City Expected to Present Plans for Central Park West Protected Bike Lane on Tuesday

The city is expected to present a plan on Tuesday to put a protected bike lane on Central Park West that would put physical barriers between cyclists and cars. As of now, there’s a painted bike lane but no physical protection.

Community members have been calling for a protected bike lane on Central Park West for years, and the issue received renewed attention after 23-year-old Madison Lyden was hit and killed while biking on the avenue last year.

A prior proposal that was discussed in 2017 — but never acted upon — called for creating the lane right next to the sidewalk on the east side of the avenue, thus putting parked cars in between cyclists and moving traffic.

The city will present its proposal at a public meeting before the Community Board 7 Transportation Committee at 7 p.m. at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 West 83rd Street.

(The meeting was relocated from the community board offices to Rodeph Sholom because of a large expected crowd.)

NEWS | 60 comments | permalink
    1. Bill Williams says:

      You know what kills exponentially more New Yorkers than cars hitting bikers? Stress from constant noise and horn honking and pollution from the emissions of cars that can no longer move and are stuck in gridlock due to bike lanes.

      • Aytee says:

        Ahhh good ole “whataboutism”

      • Sid says:

        Fascinating, do you have a source for this?

        • Deb says:

          The source is your eyes. Just look around – every avenue has had a lane or two of traffic removed to be replaced by a dedicated parking lane in order to have a bike lane. Less lanes for cars to travel, but the same amount of cars traveling, equals stress + noise + pollution + gridlock.

          • Sid says:

            Sorry, but “eyes” is not a reliable source. Do you know what causes congestion and pollution? Exhaust from cars.

            Reallocating space on roads for cycling will actually make roads more efficient at moving people – a typical motor vehicle lane can carry around 2,000 people per hour, but the same space allocated for cycling infrastructure could carry around 10,000 people per hour.

            • Deb says:

              And where is your proof for these figures?

              Stand on CPW with a counter any weekday morning and determine if there are two thousand people per hour being moved in a vehicle lane.

            • Stuart says:

              Please explain scientifically how exhaust from cars causes congestion.

      • Lord Of The Slice says:

        You know what kills exponentially more New Yorkers than cars hitting bikers?

        believing 🔼alternative facts🔼 that aren’t facts at all.

      • K8 says:

        @Bill Williams: The proposal described indicates the bike lane would be protected by parked cars (not some new added landscaped median taking out a moving car lane); ie: the parked cars and bike lane locations would be flipped. The proposal is not cutting down on the number of car lanes. Not sure why you think this proposal is causing gridlock for cars, as you describe.

        • B.B. says:

          No, see today’s WSR entry.

          Unlike other protected bike lanes CPW will loose all east side street parking from 59th to Fredrick Douglass Circle. Former parking lane will now be a bike lane, then comes a protected barrier space, finally two lanes of traffic north bound. South bound retains two lanes of traffic and one parking lane.

      • Pete says:

        If that’s true, it’s a great argument for ridding our streets of car traffic.

        • Stef Lev says:

          To the people that say get rid of cars, get serious. I’m 65 and the option to get around on a bike is not optimal, so I stick to subways, buses and walking. Bike lanes, ludicrous plazas and road narrowing has made traffic worse. Ad in Uber, etc, the answer to traffic isn’t less cars, it’s less bike lanes!

    2. Sid says:

      Excited for this, but wish it was two-way protected like Prospect Park.

      • Mark P says:

        I concur. Not because it needs to be – we have Columbus going south. But because, for reasons I just can’t fathom, many people, not just delivery riders, ride the wrong way in the bike lanes.

        You’re on a bike. Ride one avenue over. It feels lazy as well as disrespectful. I’d love for someone to give me the other side because I just don’t get it.

    3. Deb says:

      No – enough already.

      Until there are laws passed that bike riders must follow the same traffic rules that cars must follow, like stopping for red lights, yielding to pedestrians, etc., that cyclists be licensed and pass tests to obtain said license, and those laws are enforced, and infractions of those laws are punishable by tickets or worse, there should be no more bike lanes, protected or otherwise.

      • Leon says:

        I agree – I was almost hit by a biker running a red light on Riverside Drive in the 80s this weekend. When I had younger kids I would routinely have close calls with bikers there while pushing a stroller. There needs to be a mechanism for enforcing the rules.

