Community Board Wants Network of Protected Bike Lanes and More Citi Bikes to Make Bicycling Easier

Community Board 7 voted on Tuesday night (by virtual conference call) to ask the city to create a network of protected bike lanes that would make it easier to get around the city during the Covid-19 crisis. The committee didn’t ask for specific local streets to get lanes, but rather that there be temporary lanes set up everywhere so that people can get outside and run essential errands safely. And it wants more Citi Bikes too.

The text of the resolution is below. (“There was one friendly amendment calling for more pedestrian space that has not yet been incorporated into the wording,” CB7’s Howard Yaruss tells us)

This resolution is based on the following facts:

COVID-19 (the “coronavirus”) is rapidly spreading in New York and poses major health risks to the city and particularly to its most vulnerable residents;

The Mayor has urged people to bike to work because the risk of contagion is greatly increased in crowded spaces, such as on public transport;

The MTA has reduced service by a significant percentage in response to decreased ridership, resulting in more crowded trains and buses when they run;

Even though most non-essential businesses are subject to a directive to work remotely, essential workers continue to use mass transit in situations that do not conform to recommendations for safe distancing, making the Mayor’s directive to commute via alternative means more crucial;

The city does not yet have a network of protected bicycle lanes that enable people to navigate the city safely on a bicycle and thereby heed the advice of the mayor and health professionals;

Many New Yorkers will lose their only source of income and, therefore, their ability to pay for basic necessities if they cannot get to work or will be forced onto crowded public subways or buses, against the Mayor’s advice.

Therefore Community Board 7/Manhattan resolves that in order to reduce transmission of the potentially lethal coronavirus, CB7 calls upon the City to immediately: (1) complete an interim, temporary network of protected bicycle lanes (using temporary emergency infrastructure as necessary), (2) work to significantly expand the number of available Citi Bikes, including providing support to supplement docking station rebalancing efforts, and (3) increase enforcement efforts so as to ensure safe passage for all street users.

Committee Vote: 7-0-1-0

NEWS | 88 comments | permalink
    1. UWS-Scott says:

      Once again, CB7 Transportation committee is being biased in their proposal. We all know that the city will never REMOVE TEMPORARY lanes if they are even built to begin with.

      Howard Yaruss who is a member of Transportation Alternatives(TA) and a favorite topic of Streetsblog – another group, like TA seem to have an axe to grind against the working class in this neighborhood. They seem to turn a blind eye toward the people who rely upon their cars for their livelihood and/or to get to from work as well as visit family or take of elderly relatives.

      It would be great to see the REAL numbers of citibike users, but not just that, let’s also see how such enforcement with even more lanes could possibly be achieved. If there is NO ridership demand and NO guaranteed enforcement, the temporary lanes should not be considered.

      The bias with which this committee has made proposals is so antithetical of fair representation of this community that I call for Yaruss to be removed and have this committee be more properly representative of this neighborhood.

      • Buble says:

        I totally agree. How many more dead people do we need before biking is looked upon as stupid in a congested city of 9M people. You’re going to get hurt, get over it!

        • Ken says:

          How many more dead people (average of 250/yr.) do we need before DRIVING is looked upon as stupid in a congested city of 8M people?

          • Paul says:

            The problem with the idea of getting rid of personal vehicles is that the taxis, ubers, delivery vehicles, buses and trucks drive that much faster and more dangerously.

            Read the stories of the deaths from bad driving. It’s almost 100% the folk who drive for a living and they’re the ones slowed down by your neighbors with cars.

          • Grace Lichtenstein says:

            Amen, brother.

        • Nevets K says:

          I completely agree that additional so-called “bike lanes,” or, rather, electric bike lanes, are a terrible idea, a product of delusional thinking.
          Helen Rosenthal and Community Board 7 are simply leading more lambs to the slaughter.
          There is enough evidence from last year – enough deaths of bike riders -to conclude that this “grand experiment” is a failure.
          NYC is a competitive, congested, commercially driven city. Too many types of vehicles moving at too many speeds must necessarily lead to more accidents – with or without so-called “protected bike lanes.”
          Encouraging people to bike to work in a city like New York is madness and perhaps even criminally negligent.(Tort lawyers might wish to take note.)
          Parked cars save lives – and for a very simple reason: They aren’t moving.

          Stay well. And once we “get back to normal,”
          for yourself and for your families, please stay off your bikes.

