By Carol Tannenhauser
On Tuesday evening, the Transportation Committee of Community Board 7 decisively passed a resolution (9-2 with 1 abstention) asking the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) to present them with a “detailed proposal” for creating “a network of fully protected east-west bike lanes, approximately every 10 blocks between 60th and 110th Streets.”
Nearly 40 speakers from the public – many, but not all from the Upper West Side – testified in favor of the resolution. They included bicyclists who ride for pleasure as well as those who commute to work or school, some with their children. Many spoke passionately, and all cited safety as their primary concern. Members of the group Families for Safe Streets, made up of loved ones of bicyclists killed on the streets, described the loss they felt over the death of a girlfriend, a brother, a husband, or a friend.
“My brother, Charlie, was killed in 2020 in an UWS intersection like many we’re considering,” said Thomas Proctor. “Please don’t wait until there’s another death. Pass this resolution.”
Maria Danzilo, an Upper West Side lawyer who ran unsuccessfully for state senate last year, noted that in 2020, the community board’s transportation committee had called on DOT to create a single crosstown bike lane on West 72nd Street, running from Riverside Drive to Central Park. Nearly three years later, no lane has been created, she noted. “Why don’t we let 72nd Street happen and see how that goes?” rather than making a “hasty” request for a more ambitious plan, Danzilo asked.
“It’s not that that the proposal is a bad idea,” said committee member Jay Adolf, during the committee’s discussion period. “It’s impossible.” He argued that side streets are too narrow to accommodate protected bike lanes, parking, and traffic. Deliveries and emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to get through. The neighborhood would become “clogged,” Adolf said.
Given the the turbulent topic, the meeting was relatively calm and concise, lasting about two hours and 15 minutes. The only real debate came over a single word in the resolution, which asks DOT for a detailed “proposal.” Susan Schwartz, co-chair of the community board’s Parks & Environment Committee, suggested the board ask for a study instead, which prompted committee member Andrew Rigie to complain: “Nothing ever happens!” Other members noted that a proposal would still be subject to debate, so the word stayed in the resolution.
The resolution now goes to the April meeting of the full Community Board 7 for a final vote, when public comment will again be heard.
You can watch the Transportation Committee meeting below.
The Real People of Manhattan demand enforcement of ALL traffic laws intended to protect pedestrians, including but not limited to jail time for cycling on the sidewalk, cycling against traffic, cycling through a red light, etc etc and so on.
Yes! ALL traffic laws means cars without license plates that steal tolls and evade speeding cameras in school zones, out of state plate insurance fraudsters, every car that double parks and blocks traffic, every car that stops in a crosswalk, every car with a modified exhaust that can be heard blocks away, every car that honks when it’s not an emergency (it’s illegal but you’d never know it!), every car that ever goes over 25mph on a city street. There is A LOT of traffic crime that creates dangerous conditions and lowers the quality of life in this neighborhood. If we want Bike Crime Zero we need to enforce the laws on drivers too.
Never knew you like cars so much.
I don’t think anyone disagrees with this.
Jail time? Get real
CB 7 has supported the lack of essential bus access due to “open streets” and has been silent on years of reductions in essential West Side bus service.
But somehow CB 7 believes bicycling should be prioritized.
Here’s why this is a bad concept.
1. The one way cross streets are pretty quiet and safe for prudent riders. I’m basing this on my 60 years’ riding on this city’s streets.
2. Look at all the wrong way riding on the existing bike lanes. That’s from people too lazy to go one street or avenue over to ride a parallel lane. One new lane every TEN blocks is going to change the habits of how many riders?
3. Bikes don’t get people out of cars. They get people off mass transit. Bike lanes thus cost taxpayers twice: Pay for the bike lanes AND pay more for the transit subsidies made necessary by the lost revenue from fewer passengers.
We also need protected bus lanes. Drivers are constantly parked in this bus lanes, bringing public transit to a complete halt.
Opposing a bike lane won’t stop drivers from parking in the bus lane though.
I get that bicycling is your thing.
Bus lanes are not the issue.
It is the decrease in bus frequency, elimination of bus routes, and reducing bus stops.
