three groups in New York City who routinely disobey traffic rules: drivers, bike riders, and pedestrians. Anyone who completely focuses on how one of these groups doesn’t follow the rules isn’t being honest.

    25. carol mills says:

      I always thought streets were for cars not bikes. Central Park was for bike riding because of city bikes every city disability parking signs have been eliminated and because no money is made on the disabled who cares about them .Let them ride around for hours for a space because the city needs bikes and bike lanes.How else is the poor city going to make there millions what a joke

    26. carran4@verizon.net says:

      All bike lanes removed let disability park. Citi bike took away there spaces streets are made for cars Do not respect bicycles they don’t follow any laws, delivery men always going wrong way BAN bike riding on city streets

    27. Genius boy UWS says:

      My dear people!!! I see everyone is agreeing with me and we should all comr together and head to CB7 and protest to ban and stop the growing of bicycle lanes in this city and put a stop to this craziness…which is taking away the culture of this city… Who voted for this!!!! I know “we” did not !!!! This is one of the most horrible ideas I’ve ever seen…What a waste of money. I was in the Bronx yesterday at 132nd St. to pick up a package at FedEx did you know they have a bicycle lane on 132nd St.!!!! With all the trailer trucks parked there at the steel factory…. who the heck came up with an idea!!! No one in their right mind would take a bicycle down that street and live!!!!