      • Deb says:

        If we are supposed to be staying in place, there is no need for bike lanes, temporary or otherwise.

        Have you seen any bikers wearing protective masks?

    2. sheila wolk says:

      i dont understand why those bike lanes even exist now..on Upper West Side / Columbus Ave they are all empty most of the time.

      • Woody says:

        The lanes are busy enough to justify them. Like highways, streets, tunnels, and bridges, they have peak periods that you probably don’t regularly see. Your looking at them for 5-10 minutes a day isn’t informative. The Citibike data alone indicates that bikes are being used often and regularly. Extrapolate that to privately-owned bikes and the numbers increase substantially.

      • Big Earl says:

        Actually the bike lane along CPW is empty all day long except for a random biker here and there. Mostly “electric bikes” so real bikers don’t use it, just motorized bicycles. What a joke. A bike lane that’s used mostly by motorized bikes. Anyone see the irony in that?

        And the one stat no one talks about all the cyclists dying is that 60% of the time they are at fault. So drivers get bad raps because cyclists don’t follow the rules of the road. If you ride a bike, follow the rules because if not you will lose against a car.

        • UWSer says:

          Facts say otherwise.

          DOT publishes actual counts of use in bike lanes all over the city.

        • Steve says:

          If you ride a bike, it does not matter whether you follow the rules because you will always lose against a car.

    3. Tr says:

      Free parking for automobiles is not a right anywhere.

      • Practical UWS says:

        Here’s a rule of thumb perhaps you missed: The rich folks use parking lots. The folks parking on the street often CANNOT AFFORD LOTS so your comment accidentally targets the working class who are desperate to park in order to get to and from their jobs many either coming from outlying immigrant nabes or serving community as not highly paid teachers, homecare aids, etc. As parting thought – who do you thinks pays for your magical curbs? Not bike riding. If anything, road maintenance from Car drivers – tolls on bridges, License registrations, you name it. Those drivers deserve a piece of curb pie for many reasons.

        • VIrginia says:

          Amen!!

        • Kevin F says:

          Why should those of us who don’t have cars offer free car storage? Nobody lets me store my stuff out on the street without paying for it.

          Everyone in the city pays taxes, so the end of that was just nonsense. Funding for the DOT comes from tax revenue (including income tax which all NYC residents pay). In my neighborhood, frequently see a lot of out of state plates who neither pay NYC / NYS registration fees or NYC income taxes. MAYBE they pay NYS income taxes, who knows.

        • Josh says:

          You might want to check your facts on where the money for streets comes from. My car registration and licensing fees fund the DMV, and not even all of the DMV is funded this way. Some has to come from the public budget. Tolls do cover the cost of bridges and certain highways, and sometimes more, especially the PANYNJ tolls which cover many other budget shortfalls and MTA tolls which go to mass transit as well. The gas tax we pay on each gallon of gas is not enough to cover the repairs to local roads and non-tolled highways and a good portion of that money also comes from the general fund. While you didnt make it, many drivers complain that our insurance fees also support the roads, but they dont. They 100% go to the private insurance companies. So, while I am not advocating an increase in driver costs, although I support residential parking permits, it is not fair to say that we as drivers are paying for the roads and therefore are entitled to them more than a cyclist is. Statistically, the damage I do to the road simply by driving on it is greater than the money I put in to it with my gas taxes and property taxes, etc.. But the damage a cyclist does to the pavement by usage is lower than the amount they put in with their property taxes, etc. Juat want to point out the inaccuracies in the argument because it is too easily proven wrong. It is a Trump like argument.

      • Mia says:

        Thank you, that comment made me laugh. Not only is it gratuitous and irrelevant to the actions of CB 7, it is demonstrably false. Free parking for automobiles is an absolute right anywhere there are automobiles – which is to say everywhere. That is not to say that there aren’t restrictions and fees in many places, but it’s hard to take such a patently false comment seriously.

        As for the CB7 resolution, it is a good example of creating dicta unsupported by data or facts. I challenge anyone to show me where the resolution is based on any kind of authoritative study or evidence. Instead, it is nothing more than opinion and, as such, pretty worthless in terms of helping to shape public policy.

        Here’s what many of us observe:

        1) Bikers seldom use the bike lanes. They do as they have always done, they drive in the street and they weave in and out of traffic.

        2) Users of Citi Bikes (btw a profit making city licensee) tend to a) not wear helmets and b) not obey traffic laws, i.e. red lights and stop signs.

