By Bob Tannenhauser
At its April 4th full board meeting, Community Board 7 is scheduled to vote on a resolution asking the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to present them with a proposal for crosstown protected bike lanes, suitable for all abilities, every 10 blocks between West 60th and West 110th streets. The issue touches three groups of Upper West Siders with very different interests:
- Bicyclists, who want more protected bike lanes.
- Pedestrians, who care about safety for foot traffic.
- Car owners, who want a place to park.
The resolution that will be presented to the full board was approved by the CB7 Transportation Committee on March 14th (nine to two, with one abstention). The committee vote came after about 40 members of the public — most from the neighborhood, some not — spoke overwhelmingly in favor of the bike lanes, several offering dramatic testimony about loved ones who were injured or killed biking, on the Upper West Side and elsewhere.
One of the few challenges to the proposal came from Jay Adolf, one of two Transportation Committee members who opposed the resolution.
‘I want to comment on the ability to do protected bike lanes on side streets,” Adolf said at the meeting. “That essentially means two parked lanes, one protected bike lane, and one lane where cars can actually move. Any delivery, any emergency vehicle being there, any drop-off would clog the streets. It would be a disastrous mess. Just so we understand…the resolution in its present form, [requiring] bike lanes on narrow side streets [is] not just bad, it’s impossible.”
WSR decided to see for ourselves. But first we checked out the different kinds of protected bike lanes DOT might propose. According to DOT’s Street Design Manual, a protected bike lane is “a bike lane with a physical separation from motorized vehicle traffic by a parking lane or barrier….Separation can take the form of floating parking, a curb or raised median, or other vertical elements [such as ‘bollards,” which are short posts used to divert traffic, often orange and white], preventing motor vehicles from accessing the bikeway.”
Next, we measured the width of West 73rd Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West, a randomly selected, typical side street. It is roughly 30 feet wide.
We then measured the bike lanes on Columbus Avenue and Central Park West to explore two different options. Both bike lanes themselves are six feet wide. Columbus utilizes “floating parking” to separate bicyclists from motorized vehicles, which requires a four-foot, painted protective lane, and then the first parking lane, which is approximately seven feet wide. If you place that configuration on 73rd Street, there’s also a 10-foot-wide traffic lane, and another seven-foot-wide parking lane, which comes to…34 feet!
|Street Width||30 Feet|
|One-Way Bike Lane||6 Feet|
|Bike-Lane Protection||4 Feet|
|Traffic Lane||10 Feet|
|Parking Lanes||14 Feet|
|Total Required||34 Feet|
If, however, DOT went with the bollard design that was used on Central Park West on 73rd Street, the painted protective lane with the bollards would add seven feet to the six-foot bike lane, the traffic lane would add 10 feet and one parking lane would add seven feet, for a total of 30 feet. But the bollard design would eliminate a lane of parking, as it did on Central Park West. “If you have a protected bike lane [every 10 blocks], by its very nature, it would require the loss of hundreds, if not more, parking spaces in the district,” Adolf said.
Any alteration of side street configuration would also impact the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) with respect to its trash and recycling collection and snow plowing efforts. We previously reported on DSNY workers lugging heavy trash bags and other discarded items between parked cars to load into the eight-feet-wide sanitation trucks. How will adding bike lanes and protections complicate their efforts and those of the street sweepers and snowplows?
“And another thing that concerns me is we haven’t heard at a committee meeting or any other occasion from the police department, the fire department, the sanitation department, school bus providers, all of the essential transportation elements that would be affected by this kind of scheme,” said Jay Adolf, in a followup phone interview on Thursday. He made it clear that he was speaking for himself, not the Board. “I don’t know how we can possibly make any kind of of decision without that kind of input.”
Adolf also pointed out that neither the proponents of the resolution, nor anyone from the public or any advocacy group had come forward with “any specific measurements or mechanical proposals. It was just generalities. But it doesn’t take an engineer to know what the side streets look like. You would be creating almost an automatic bottleneck.”
Maria Danzilo, an attorney and former candidate for State Senate, commented at the meeting that the committee had called for a crosstown bike lane on West 72nd Street in July 2020, a resolution to which DOT has not responded. Danzilo suggested that it should be pursued to see how it works before moving forward on the more ambitious plan.