        I enjoy bike riding and I am fortunate to live near Riverside Park, which makes it easier (I ride extremely slowly and cautiously). New York City streets were not built to handle all of these bike lanes. I agree with the goal of reducing car traffic, but it is not happening soon. If people still want to get their deliveries and groceries on time at a reasonable price, we need to keep capacity on the roads. And this does not just apply to shipped packages – if trucks can’t easily deliver to stores, you can’t buy items in stores easily or cheaply either.

      • Aytee says:

        LMAO that will never ever happen. Why is if people try to compare bikes to cars? They are not the same, just as they are not the same as pedestrians

      • Lord Of The Slice says:

        yeah, until that happens…

        oh, wait.

        IT’S ALREADY THE LAW that cyclists must do this.

        Can’t fix ignorance.

        • Paul says:

          Exactly. The issue isn’t what the law is, it’s enforcement.

        • Deb says:

          If it’s the law, why is it not enforced? Why aren’t there cops on bikes chasing after cyclists that run red lights? If ever the mayor is done running for president, and has time between vists to his Brooklyn gym, maybe he can get on this issue (and the carriage horses, and so much more).

          • your_neighbor says:

            Same reason there aren’t cops that ticket all the jaywalkers.
            People on real pedal powered bikes have much more in common with pedestrians than with car drivers. I’m all for ticketing the spandex speeders and the electric bike delivery guys who ride at high speed in any direction they please.

            Great idea for the CPW protected bike lane as there are always cars, trucks and tourist buses stopped in the current bike lane.

          • Lord Of The Slice says:

            There are, they do.

            I’ve gotten 2 tickets for red lights (fought them in court and won, but still)

      • B.B. says:

        You must live in some other New York, because in this state/city those on bicycles pretty much must follow same rules of road as motor vehicles.

        To wit:

        https://nybc.net/education/bike-law/2-uncategorised/68-a-summary-of-ny-state-bike-laws

        http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/bicyclerules_english.pdf

        https://www.bikelaw.com/2019/04/new-york-bike-laws/

        Other night walking down Third Avenue saw something hadn’t in years; a young man on Citibike making a right turn using hand signals. *LOL*

        Vaguely recall my mother using hand signals when out with her as a youngster, but haven’t seen anyone use them in decades.

        Long story short bikes are considered vehicles, and those riding are expected to follow same rules as car or whatever. This includes following traffic patterns, stopping at Stop signs or red lights, etc…

        On any given day, and especially on weekends or maybe after a serious accident prompts NYPD to launch a show of force, LE is stationed/patrols the loops in Central Park stopping and issuing tickets to those on bikes that fail to stop at signs/lights, going against flow of traffic, and so forth.

      • Joan says:

        Bike riders are now using sidewalks as their bike lanes. This is illegal and when pointed out to them they either ignore you or yell at you. This is so dangerous for pedestrians as we cannot hear them coming from behind us. The other day an electric bike sped past me on a West End Avenue sidewalk. It is time to license and then ticket those bike riders who routinely break the law.

        • your_neighbor says:

          Most of the electric bike riders are delivery guys who don’t care about anything other than getting back to the restaurant to pick up another order. Definitely should be strict enforcement and probably licensing of riders involved in commercial bike operation.

        • Ann Draconi says:

          Ticket? No. Arrrest them, fine them HEAVILY, and confiscate their two-wheeled weapons.

          Second offense, jail time.

      • My Dog Bites says:

        STRONG Agree!

    4. Julien DellaPorta says:

      I was told by CB7 that tomorrow’s Transportation Meeting has been moved to Congregation Rodeph Sholom at 7 West 83rd Street

    5. AnDee says:

      I’ll take the bike lines, thank you. There’s a reason bicycle safety has increased dramatically in the last 20 years: www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nyc-cycling-risk.pdf

    6. Big Earl says:

      Bike lanes? No such thing. More like motorized bike lanes with electric bikes going 25mph or motorized scooters or motorized skateboards or motorized whatever the new fad is. At least cars obey and know the rules of the road. The bike lanes have turned into a wild west show of anything goes and since we are so lazy, it’s all motorized so no effort has to be exerted.

      • Jeff from West 90th Street says:

        Agree with Big Earl. I’ve survived well over 70 years, many of those spent biking to and from work. But nowadays I’ve opted to walk or seek gas-guzzling alternatives after too many close calls due to vehicles and buses in the bike lanes forcing me either to ride in the traffic lanes or on the sidewalk to avoid the blockade. I hope this change improves bike safety.
        I also look forward to seeing motorbikes treated like motorcycles, with drivers being compelled to be licensed and to obey all traffic rules.