        3) The bike lanes only exacerbate (not alleviate) street congestion. So long as delivery trucks are allowed to ignore parking laws and double and triple park when making deliveries (or buying lunch), the congestion can only get worse.

        4) Privately owned cars are not the problem. The problem is the proliferation of UBER and its competitors. The truth about privately owned cars is that owners seldom use them. Most of the time the only time they are driven is for alternate side parking. Privately owned cars are not used to travel 15 blocks to the grocery star or a dentist appointment. They are generally used on weekends to drive OUT of the city. For those who reverse commute from the city to their work, that is a reverse commute that also does not contribute to congestion.

      • Chris says:

        So a free tax funded bike lane is a right? Can I get my money back? I do not drive or ride a bike..

    4. Jeremy says:

      Their strategy – which Street Plans/Open Streets Project/Transportation Alternatives will admit if you ask – is to ask for temporary bike lanes once they’ve hit resistance for permanent ones. They then opportunistically convert those into permanent lanes. It’s something they put into their strategic presentations.

      Using COVID seems *wildly* cynical on their part, asking city workers to do unnecessary bike lane construction while the rest of us are able to safely isolate on lockdown, but these TA guys don’t miss an opportunity they can exploit, that’s for sure.

      • Upper West Side Driver says:

        “Street Plans/Open Streets Project/Transportation Alternatives” and others, like Streetsblog and Streetopia, are all commonly funded (and founded).

        It’s an astroturfed operation masquerading as a “grass roots” one. Just like the Tea Party.

        Don’t believe me? Google the name “Mark Gorton” a very rich guy. See how, for example, he founded some of these groups and became the major funder of others.

        This, from a NY Times article in 2012:
        “I actually think they’ve done about 2 percent of what needs to be done,” said Mr. Gorton, who has given Transportation Alternatives roughly $10 million over the past decade.

        He knows a few things about radically disrupting powerful established orders. His peer-to-peer file-sharing system, LimeWire, picked up where Napster left off in challenging the recording industry’s business model — before it in turn was shut down by a federal judge. And his current venture, a financial firm specializing in computer-driven high-speed trading, is part of a movement threatening the status quo on Wall Street. (He also acknowledges having an obsession with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, calling it a “massive, massive conspiracy” perpetrated by the Central Intelligence Agency.)”

        Oh, and the business “difficulties” alluded to? His businesses have paid out 186 million in settlements and fines over the last 10 years, about six times the amounts paid out by sleazebag donald j trump.
        Yet he still has the do-re-mi to fund the Astroturf!

        • follow$$ says:

          Guessing you could follow the money right to Helen Rosenthal and other City pols on the take of this oligarch.

        • Kevin F says:

          Do you know how much the auto industry spends on ads and lobbying every year?

          I saw dozens of car ads during the Super Bowl and not one ad for Transportation Alternatives…

          • Upper West Side Driver says:

            Kevin F:
            When the Koch Brothers seeded the Tea Party that was ok with you? When trump paid about 30 million for his fake university and his fake foundation did that matter to you?

            This is about a rather sleazy business person (186 million in fines and settlements) with bizarre conspiracy theories, funding a network of supposed grass roots groups and taking over our community board.

            It matters.

    5. Christine E says:

      Thank you CB7! More and continuous bike lanes are desperately needed, with or without COVID.

      • Jan says:

        Everyone agrees bike lanes have been a disaster
        It puts the walking public at great risk
        Clearly bikes are not compatible with dense
        NYC traffic and I am shocked CB7 does not
        Understand this by now.

    6. Lisa says:

      With physical distancing requirements, we need safe and simple ways to connect people to parks and bike lanes. Opening streets to people who are walking makes a ton of sense. So does making crosstown protected bike lanes, even if they are made with temporary materials. We have 6K miles of streets in this city – all public property – and 3-4million parking spots. Let’s use this public space to help people go for a walk or a bike ride in the park or get to work safely. Thanks CB7!

    7. Uwsbiker says:

      We need bike lanes west of Amsterdam and we need more bike lanes that go east west -permanently. Having said that – we don’t have any place to park our bikes in the neighborhood to go into a store and shop? Many offices (including my own downtown which I biked to last week) do not having anywhere to park a bike. why aren’t we talking about these things?

      • Paul says:

        You can bike east-west on almost every side street on the Upper West Side without any fear of danger. I do it almost every day.

        We have three lanes in each direction, north on the Greenway, Amsterdam, and CPW, south on the Greenway, Columbus, and inside Central Park.