“It’s been two-and-a-half years since we passed that resolution and we haven’t heard word one,” Adolf said. “What can you imply from that? If they really were serious about considering it, I assume we would have heard something, even a rejection.” Still, he believes “if history is any teacher,” the current crosstown bike-lane resolution will pass. But, then, he added, it may go where the 72nd Street resolution went, “to a room with a great file cabinet in the sky.”
Let us know what you think about crosstown bike lanes in the comments, but a word to the wise: be careful if you try to measure, and don’t take your dog! And please be respectful of others’ opinions in your remarks.
We’ll keep you updated on the details of the April 4th full board Zoom meeting, where, should you choose to express your opinions, your comments will be “on the record.”
What we really need are protected pedestrian lanes. The bikes, mopeds and motorcycles are all over the place, including the sidewalks. The extended pedestrian lanes on Ninth Avenue below 59th Street are being utilized by everything with wheels!
I couldn’t agree more. Just this week I was almost hit twice by bikes coming at me the wrong way on the street. I am so very tired of this!! No more bike lanes without regulation and enforcement!!
The bikes whiz by. Many do not stop for red lights. It is dangerous for pedestrians crossing a street. I am a former bike rider who used to take long bike rides all over New Jersey. I tried to obey the laws. Now I have to watch out for e-bike riders who ride on the sidewalks and who ride in the wrong direction on 1 way streets. This is not how bike riders should behave,
Yes. I do remember when this was a pedestrian-friendly city. Those days are long gone and it’s far from that way now.
Also, I wonder (I’m sure there’s a good reason—or a dozen—why we can’t have municipal parking structures like many other cities have.)
Because they encourage more people to bring their cars into the city.
Who cares if some car storage is removed, even if it is in the hundreds? Bike lanes pretty clearly benefit more people than that, and it’s not like it completely removes options for car owners; they can pay to park or spend more time looking for parking
That’s very dismissive of ‘hundreds’ of other people’s needs, let alone their budgets. I bike on 73rd all the time. It, like most UWS side streets,
has little car traffic and usually not very fast.
Many car owners are older people. We live on pensions, 401Ks and Social Security. We
aren’t going to come up with extra money for parking garages.
In short, bike lanes aren’t really necessary in the side streets.
You obviously have no clue about the numbers. 30% of UWS households rely on cars. How many need bike lanes on side streets? Not even 1%, in fact, nobody! How entitled are you to be fighting for the 0.1% while hurting thousands of middle class and making it impossible to even call the UWS home.
There is no statistic of how many UWSers use bikes so this seems completely bogus. Parking spots store private property for a tiny number of people all day (or week), whereas the bike lanes would be used for safety by numerous residents, and the service workers who are constantly delivering to them.
You need to walk in someones shoes who needs a car to survive. Obviously none of you needs a car to earn a living or get to places where there is no public transportation. And are wealthy enough to pay the up to $2,000 a month for a garage on the Upper West Side. Shame on you.
Top City officials have a car and or a driver. And those politicians who own a car have a house with a garage or are wealthy enough top afford a garage, and couldn’t care less for us common folk.
All we hear about are cars hitting bikes. Statistics about bikes hitting pedestrians are suppressed.
My family didn’t have a car, but bikes allow us to get to work and school quicker than public transit and at a fraction of the cost. Bikes are a viable solution to transit issues, yet we are denied safe streets in our neighborhoods. People against bike infrastructure also have a lot to learn about others and their transit needs.
Peter, we hear about these people who “need” a car often. No one was allowed to park on the street overnight in NYC until 1950s. Somehow people managed.
‘Somehow’ because few owned cars until after WW2.
72 years ago? When a teacher could afford an apartment on the corner of West End and 88th St and a garage was what, $15 -20/month?
So you want to go back to the 1940s? There would be a lot of things you might not like. It’s called progress. There was an overwhelming need for parking and there still is, that’s why it changed.
Sounds like a classic supply and demand problem, which means we should charge for the spots!
Average NYC rent is about $6.50/square foot, and a parking spot is 7 ft x 15 ft (105 sq ft) so that comes to $682.50/month per parking spot.