It is also inexcusable that the City is denying riders of essential mass transit bus access by closing avenues for “open streets” forcing bus rerouting.
Bus service is bad because the city refuses to make busses a priority. The buses are as slow as walking because they sit in traffic. The city has painted dedicated bus lanes to try to speed them up but they aren’t enforced so they are worse than useless. If I had to choose between bike lanes and bus lanes, I would choose bud lanes every time. But we don’t have to choose! We can and should have both!
Since about 2010 the MTA has significantly reduced bus frequency.
Bus lanes are useless if there is no bus, if you need to wait 20 minutes for a bus, if the bus is packed etc.
Also with City’s speed limit reduction during deBlasio administration, buses can’t move swiftly anyway.
Bus lanes are a PR solution -not an actual solution to the problem
The speed limit was lowered from 30mph to 25mph. The average bus speed is approximately 8 mph. So exactly how does that 5 mph decrease in speed limit affect buses? A bus between stops is not going to get up beyond 20-25mph on a good day since stops are every 2-3 blocks. What slows bus speeds down is when a bus is blocked by traffic, not speed limits.
MST, the scientific data show otherwise. Please stop spreading “alternative facts”. https://www.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/625-19/mayor-de-blasio-releases-first-14th-street-busway-report
“Don’t let the facts”:
BTW several bus stops were removed along the 14th Street route helping bus “performance time”.
Kind of like airlines padding flight time.
Just wait until UWS bus stops are removed when the Manhattan bus network is redesigned.
Protected bike lanes were supposed to improve cyclist safety but 400 parking spaces were lost for one on Central Park West and cyclists are STILL getting killed or maimed on Central Park West.
Yes, cyclists are still getting killed, but deaths are roughly flat over the past 10 years despite a dramatic increase in miles cycled. I would say it is not perfect, but it is saving lives. You want to sacrifice a loved one for your parking spot?
Meaning cyclists are not following safe practices. I’ve heard of countless stories of people being injured or killed from bikers or mopeds flying down bike lanes the wrong way. Almost hit several times myself out of nowhere.
The introduction of all kinds of bikes on our streets
has been a disaster out for our City!
Dan, can you show me evidence of a single person killed by a wrong way biker in a bike lane? NO you can’t.
Just the facts:
Perhaps you are not aware that the NYPD is not necessarily on scene when a pedestrian is taken to the hospital due to a bike hit – no police reports.
Moreover it is not uncommon for serious falls to be end of ambulatory functionality for elderly. Know 2 elderly who never recovered after bicycle hits….
Somehow bicyclists unconcerned about this
Two days ago the Rag posted the data. Bikes are 1/15th the number of trips of cars but 1/4 the number of pedestrian injuries.
That’s pretty damning.
Those trip numbers don’t really make sense. Walking is supposedly 41% of trips, but cars are 29% and the subway is 16% – what? I think even people who own cars probably take walk at least twice as often as they drive (if only to get to and from their car!) And only ~30% of households have access to a car anyway, which implies they are using their cars for every single trip and never walking or taking the subway. There are almost twice as many car trips as subway rides? I don’t think you can take those numbers at face value.
Triple the number of bike trips and the number of injured pedestrians is still disproportionately high.
Exactly. So what was the point? Why are we doubling down on this?
The protected bike lane on CPW is a failure only meant to spite car drivers.
And countless pedestrians injured by cyclists – especially Citibikers – who ignore bike lanes, go through red lights, go the wrong way.
Bike lanes, especially on Columbus and Amsterdam, are a real hazard to pedestrian crossing avenues. You now need to look both ways twice-crossing the bike lane and then crossing the street to get to th other side.. I was nearly run over 3x by delivery people (they’re out of control) and once by someone on the sidewalk.
Yes, I quickly learned to look both ways when I was almost creamed by a cyclist going the wrong way…and of course, there are the cyclists who go through red lights.
Bike lanes are great for bikers but extremely dangerous for pedestrians most especially for older people. Although i am cautious i have had many close calls by speeding bikers. A 13th St crosstown bike lane i find extremely dangerous and not nearly the same high population as UWS nor as many dining sheds to block sidewalk access.