        It’s more than enough for demand (the biggest danger on the lanes on CPW, Columbus, and Amsterdam is people riding the wrong way, if they were used properly by enough people there wouldn’t be wrong way riders).

        It’s amazing that my fellow bike riders can’t spend 90 seconds going on their bikes to a proper bike lane when their 80 year old neighbors routinely walk 10 minutes or more to get to a bus or subway stop.
        Amazing.

    8. STNY says:

      The streets are empty.

      Why do you need more bike lanes????????????

      • Mike says:

        Exactly! As I sit here on the 33rd floor and look down 9th Avenue, I see very few autos and trucks and lots of bikes (mainly delivery). The bikes in many instances have the whole road to themselves. They know it, too, and ignore the bike lane that’s there. From where I sit you can go from the UWS to beyond the bus terminal and probably beyond unimpeded except by traffic signals (which don’t seem to impede them anyway). We don’t need this.

        • Matt H says:

          When I ride lately, and don’t use a protected bike lane even if available, it’s mostly to maintain social distance from other bikes and from sidewalk pedestrians.

    9. your_neighbor says:

      This is a good thing.
      More lanes, more bikers, more physically fit adults in this city.

      Should really have combined this resolution to include resident parking permits though.

    10. nycityny says:

      Trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist?

      Streets are emptier than they’ve ever been leaving plenty of room for bicyclists. Why do we need to use scarce human labor to build “temporary” bike lanes now? It makes no sense. Let those city employees self-isolate and stay safe like we’re all supposed to be doing.

      And won’t this quarantine be over by the time these bike lanes are built? I mean, nothing happens instantaneously in this city so it will take awhile. Or does CB7 know something about the duration of this pandemic that it’s not telling?

    11. kathleen says:

      Thank you community board 7. I am a doctor and i work at a city clinic on the Lower East Side. i have been commuting by bike for the last three weeks and find the Riverside Park lanes far too crowded with bikers and runners for safety.

    12. Wendy says:

      Too many bike lanes and too many bikes in this city. Anytime I step out of my apartment building I feel threatened by bikes going in the wrong direction, passing by too closely , and motorized bikes and scooters that should be in the street. Every bike and scooter, motorized ir not should require a license.Biking is only applicable to a small percentage of the population .
      There are elderly people, families, people with disabilities and people who need to go about their work using vehicles. Support better public transportation and stop squeezing those who have cars with unaffordable parking regulations and stop giving away parking spaces.

    13. Linda says:

      Delivery trucks will be even more burdened and crossing the streets even more dangerous

    14. patty says:

      This IDEA of more lanes or protected areas is insane. Columbus Ave is basically a one lane avenue….this increases congestion.

      How short sighted are these people?

      Hardly anyone even uses these lanes, and often – if they do – the riders are going the WRONG way. Don’t riders HAVE to abide by similar traffic rules? Go with the flow of traffic, stop a lights?

      I’m sick of these empty lanes that has taken away too much road real estate….everything moves more slowly!

      • UWSer says:

        Columbus Ave is three car travel lanes and two car parking lanes (5 lanes dedicated to motor vehicles). If Columbus is only one lane, then it’s not because of a single bike lane.

    15. bz says:

      Why oh why do they need more bike lanes during the crisis? The streets are empty of cars. And a number of bikers I have seen have been disregarding traffic laws as usual. And still riding on sidewalks. It seems like CB7 is using this crisis to advance its agenda. Yannis needs to go.
      I am also curious to know if other community boards are pushing bike lanes as well.

    16. Mike says:

      Great for bikes but where is pedestrian protection? Until there are visible signs and and actual adherence to traffic laws by those on bikes, those that are being protected are actually the greater danger. Red lights are red lights for everyone.

    17. Ken says:

      For those who question the need for more bike lanes with the streets so empty, here’s one reason: While traffic is down 71%, speed camera violations are UP 12%. You do the math.

      • Paul says:

        The people who drive for a living will always drive faster if the people who don’t drive for a living are off the road.
        A movement for “safety” by depriving honest and law abiding people of their cars isn’t going to promote “safety.”

        The answer to more speeders is more enforcement, as cops are busy in a crisis, more speed cameras and more red light cameras.

        But as someone who’s biking at least 4 times a week I can tell you it’s safer than ever. The increase in riding is not commensurate with the decrease in cars.