I wonder how many people would still “need” cars if that was the monthly permit rate.
I’m all for more delivery scooter lanes!
Let’s sacrifice even more pedestrians, car owners, and many middle class bike commuters, now run off the road by delivery folks, so food can be delivered thirty seconds faster!
Every protected scooter delivery lane in
Manhattan brings more stress, anxiety, and pollution.
Well done, once again, progressives!
“Oh, the awful blindness of your plans!”
But the urbanists want to get rid of car garages except for the wealthiest. Or try taking trains that run like garbage and deal with an MTA or an NJT that doesn’t care about the riding public.
The idea is the opposite of induced traffic. As you make driving more painful, only those that really need to do it will continue to do it and others will realize that other means of transportation are more convenient and faster than cars. So more people bike. More people take transit. More money is diverted from car-centric infrastructure and repairs and more is directed to bike/pedestrian/transit infrastructure. More buses get bus lanes.
And, paradoxically, driving actually becomes better because only those that really need to drive will drive. And traffic thins out.
It’s happened in other cities, and it can happen here.
The reality on the ground in the NYC metro is that driving is being made more painful AND transit is getting worse. In fact, you have people driving who would have used transit before. I know of people who started driving to work on the UWS and UES because they lived elsewhere and got fed up with the transit system after using it daily, we are talking about former bus, subway, LIRR and NJT users. The fact that the LIRR made service much worse with the opening of Grand Central doesn’t help either. The congestion pricing advocates will also say that the purpose of congestion pricing is NOT to encourage more transit usage to Manhattan, they say they want 85% of drivers continuing to drive in order to get as much money to take as much bonds out as possible. They just want to reduce “unwanted” car traffic while raising money and not doing much to make transit better, if at all.
I use trains all the time (both subways and commuter) and have yet to experience them as “garbage.” I find them fairly reliable and cost-effective.
If you live in Manhattan and have most of your life in Manhattan, that’s easy to say.
of course they’re possible. Take out the parking spaces on one side of the street. That plus residential permits=fewer cars/less congestions/fewer injuries & deaths from vehicular accidents
I’m strongly opposed to protected crosstown bike lanes in primarily residential zones. Their usage rates would not justify the tradeoffs. However, I’m definitely in favor of having them in business districts with heavier traffic.
How do you want people to get home from work? Or to get from home to school? A primary use area is precisely in residential areas.
The proponents of parking removal don’t get that our public transportation system isn’t getting better. Once congestion pricing is actually implemented and transit is still not run well, we’re going to have the same kind of pushback we are having with bail reform. The reality is that an election denier almost won the gubernatorial race with 47% of the vote last year in New York, do we want a GOP governor and a GOP state senate for the urbanists to finally learn that their grand vision isn’t as popular as they think it is? Let’s face it, Robert Moses’ projects had wide approval amongst NYC residents at one time and people began turning on him, urbanists pushing bike lanes and removal of parking aren’t immune to losing their power.
Really, transit system in Manhattan is not good enough for you? This is literally the densest urban transit system in North America. If that is not sufficient to the point that you need to own (not rent once in a while, but own) a personal vehicle, please pay for your own parking instead of storing your property for free on the street, since cyclists’ and pedestrians’ deaths and injuries as well as narrow clogged sidewalks are not an acceptable price to pay for your convenience.
Reductio ad absurdum:
If everyone who places immobile objects in the street must pay rent, then the Parks Department should pay rent for all those trees that take up half the public sidewalk, and whose branches sometimes cause damage to buildings and cars.
The ‘curb your dog’ sign installers should pay rent for placement of all those signs, too.
And homeowners must pay for leaving their garbage out for collection. It stinks!
Let’s concentrate on making existing bike infrastructure safer. The Hudson River Greenway Facebook group needs you to become a member.
Not everyone lives in Manhattan and has their whole life in Manhattan. Not everybody is Gale Brewer who is known to have a pet peeve of leaving Manhattan. There are people who need to own a car to leave Manhattan for a reverse commute, there are people who commute to Manhattan by car because the transit system is garbage and MTA is trying to cut service or has modified service so that there’s essentially a service cut. When Staten Islanders think the world revolves around them, they’re seen as ignorant and racist; when Manhattanites think the world revolves around them, they’re seen as more “enlightened”.