Between the bike lanes, the parking lanes and the traffic, not only are pedestrians forced to look BOTH ways three different times before crossing, but we also have to jump out of the way of those bikers who ride on the sidewalk.
Not to mention traffic is now reduced to roughly one or two lanes, when we used to have three, thus adding to environmental problems.
Between bike lanes and restaurant sheds in our streets, our representatives here in this once great city a slowly choking it to death.
There are strong feelings about this topic yet almost no one opposing crosstown bike lanes spoke at the meeting last night? So it looked like there was no opposition to it. CB7 Transportation Committee members rightly noted that they believed there was quite a lot of opposition that was expressed by so many at the meeting on the charging station for delivery workers a few weeks earlier.
If you have something to say about this or other issues that effect you and the UWS, please attend the community board meetings and speak up! You only have to turn on your computer to do so!
The bicycle lobby knew about this ahead as several CB members are part of TransAlt – bicyclists from throughout NYC spoke
Likely few others knew it was under discussion until too late.
I only knew because of WSR
Well, the full Community Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4 for a final vote—and will be accepting public input—so mark your calendars!
The bike lobby has spent over 15 years organizing. Some of the pro bike commenters at the meeting don’t live here but lied and claimed they did.
A few years back a number of us in the area of W.93, W. 92, and surrounding areas showed up for a CB7 hearing when the former Joan of Arc Jr. High School decided that because of the, at least 7 year renovation plan, with no end in sight, , they wanted to close W.93rd St between Columbus and Amsterdam, and make it the student playground.
And the reason they wanted to use W. 93rd St for their staggered recesses was because, instead of using the parking lot on W. 92nd St, for the children, the teachers didn’t want to park on the street.
Apparently it was fine for the people who live in the area to have their parking spaces cancelled for use of the street as the playground.
During the meeting, listening to our objections, and there were many, MANY objections, one of the female members of CB7 said to the assemblage of people who were objecting, and by the way, there were no people who were supporting this plan, “You people are starting to piss me off.”
And you wonder why they don’t get attendees at these meetings? Why we no longer show up?
Their last concern is the voices and well being of the people they volunteered to represent.
Bike lanes, parking and traffic on a side street does sound like too much.
once again a minority is dictating policies. It is harrowing with the existing bike lanes which are not used properly. No one wants this!
I and at least 36 other speakers want this. You are on the wrong side of history. Cars are going the way of Robert Moses.
37 speakers want this! 37!
They most definitely speak for the people!
“Let them ride bikes!”
Incredible arrogance – and utterly blind!
Simple question: Are pedestrians (the great majority of Upper West Siders) and car owners (24% of us) better or worse off than we were five years ago before the construction of these delivery scooter lanes?
I think the bike lanes on Amsterdam and Columbus have been a major improvement, at least for biking (which I do every day). I think we need to find a compromise where we can implement these bike lanes on wide streets (such as on 72nd Street), which will both calm traffic and avoid eliminating a significant number of parking spaces. I am tired of the insufferable “ban cars” crowd who are obsessed with eliminating “private car storage”.
Agreed. PBLs on the major cross streets would be the best idea. And cars will never be banned. I support bike infrastructure and I own and drive a car regularly.
Reading the previous article’s comment sections, it would seem like almost everybody out of the 115 commentersis against bike lanes. Yet during the public comments yesterday, the support for the protected bike lanes was overwhelming (I think 3 out of 40 speakers were against?). So where were you all yesterday?
Bikers load up the meetings thanks to their leader Howard Yaruss. Who will be held acvountable for his appointment to CB7. Gail? Helen? The elderly have become shut ins because of that man.
Assume most only knew from West Side rag article – and that would have been too late to sign up….
A neighbor just told me this discussion was postponed from last month, so Transportation Alternatives had plenty of time to prepare and message its members to weigh in.
And someone posted on another WSR article that TransAlt was even rehearsing
Well, the full Community Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4 for a final vote—and will be accepting public input—so mark your calendars!
Of course they did this!! Bunch of morons. Add these folks to the list of all the people who worked their butts off to destroy all the was once good, fair and sane about NYC!!