        The idea that this crisis has made bike riding less safe is nonsense.

      • jem says:

        Ken,
        I would be curious to know the detail behind the data. For example, the speed limit was reduced to 25 in many areas….
        If a vehicle is now going 28, wouldn’t that reflect as exceeding the speed limit?

    18. Reed says:

      Given the increase of ticketing from speed cameras even though there are fewer cars on the road, data confirms that speeding is making for a more dangerous environment for cyclists. Thus, the need for more protected bicycle lanes. Bikes offer an affordable alternative mode of transport, and more bike racks on buses, this will help expand the network to all New Yorkers.

      • C says:

        What about for pedestrians? Clearly cycle-maniacs do not care about them. As their speeds increase going every which way as well on the empty streets and sidewalks.

      • Reality check says:

        A red herring. Few can afford the costs of Regularly biking to work. Biking Is a super elitist mode of transport for those rare few without both Health issues ( Knee problems, back problems, Weaknesses from a host of medical conditions, Pregnancies, etc) and an aversion to heavy exercise in the rain, snow, ice, the bulk NYC spring summer of roasting muggy weather. In sum, unless you’re Ironman, you’re biking largely in more clement seasons. You can’t even do that much if you are sick, older, Very young, or like most of the rest, cannot arrive at work a sweaty smelly mess after an hour long ride. These are human costs. Redoing the entire city to accommodate bikers is far from sensible.

        • Matt H says:

          Millions of Dutch septuagenarians disagree with you.

        • Woody says:

          That probably doesn’t stop you from ordering in throughout the year. Just because biking isn’t for you doesn’t mean others aren’t able to in all seasons and weather situations. You should be happy that others are doing an activity that you don’t so that public transportation is less crowded.

        • stu says:

          “Few can afford the costs of Regularly biking to work.” What???!! The only less expensive mode of commuting is walking. A citibike membership is about $15 a month and the cost of a used serviceable commuter bike is even less than that. That is why so many people use bicycles in third-world countries….

      • kathleen says:

        This is exactly my experience. I have been riding home on streets but indeed the few cars still on the road seem to think they are on a highway.
        Everyone claps at night for us doctors and other essential workers but apparently many Wrst Side Rag readers don’t support us in our efforts to get to work safely.

    19. jem says:

      Community Board 7 is recommending that City DOT workers and construction staff come out to build bicycle lanes now?

      These people should endanger their health for bicyclists?

      Is it allowable for DOT workers and construction workers (who likely can’t afford to live on the West Side) to drive to work, to build bicycle infrastructure? Or should they just take the bus or subway?

      Wow.

      Sorry, but this does not seem right.

      Also does not seem right for CB7 to take this sort of action when many are focused on the coronavirus crisis and unaware of CB activities…

    20. V Bowling says:

      Considering we recently and tragicially lost 33 transit workers to Coivd-19 and many more sick and confined, we should be doing everything to reduce the congestion on the subway with less staff and fewer trains. What is proposed is an excellent idea especially making it safer for bike riders. Thank you.

    21. robert says:

      Another sop to the bike lobby. I wish the members of CB7 transport committee would out themselves as being on the board of TA, or formally on the board, and or its affiliates. They have been there a while and several other have been added to push thru the Col & Amsterdam bike lanes. Then quickly left board. Remember the “independent” Upper West Side Renascence group and others? They just out of coincidence had the same address, suite number as TA. Though they claimed to just be a grassroots org. Yeah right.
      Before you say but I don’t get paid and/or have a financial interest in the company so as I read the cities guidelines I don’t have to say whom I’m affiliated with even when they come before the board. Just the mere appearance of a conflict is enough to recuse yourself from voting and or introducing resolutions that could benefit and organization that you are affiliated with. I know of several members past and present board that abstain always when an organization they are affiliate with has business that the board or committee with pass on. Its just the right thing to do to remain above board. For the board to make any decisions when they know that the community is not paying attention much less have any input in the discussion which is required. I.E. public meeting rules I say this as to keep using Zoom after the FBI all the way down to the NYC Dept of Ed band its use as a major security risk to your PC and data is incredulous. There was nothing posted about a pre meeting transportation committee meeting on about a HHS committee meeting. Again, I would refer you to the public meeting rules.