Why are you looking at wide bike lanes on the avenues as examples when planning a crosstown bike lane? Plenty of examples of crosstown lanes exist, for example on 55th and 52nd St. Implementing those involved loss of parking spots but not wholesale elimination (in fact, it’s the parking that provide the protection on most blocks.)
Those are not full width protected bike lanes. They are narrow lanes with a car parked next to them. Full width bike lanes have a buffer to protect them from open car doors. The point is that there is not enough width to support two lanes of parking with a protected bike lane.
Why are you mixing full-width and protected? They are not full-width but they are protected, as was stated. Protection refers to protection from traffic, not car doors.
I know a cyclist who purposely ran into the legs of those who swing open car doors in front of them.
You can’t have a protected lane plus parking on both sides of a one way cross street. Not enough room if a truck stops for a delivery or an emergency vehicle has to stop mid block.
You can keep parking next to the protected lane, it’s what protects the lane. You’d have to lose parking on the side opposite the protected lane.
Here, you don’t even have to go measure, just read the DOT proposed design for what was implemented on 55th and 52nd. The actual design implemented may not be exactly this, but it’s close.
there’s no lane to protect bike riders from being struck by opening car doors. if that works on 52 & 55 sts, why can’t we get rid of those 4-ft lanes on columbus ave?
The narrow lanes on crosstown streets are sub-optimal! But they suffice for now, compared to sharrows or no lane at all. But to answer your question, the wider lanes on the avenues are necessary given that the avenues carry more bike traffic.
That would prevent the street sweepers from driving through the bike lanes on the major avenues.
It’s not that complicated if you remove automobile parking from one side of the street. Then, the protected bike lane wouldn’t impeding crosstown traffic. Many cities in Europe have figured this out–it’s not that hard.
No more money on bicycling/no more expansion of the bicycling infrastructure.
People can and should be taking the crosstown bus.
NYC bicyclists are egregious in their disregard of traffic laws (going through red lights, going wrong way, ignoring bike lanes) and endangering pedestrians.
Bicycling infrastructure also negatively impacts bus transportation
NYC bicyclists are former mass transit users – not former car drivers – so bicyclists don’t reduce car driving.
How the heck do you know they are not former car drivers?? Maybe they decided not to congest us any more driving around the city! We definitely need. A cross town bike lane uptown – park access at 97 street only runs east drive and you the. Have to walk it – and is not safe at night or early morning
1. Look at Amsterdam at 65 – 68 Sts. Monday – Friday, around 2 PM. DOT put in a bike lane (ok) and at the pinch site (66 St) narrowed the Avenue to only 2 travel lanes. Every afternoon at around 2 PM dozens of buses congregate to pick up the students from the 2 huge high schools. They have no choice, either totally block traffic or block the bike lane. So they block the bike lane, every day.
Jay Adolf is correct, if there’s not enough room on Amsterdam there isn’t enough room on 90th Street, or 96th.
2. Look at all the bike lanes, spend 15 minutes or so. And do so knowing that one street over is a parallel lane going the other direction. See how many riders, regular bikes and ebikes, don’t bother to go the one street over to go the right way. Fully powered, and still they can’t go the 1 lousy block over.
Then think about whether asking riders to go 5 blocks over to get to the 1 protected lane every 10 blocks will work. Answer? It won’t.
I will repeat what I said when this came up a few weeks ago: The one way side streets are safe for prudent people riding their bikes in prudent fashion.
The buses are for the 2 special ed schools (66 St and 68 St) – mostly little kids.
Some cyclists especially Citibikers seem unwilling to stop when the kids are getting on/off buses and staff sometimes have to block bike lane for safety.
That situation is the result of a sadly misdesigned bike lane/parking lane setup by DOT. They made no provision for bus pick up and drop off, so the buses break the law by driving into the marked bike lane and parking there. There are better ways to combine safe bus dropoff and bike lanes, the CPW bike lanes are one example, but this design would take away precious parking spots, so of course it’s not considered.