Somehow people with disabilities and the elderly are neglected when considering transportation issues. Most cannot ride bikes; bus services are limited and many rail stations are without elevators. How many times are buses even too full to board?
While one can understand the need to curb pollution, safety comes first. Bike lanes have only made crossing the street(and, at times, walking on a sidewalk) , hazardous.
Somehow the”safety first” issue is not being heard and transportation, especially those who are challenged are being ignored and dismissed.
In NYC bicyclists are former mass transit users – not former car drivers.
Bicycling does not curb pollution in NYC
How about making this contingent on sheds being dismantled? It will definitely interuppt traffic flow, which is poor now
The sheds will (eventually) be dismantled – the permanent outdoor dining plan that is being finalized by City Council will be seasonal only for roadway dining, and will not allow roofed structures.
Jay, that outdoor dining plan doesn’t sound too bad. I personally don’t understand wanting to sit that close to traffic and eat, but that’s me. LOL I wonder if there will be a rule preventing restaurants from taking up more than the space in front of their business.
I don’t see how the DoT can do anything “Protected” on W72 without taking out street dining sheds AND at least one side if not both sides parking like on 23rd/14th street. On most days around lunchtime there’s so much double parking the traffic is reduced to one lane moving in each direction starting from the TJ truck/ bus stop all the way to CP. What role does the NYPD play in handling all the different rule breakers between Amsterdam and Columbus post-pandemic?
I ride Citi bikes on 72nd Street all the time. Best route from home to the West Side Ymca.
There is absolutely no need for a bike lane on 72nd Street. There is plenty of room to ride safely just as it is.
PS I am 76 years old.
What a shame. I was there and spoke in opposition. This was clearly a coordinated assault on car owners by TransAlt and other biker groups. Too bad common sense residents don’t have some non-profit organized group in order to fight these types of proposals. 1% of residents or less would ever use these lanes on residential streets. Completely unnecessary. Hundreds of spots could be lost for the 30% who need and rely on them in order to call UWS their home. These people treat car owners like they aren’t even human and don’t deserve to live here. It’s disgusting.
If it is any consolation, TransAlt does not care about pedestrians or bus riders or subway riders either.
Why is Sara Lind, a lobbyist that literally works for TranAlt, even allowed to vote on such things?
Dan, please retract this statement as is is false on both accounts.
This is not the Hallmark actress Sara Lind – but the Sara Lind who works for Open Plans…
Mark Gorton is the chair of Open Plans. Gersh Kuntzman of Streetsblog is on the Open Plans board, etc….
Bicycle advocacy, lobbying.
She works for Open Plans, not TA, but with the same goals. She should not be on the Community Board and if she was a policy maker for the AAA you’d say the same thing.
When will CB7 members stop bowing to a small group of people and start protecting the majority of the people who live here. WHEN is there actual data collection comparing the small number of riders to the large number of drivers and walkers inconvenienced?? This was not done when DOT removed 500 parking spots along CPW. THERE IS NEVER NEVER A COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS. Just bowing to the bike lobby. How many bike lanes does the UES have??? They have a strong community board.
Sue, UES currently has two protected lanes 1st and Second Avenues. CB* has asked DOT for a lane on 3rd Avenue and has PASSED a nearly identical resolution to the one being debated at CB7. Yes, they have a board eager to right past wrongs.
A Citibike on the the sidewalk nearly ran over my dog. Every night from 6pm on E Bike deliverymen are Zooming up and down sidewalks for the simple reason they are too lazy to go down the street and lift their bike up the curb to the address. The curb indentations the DOT so thoughtfully installed for the disabled and pedestrians are just onramps to sidewalks for Bikes. NYC is no longer a city of walkers because it’s too dangerous. And the joke is Mayor Adams exhorts New Yorkers to walk.
Simply said: CB7 is a joke
Please for all those who have an opinion about whether or not crosstown bike lanes should be instituted-show up at the meeting on April 4!! If you’re concerned that bicycle riders have a lobby organizing them then come and make your voice heard!
CB7 zoom hearing 6:30. If you can’t attend write a letter to CB7.
Manhattan Community Board 7
250 West 87th Street
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 362-4008
Fax: (212) 595-9317