      I would NEVER use a city bike and or any bike rental in any city. I do antimicrobial polymer research and have presented my reersrch at various scientific conferences. Even before the C19 issue Citibike never properly cleaned them, nor have the other companies. The seat, handlebars etc are made with a hard body of thermoplastic polymer with a thin soft porous padding that is made of an ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer which does not require the application of a covering layer. The key word is “porous”, meaning in layman’s terms it will absorb liquids and then off gas them into the surrounding environment as they evaporate, residual residues can also remain behind on a nano scale. Visualize a workout machine in a gym after someone has used it and left it with sweat on it. You would not want to use it would you? This is the same on a lesser principle but still the same microbial/viral contamination viability issue. You can wipe them down all you want but the porous nature of the copolymer will hinder the process.
      This is not to say you will get C19 or even the common cold if the previous rider had an infection of some sort. Its just common sense to lessen exposure, especially now. Even before C19 must people that took the subway washed their hands asap upon getting home.

    22. Steph says:

      I ride my bike to work. Riding has never been more pleasurable than it is right now. No one is outside. I ride in the middle of the street, in the bike lanes, purgatory spaces, sidewalks and avoid everyone by 30′

      Who is pushing MORE SPENDING ON BIKE LANES DURING COVID-19. Why is this the current agenda for CB7. Why not use your energies to help problems that actually exist. Like figuring out how to make more masks for healthcare workers. Who is behind this agenda. There is something oddly nefarious happening behind the scenes. Some one is making big time money by pushing this imaginary issue to the front of the line. And masking it as a necessary during this pandemic. Shame on you. Priorities need to be straightened out. Stop punishing your neighbors.

      Wake up. Please.

      • Bz says:

        Steph…
        You are the problem.
        Why are you riding on sidewalks?

        • Intheknow says:

          BZ. You missed the point. I know Steph and she isn’t reckless. Your not seeing the forest. I’ve contacted the authorities and found there is already an investigation happening against the current and former CB7. What a relief. Rest easy everyone. It’s a matter of time. This move just pushed this further up the ladder.

    23. Chris says:

      I would rather do an old fashioned thing called walking. I walk 2 miles each way I think it’s also good for my heart and general health. It is relatively safe other then a few bikes blowing red lights . Try it you don’t have to ask the non functioning government to take care of you.

      • Matt H says:

        If you’re more worried about bikes running red lights on your walks than you are about drivers speeding, jumping the curb, failing to yield, and otherwise being generally aggressive… well. You’re worrying about the wrong things.

      • Woody says:

        I think you, like many others who envy the pleasure cyclists have, are exaggerating the risks posed to you by cyclists. I’m a pedestrian, too, and manage to do that frequently without feeling that I can’t protect myself from other modes of transportation, especially bikes. Maybe you need to practice lawful pedestrian behavior to lessen the chance of getting into an accident.

    24. Glenn says:

      The craven opportunism of the CB7 Transportation Committee knows no bounds. After attending a number of their meetings, it’s clear that they will take any opportunity to ram their agenda through while ignoring anyone else’s legitimate concerns. First, they assume everyone with a car is “rich” or an “elite,” when in fact the younger pro-bike folks are the true elitists—they have the ability to bike. Many UWS residents need their cars because they are older, infirm, taking care of aging parents, or reverse commuting. None of us drive from 96th to 79th Street! Anyone suggesting that this issue is more complicated than the committee suggests is treated with what can best be termed “bemused condescension” by the committee. And by the way, the “rich” park in garages that are getting more expensive with every incremental policy change—from removing parking spaces for CitiBikes to converting parking garages into luxury residential units.
      Further, the Transportation Committee has repeatedly refused to acknowledge that cyclists run through intersections, go the wrong way on one-way streets and avenues, ride on sidewalks, repeatedly ride outside the existing bike lanes, and regularly exceed the 25-mph city speed limit. They continually cite West Coast and European cities but completely ignore that in those places, the cyclists and lanes are rigorously regulated viv-a-vis traffic and right-of-way enforcement. Further still, any suggestion that cyclists should be regulated is met with contempt by the board. They refuse to acknowledge that the gridlock created by bike lanes is reducing air quality, or that on-street parking has a traffic calming effect that decreases speeds and increases safety.
      There are many examples of public resources not being used by the entire public. Residents without school-aged children still pay for the NYC school system. Other public spaces such as parks and playgrounds are not enjoyed by everyone whose tax dollars help pay for them. The MTA gets public funding but not everyone uses it. The list goes on…
      Transportation Committee Chairman Howard Yaruss loves to cite Donald Shoup’s book, The High Cost of Free Parking but Shoup’s arguments work best in cities with robust and reliable public transit OR in places where people take short trips to an urban core for a few hours then park in their driveways at home.
      Those of us who have spoken on this issue at meetings have been accused of “being afraid of a study—it’s only a study.” Hogwash. The curbside parking study, like this resolution for “temporary bike lanes,” is a trojan horse. It’s the thin end of the wedge to ram something that only benefits the young and/or physically able, down city residents’ throats.