    7. Paul says:

      How about making the drive in the park two way and reminding my fellow bicyclists that there are e protected lanes on both Columbus and Amsterdam?

    8. Sean says:

      There should be a protected lane on the sidewalks of the W70s for people with walkers and canes. There’s no respect.

    9. John says:

      That would make CPW one lane. Sounds very stupid. How no more parking and two-lanes in each direction.

    10. Chase says:

      Cops ignore bikers breaking laws regularly. As a biker and courier myself I’m tired of bikers acting like they can ride any way they want and ignore traffic signals. until they’re truly regulated I do not see giving them more access.

    11. js says:

      Of course a tragedy that this young tourist died.

      But daily, see cyclists ignoring lights, going the wrong way….and nearly hitting pedestrians.
      In March, saw a cyclist (on expensive bike) go through a red light and knock into an elderly person. She could not get up and an ambulance was called.
      My neighbor who bicycles to work, was hit by a bicyclist going the wrong way.
      Our pediatrician was hit by a cyclist and spent months in rehab.
      It’s not the delivery people (who are exploited) – it is the entitled “regular” cyclists whose behavior is egregious.

      BTW if bike lanes are placed on CPW, it will surely impact and slow buses.

      And more advance notice of the CB meeting would have been more fair.

    12. Via Ventana says:

      How about addressing the danger of cyclists who routinely ignore rules of the road. Today, Teo riding the wrong way on Houston between 6th and avarice. They are a menace.

    13. Adina says:

      CPW is crowded enough. There is a very well protected bike lane there already- it’s called Central Park. That’s where the bikers should be riding. This is a most wasteful and unhelpful idea. There is no room on CPW!

      • B.B. says:

        We went through this at the time of poor young woman cyclist death last year.

        Bikes have to follow same rules of road as cars. If you enter Central Park loop at CPS or CPW you *CANNOT* go north on westside loop as it is one way going south bound.

        Thus such persons would have to follow flow of traffic across CPS, the up the east side loop to 110th street, cross over CPN then go down the west side loop and exit at whatever point is closest to where they need to go. This or simply leave CP then go across 110th and continue west or north from there.

        You can save some time and effort by crossing at the service road (105th?), but balance of above still stands.

        Also as previously discussed a majority of people on bikes are either riding north on 8th avenue, through Columbus Circle, then onto CPW. Or coming westward along 57th (maybe from 6th avenue) to reach CPW.

        CPW (aka 8th avenue) is and has always been since it was built a major two way north/south roadway for the UWS. Only recently were traffic patterns changed to make it one way near the Trump Hotel area, but after that….

    14. Lunabee says:

      Seriously. How many bike lanes do we need? There is such abuse of the existing bike lanes – wrong way riders, no stopping for lights, electric fast bikes – that we need to address the current situation and enforce the laws and rules.
      A friend got a ticket for going through a red light (in Brooklyn). $165 !!!! That hit home.
      I am tired of dodging bikes as they come from all directions. And they are also on sidewalks.
      Get enforcement out there before contemplating more bike lanes!!!

      • Sid says:

        “electric fast bikes” that, at maximum speed, go at the legal speed limit. Wait till you see what the top speed of consumer automobiles are!

    15. Jeff says:

      The bikers still have to learn how to stop when the light
      Is red

    16. Chrigid says:

      horns or bells

    17. Stef Lev says:

      Along with bike lanes, there needs to be a more rigorous process of bike safety that includes requirements for bike riders. Even with pro-bike changes, bikers ignore traffic rules, ride on sidewalks or the wrong direction on one-way streets, go thru lights ignoring pedestrians in the crosswalk and seldom yield to pedestrians.

      • Deb says:

        I agree, and more:

        Licensing for cyclists and registration for bicycles. If cyclists want their own lanes, then they must pass a test to get a license. If you break the rules of the road, you receive a ticket. Receive enough tickets, the license is revoked, and the bicycle is taken away by the cops, to be auctioned or given to charity. Pay to park your bike.

        Fair is fair.

    18. laurem says:

      Bad idea… will create congestion in front of the Museum of Natural History which is already congested with 4 lanes dedicated to traffic.