No Matt how it’s sliced, if there isn’t enough room for the buses and bike lane on Amsterdam then what’s it going to be like on a cross street?
I think it is a disgrace that the Community Board would take any position on bike lanes without coupling it with a strong statement that the existing laws regarding motor bikes, motorcylces and scooters be energetically enforced. Without that proviso, all they are doing is creating more danger, and instilling a belief among the public that those vehicles are exempt and can be operated that way — wending through stopped cars and trucks at red lights to barrel through, requiring pedestrians to yield to them, riding on sidewalks, going the wrong way down one way streets, exceeding the speed limits, and encouraging a general malaise that the law will continue to be ignored. And what about the disabled and the elderly? When can people with vision and mobility issues safely cross the street and walk on the sidewalks? And if pedestrians cannot safely walk when they have the walk sign, why should they pay any attention to the traffic lights and the walk signals at all? Basically, you have to be complete dunce and operating at room temperature to think that we can have a functioning cityscape with a civil social fabric absent enforcement and an expectation as to how others will conduct themselves. We had that until about 2-3 years ago when it started to erode and the erosion has accelerated. Where are the leaders, where are the community board members? If the law is not enforced we have to expect there will be vigilante action. Wake up and do your job. It should not take an angry public to get that done by you.
NYPD hasn’t even proven they care to enforce the existing laws against fake/obscured license plates on our streets…
Yes to crosstown bike lanes! We live in a residential neighborhood where people, you know, like to do recreational stuff other than drive around or park a car. Our children cannot currently bike safely from our apartment to either park flanking the UWS—we walk their bikes (ugh for us) or ride on the sidewalk (ugh for others). The loss of parking spots will anger some who park for free on the street. But the joy of many children and bikers of all abilities will ultimately dwarf their complaints.
I thought the law allowed kids up to 14 to ride on sidewalks. That’s how my kid and I used to ride to the park – her on the sidewalk and me (somewhat distracted) parallel a bit behind her on the street. Some cross-street sidewalks were so narrow and bumpy she’d go behind me in the street. We didn’t go that fast. These were the days before e-bikes and deliveristas. Challenging times now for sure.
How is a bike lane up o five blocks away from you going to help that? You’re still walking your bikes.
You have to WALK your bikes??
A crime against humanity!
Whoever heard of such a thing in a crowded metropolis?
I will have to ponder…,
How about if kids walk?
My kids walk
My kids walk, too. A lot.
And take public transportation, too. A lot.
But when we want to bike to the park, it is fundamentally unsafe. A lot unsafe.
Thanks for laying out the numbers for us. Side streets are problematic. As a biker and a walker, I am definitely in favor of, and use, protected bike lanes. I feel first to be addressed should be cross-park bike lanes. Need to get all bikes off the pathways. Perhaps possible to rework a section of bridle path at the reservoir? Right now, the only choice is the traverse at 72nd—a popular tourist mecca and very congested area used by carriages, pedicabs, pedestrians as well as bikes and scooters.
The current configuration of every side street is two lanes of parking and two lanes for moving or double parked cars (four lanes per street). So every 10 blocks has roughly 40 crosstown lanes (not counting the wider 72nd, 79th, 86th etc). All 40 of those lanes are dedicated either to moving or storing cars. Converting one lane of parking every 10 blocks to a dedicated bike lane would shift the allocation of public space to 39 lanes for cars and 1 lane for bikes. Bikes would get 1/40th (2.5%) of our public street space, inline with their share of trips taken and cars would get 97.5% (approximately 3x the 30% of households in the neighborhood who own cars.)
I know that it is already very tough for people who own cars here to find parking, but the current allocation of street space and is not fair and is not in any sense a compromise. Not everyone in the neighborhood can have a car and a lot of people depend on bikes. Bikes are just asking for space in proportion to their share of trips made, while cars will still have the vast majority of space. (In the future we also need real, dedicated bus lanes – busses move even more people than bikes and have zero physically dedicated space on our streets.)