    25. Leon says:

      The city is facing so many challenges right now. There have been numerous deaths and serious illness. Countless people have recently lost jobs. But this is what they decide to focus on?

      Bike lanes are a very low priority right now. I feel like they are trying to sneak this through while no one is paying attention. Shame on them.

    26. Mark Diller says:

      We are talking about highway cones and plastic moveable barriers, not concrete or stone. The city is already doing this where needed. If the DoT agrees, they could be removed in an afternoon.

      • UWS-Scott says:

        Mark,
        The fact that this took place with no notice to the community is a problem as well. While you and the committee may think it’s only a few traffic cones, please take a look at the current usage statistics and provide the evidence that this is actually needed. This proposal seems to rely solely on opinion with NO data to support it. Especially in this time, when you listen to the COVID-19 task force, the one thing they consistently say is to FOLLOW the data.

        Shame on the board for doing this NOW but if you’re going to shame yourselves, at least use DATA!

        Remove Yaruss and other biased members, please.

      • BZ says:

        Mark… Can you tell me what CB7 it’s doing in this crisis besides trying to implement new bike lanes? This is the only thing I have read about CB7 during the crisis. But I could be wrong and this is simply getting more attention.
        I am also concerned about valuable City resource at this time being used to place cones.. Or will this be a volunteer effort by the CB7 board?

        • Mark Diller says:

          Thanks for your comment. CB7 has published lists of businesses still open; we have published links on our website and via email blast on resources on everything from the NYC, NYS and CDC Health websites on the latest information relating to the crisis; we hosted presentations by the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, a food pantry on the front lines, as well as the DoE and CEC3 on their efforts to engage students via remote learning (and food distribution); we published links to information on the CARES Act and other means of supporting both small businesses in our community and their workers; we are connecting residents to their electeds who in turn are sponsoring websites and zoom meetings to keep the community up to date; we are liaising with various City agencies on best methods to reach vulnerable populations; and we are trying to make sure the path is clear for our small businesses once they are able to resume operations. That is what I can think of just now – I am sure there is more.

      • Paul says:

        The bike infrastructure in THIS community is more than adequate to meet our needs.
        Including the lanes in the parks, we have three north – south lanes in each direction from 110 to 59 Streets and the side streets are easily used by bikes because nobody is driving.

        CB7 is adequately covered, yet THIS board continues to act like there’s a problem of insufficiency. It’s absurd.

        Bike riders who object to riding for 90 seconds to get to a north-south lane and who claim even more of these little used lanes are need — when their 80 year old neighbors routinely walk 5 or 10 minutes to a bus or subway? Absurd, and disgraceful.

    27. Madeline says:

      Bicycles seem to be receiving accommodations on every level. Meanwhile a much greater number of New Yorkers continue to receive little or no help where it is actually needed. Children can’t ride in traffic. The disabled and the elderly can’t ride bikes at all and certainly not in traffic. Those with a wide variety of medical problems ranging from bad knees to heart or breathing problems cannot ride bikes. Has anyone asked to see the numbers that would show what percentage of the NYC population can actually ride a bike in traffic?

      If our streets mus provide space for rental bikes, how about also providing rental scooters for the elderly and disabled in equal proportion to the bikes available?

    28. ST says:

      Howard Yaruss and his Transportation Alternatives agenda is a blight on the UWS. The fact that he and CB7 are TAKING ADVANTAGE of the Covid19 Pandemic to push through MORE bike lanes is diabolical. Just remember who appointed him to the CB7 board: Helen Rosenthal. The streets have no cars on them and THIS is what CB7 is worrying about. Absolutely sickening. Am extremely disappointed in Chairman Diller. Had more hope for him than this.

    29. robert green says:

      vancouver, winnipeg, minneapolis, denver, seattle, all have instituted miles and miles of open streets with no cars for pedestrians and cyclists.

      NYC–tried 4 streets with a MASSIVE police foce, not connected to anything, and then let he NYPD close it all down.

      thank you community board 7 for stepping up.