      + Considering the number of bikers per hour (on a sunny day. on a bad day there are almost none), how many bike lanes do we need with central park totally free of cars and colombus having a south lane?? bike lanes are dangerous for pedestrians, overall with the silent but fast electric bike which catches them by surprise. So it is a toss between pedestrians, car drivers and bikers.

      i walk and take the subway so this does not affect me personally but i think a city is a city and it should cater to the needs of all, not only the bikers . the bikers have more than their share even though i am sure they disagree.

    19. What’s needed is a 2-way protected path for people who ride bikes and integrated bus stops that RING Central Park. Why this timid step? Why such limited vision? The streets are entrances to the jewel
      that is Central Park. They are not highways. Just like Streets have been improved in Paris, London, Barcelona, Vienna. Medellin, Columbia, ours can as well . Sure we would lose parking spaces. Buildings around the park should have loading zones and drop off zones, not free car storage. The worlds wealthiest people live in these buildings. They can enjoy a better life, along with all other users of these public spaces and transportation facilities.

    20. sam says:

      The issue with CPW is that it is a two-way street, with way too many taxis and trucks stopping or double parking for delivery and pickup. Adding a protected bike lane, will push out the taxis and cars looking to park even further (as now they use the bike lane to do that). Traffic will increase substantially if they do this.

      What they need to do is emulate 5th Ave/Madison and (1) convert CPW to a one-way northbound street, thereby adding driving lanes, (2) remove the bike lane from Columbus, widening it for additional downtown traffic flow, and (3) create a protected two-way bike lane on the east side of CPW to safely accommodate both north and southbound cyclists, and finally (4) ideally creating a bus lane on both of Columbus and CPW to allow for better bus transportation.

      Converting CPW to a one-way has been floated for years..

    21. Mike G says:

      The people supporting this proposal seem to be taking “protected” at face value. Putting that much bike traffic (tourists on rentals, commuters, couriers, eBikes) in a confined space is dangerous, even without pedestrians crossing at every block.

      The main danger on CPW is the low visibility between bikes and pedestrians (especially children), and cars in the bike lane picking up/dropping off passengers.

      Eliminate the *parking spaces between north and south crosswalks at each intersection, and make only that space available for passenger pick up/drop off*. This will improve visibility of crossing pedestrians and make cabs/Ubers/etc less dangerous to bikes because they have regular locations to stop.

    22. uws says:

      E-bikes are illegal in NYC.
      The BUSINESSES that allow staff to use them should be fined. This doesn’t seem to hard to enforce and NYC should love the new stream of revenue.

      As an aside I’m all for bike lanes and biking and it drives me crazy that everywhere I go I see an increase of bike riding on the sidewalk, even though we are getting more bike lanes to make it safer for us.

    23. Marlene says:

      We need protection FROM bicyclists not FOR bicyclists!

    24. Paul Eichel and Ann Lurie Berlin says:

      Switching a bike lane for parking lane will be a hardship for the elderly and physically challenged. An additional bike lane will clog the streets, the City’s Arteries and exacerbate an already difficult problem: GRID LOCK. In a possible evacuation sufficient lanes are vital to the lives of New Yorkers and the nation. People getting into & out of vehicles will be vulnerable to traffic on either side. Bike’s should obey same laws as other vehicles. Also CPW is a Landmark and should remain as is – GRACEFUL & ACCESSIBLE.

    25. Wendy says:

      I think it’s a good step. If bike lanes were safer, more people would ride their bikes without fear of being hit by cars. However, the city has failed to address the issue of bike riders riding in the wrong direction. They need to make bike lanes 2-way. How about 6th Avenue, while they’re at it?

    26. J says:

      Concerns should be shared with the Community Board and Councilperson Helen Rosenthal.

      the bicycle lobbying group Transportation Alternatives has been lobbying for this.

    27. RK says:

      Yay bicycles!
      Yay bike lanes!
      Yay biking infrastructure!
      Yay cleaner environment!
      Yay better public health!
      Boo inconsiderate bikers!
      Boo inconsiderate pedestrians!
      Boo intolerance!
      Boo Luddites!

    28. B.B. says:

      It must also be remembered that there are all sorts of persons riding bikes these days, especially along and or streets leading to and from CPW.

      You have those who ride frequently and thus their skills are good to excellent. Then there are the older/unsure who either because of physical limitations and or haven’t rode a bike in decades.

      Next are those who like some car drivers simply are not at ease or familiar with riding a bike on busy NYC streets, especially high traffic periods.

      Aside from delivery persons the largest group one sees riding bikes on sidewalks are the middle aged or older, tourists, and or others who obviously feel more secure there than on street.