The trips made by car are trips that cannot be made by bike. The problem is that there are some Manhattanites that think the world revolves around them and think that people who need cars be damned because they have their whole lives in Manhattan or select gentrified Brooklyn neighborhoods. Not all space “allocated” towards cars are created equal and the more you go leave the bubble that’s Manhattan and gentrifed NYC, you’ll see that street parking is a very important safety valve.
Cars would still have 39 out of 40 lanes. How is that “cars be damned”? If you think that 39 out of 40 lanes isn’t enough, what would you propose as a more reasonable compromise?
39 out of 40 lanes is twisting what actually goes on. There have been massive increases in spaces for bicycles since Janette Sadik-Khan was appointed NYCDOT commissioner by Bloomberg in 2007, there have already been many parking spaces lost all while our transit service continues to get worse. Even if 24% of UWS residents own cars, there are many more than that who work, visit, own businesses and can’t/won’t use the transit system for some reason. Street parking is also better faith competition to the MTA as people who use street parking are often individual car owners or small business owners. Compare this with predatory corporations such as Uber/Lyft who not only donate to Transportation Alternatives but seek to have an oligopoly on our public spaces. If you own no car and transit is garbage, you’re likely using Uber or Lyft and they can be more exploitative.
Public streets are meant to be used by all members of the public for transportation, not just for the benefit of a few individuals who want to park their vehicles there. When private individuals are allowed to use public streets for their personal parking, it can create congestion, limit access to public transportation, and make it difficult for emergency vehicles to get through.
Additionally, public streets are funded and maintained by taxpayers’ money, and allowing private parking on public streets effectively means that a portion of those public resources are being allocated to benefit a few individuals rather than the broader public good. This can lead to inequities in access to public resources and exacerbate income inequality.
Furthermore, private parking on public streets can also lead to increased pollution and carbon emissions, as cars circle around looking for a spot to park, or remain idling while waiting for the owner to return. In contrast, encouraging the use of public transportation or alternative modes of transportation such as biking or walking can lead to reduced traffic congestion and lower carbon emissions.
They’ll circle around a LOT more if we get rid of hundreds of parking spaces. People aren’t giving up their cars – car ownership is at record highs. I bike every day all over the city, but it’s clear that some compromise would would be beneficial. If the bike lanes are proposed on wide streets to minimize the loss of parking, I think you would see much less resistance.
Jay – In my mind, you chose the correct word in your response. “Compromise.” Unfortunately, one trend I’ve noticed in the responses to this post and just about every other post on WSR is that people have really moved away from a willingness to listen to all points and then come to a compromise position.
Seems like everything has become “my way at all costs….”
I know of workers and business owners who left the transit system and began driving to work on the UWS because they got fed up with the MTA and NJ Transit.
While everyone is debating the conflict of rights that different very valid groups all have let’s remember one thing about bike lanes. They should be for BICYCLES. Vehicles that are operated by legs – a cut above walking. No motors, no engines, no batteries. It is unfortunate to note that a significant number of “bikes” are operated by something other than pedals and are in fact “motor vehicles”. But for some reason if you look carefully, you will see that aside from occaisional exceptions these bikes do not have license plates, are driven on the sidewalks, go the wrong way on one way streets, don’t stop at stop signs, etc. I don’t the legal requirements for license plate and driver licenses but if these non-bicycles are not legally required to be licensed then our City should worry about that before they decide how much space is needed for their special lanes. Make the motorized vehicles operate in “car lanes” and see how much room is really needed for bikes. I suspect the streets will be safer for real bikes, cars and people. And give out tickets to those “bikes” that drive the wrong way and go through traffic lights etc and revoke licenses to drive of offenders. And with all the accidents they cause make them carry insurance like car owners are required to do. Any person or even cars and trucks they injure are entitled to that protection as well.
Thanks for bringing up this issue – I am fed up of being lumped into a “cyclist” group of electric motorbikes etc that travel as fast as cars and are in bike lanes often – scaring the hell out of most of us – and unlike every other country – including developing countries – are completely unregulated – no one cares. They are on GWB bike/pedestrian paths – riverside park – Central Park. Enough
How about designating one or more cross streets as bike corridors, with speed bumps & (if Sammy’s Law is enacted) a reduced speed limit? W 70th St. might be a good candidate.