    30. Kevin says:

      I’m so grateful to CB7 for doing their part to try and help essential workers have safe passage around the City. I can’t believe this wasn’t a unanimous vote to make biking safer!! Anyone anti-safety measures at this time does not represent me or my UWS community.

    31. JL says:

      Thank You CB7 !!!

      Help keep the UWS the model of safe streets for the rest of NYC. It’s great to see all the young families out in the parks teaching their children how to ride a bicycle to sustain the planet.

      There is just not enough space to do so safely at the present. Let alone when it gets 10 degrees warmer.

      As so many drivers and owners of free parking storage of personal vehicles have already posted above, the street are empty. The drivers are not using the side streets at all. Lets put up a few cones on a bunch of side streets, and avenues on the weekends. BAM, double the park space just like that.

      Cost- next to zero.

      • Paul says:

        Respectfully, have you noticed the continuous wail of the ambulances this past few weeks?
        Close off streets and make that job more complicated and add to response times?

        I don’t think so.

        • JL says:

          That’s why simple cones would be very easy to go over or around with the sirens and lights on. They could be easily put back up by street users when the event is over.

          I grew up in the 70s and 80s within 15 miles of the city limits. We were far from rich and didn’t live in a cul-de-sac. I distinctly remember playing hockey on the streets in the winter with full size nets. We just stopped when drivers wanted to go by.

          Yes, we rode our bikes EVERYWHERE as children and I don’t remember any free-range kids getting hit by drivers. This was when drunk driving was considered an extreme sport, but with much less aggression on the roads.

          • Paul says:

            I grew up in a similar neighborhood but within the city limits.
            I wouldn’t be surprised if kids aren’t kicking around soccer balls on the same streets I played on.

            I don’t think that experience ever translated to this neighborhood.

            And no, you don’t just run over traffic cones. They have to be moved. It slows down response time.

            • Paul says:

              Oakland is creating “slow” streets not closed streets.
              That’s a difference that Streetsblog won’t explain because it’s biased.
              This is the official explanation:
              “ This program is also intended to discourage drivers from using Neighborhood Bike Routes unless necessary to reach a final destination, and urges all drivers to drive slowly and safely, expect to see people walking and biking along ALL streets, as our hospitals are facing unprecedented challenges and don’t need any additional patients. This effort does not impact emergency vehicle access in any way.”
              Nobody’s playing soccer on those streets.

    32. MsAliciaNY says:

      Please Community Board 7, make the UWS more like Europe?
      We live in the best City in the best Country in the world. Why do all Liberals, like the members of CB7 want to change that?
      Enough with the bike lanes, the minuscule amount of persons using them, almost always going through traffic lights, the wrong way.
      If you want bike lanes, like automobile/truck traffic lanes, make bikers require licenses, so that they can, at least, be reported for all their infractions.

    33. EM says:

      Why are you not posting my comments…

      I’ve contacted the press and expect a full investigation coming to the cb7 soon.

      Please stop this insanity. Please please.

      I ride my bike to work. Riding has never been more pleasurable than it is right now. No one is outside. I ride in the middle of the street, in the bike lanes, purgatory spaces, sidewalks and still am able for to avoid everyone by 30′

      Who is pushing MORE SPENDING ON BIKE LANES DURING COVID-19. Why is this the current agenda for CB7. Why not use your energies to help problems that actually exist. Like figuring out how to make more masks for healthcare workers. Who is behind this agenda. There is something oddly nefarious happening behind the scenes. Some us making big time money by pushing this imaginary issue to the front of the line. And masking it as a necessary during this pandemic. Shame on you. Priorities need to be straightened out. Stop punishing your neighbors.

      Wake up. Please.

    34. Caro says:

      Are you kidding me??!!!
      One more example of our Community Board trying to take advantage of constituents who are currently focused on more important things — or out of town.
      Sounds a bit like another New Yorker living in a white house a few states south of here.
      Shame on you!

    35. Leonard Peters says:

      I think all this enhancement of the bicycle riding is great but why can’t we get them to follow the traffic laws. They’re like the wild West you don’t know what direction they’re coming in You don’t know where they’re going A 95-year-old friend of mine was hit by a bicycle coming in the wrong direction and left there on the street with her head smashed. What can we do to have them follow the traffic lights stop at red lights maybe we should license them as we do cars that would be money for the city

    36. Risk high for public transport and better to bike by Road Bikes for necessary because of COVID_19 spread.