I do not understand all of the car haters. They wreak of “I can’t have one do nobody else should either.” I’m sorry they rarely venture outside of Manhattan and don’t have friends/family who visit. Note that I don’t own a car. I am supportive of parking permits so car owners pay their way more. But eliminating more spots for something that will be rarely used is not a good idea.
Crosstown bike traffic would be minimal. As noted in the article, it would make snow removal and ambulance access more difficult. The consequences of this have not been fully considered. But the squeaky wheel (car haters) gets the grease.
Protected bike lanes on narrow streets have been downtown in Manhattan for nearly 5 years. 12th street & 13th street are safe protected crosstown streets after losing one side of parking.
Snow removal, street cleaning is no problem.
Emergency vehicles like fire, ambulance & police have access if required. The only issue here is scofflaws that go over the bollards.
“Rarely get used”? If your car is parked, it is actually not being used. I see plenty of cars that only get moved for street cleaning. If a bike lane is installed on block with 15 parking spaces and 15 bikes a day ride down that lane in an entire day, we already break even. I am not sure why you think that your visiting friends’ convenience is more important than lives and health of people who actually live here.
Leon, If you really cared about ambulance access, get rid of all the car storage! Zero traffic.
According to testimony there were 3.1 million Citibike trips in CB7 last year. That does not include people who rode their own bikes or the delivery people trying to get home alive each day.
Why not use only larger crosstown streets–like 72nd, 86th, 96th–for the protected bike lanes?
This seems like a feasible way to have them approximately every 10 blocks without many of the issues you mention in the article.
Bike lanes on crosstown would be a disaster for buses
Bike lanes are on CPW alongside buses and it seems to work just fine.
These should be called crosstown electric bike lanes, because that’s what they will become.
I appreciate the math approach. I would like to see similar comparitives (with the math) with other crosstown streets (vs. CPW or Columbus) like 13th St in the Village or other cross-town streets. The dimensions are shorter.
My street is full of sketchy vans from NJ double parking and blocking traffic every single day. On top of that, cyclists use sidewalks as if it’s their dedicated space. I got honked at by a cyclist on a sidewalk the other day! Do NYPD enforce anything nowadays? What we need is residential permits to protect those actually living on UWS. Both parking spots and bike lanes are for those who don’t.
It is possible the vans are gig workers doing ecommerce delivery?
Many do not realize how much ecommerce delivery is done by exploited gig workers and as gig workers they must use their own vehicles which do not have commercial plates.
Sketchy vans from NJ? They’re likely vans of contractors doing work in your apartment and that contractor can’t afford to live on the UWS. Want to give up historic district landmarking to allow for more housing on the UWS? I doubt it will go over too well.
No more bike lanes until bikes are licensed and motor bikes are forced to carry insurance. I am sick of dodging bikes, skateboards, motorcycles , everywhere all at once. I am a pedestrian and would like to walk down the sidewalk without having to dodge everybodys dangerous toys.
You walk along the street where bike lanes would be put in?! Protected bike lanes leads to less bikes on sidewalks. Double parked cars make streets formidable for cyclists. But, look at the math for injuries & deaths. Very few pedestrians seriously hurf by cyclists (electrics another story). Speed & mass cause injury. Cars & trucks cause death. More danger should be more regulated. Reducing cars and free parking will make pedestrian space much better!
In a perfect world this would be OK.
But here, there are e-bikers going both ways on one way streets, fast, ignoring traffic lights. Let’s not forget about all of them on the sidewalks. Most of the traditional bikers I see are tending to the rules which is helpful. Not all though.
Where are people supposed to walk?
What about protected sidewalks?
Now that you’ve given a platform to two people who have never supported protected space for cyclists, do you plan to give some ink to those whose priority is safer streets? And to your question “Is it possible?”, it’s not like this has never been done before. It’s proved entirely possible on 12th and 13th Streets, for example. But that’s not the Upper West Side, so maybe it doesn’t count.
Let’s perform a thought experiment:
Ignore, for a moment, how deceptively dangerous our quiet sidestreets can be for cyclists. How would people feel if we completely banned and/or significantly reduced private vehicles on the crosstown corridors with bus routes instead? Meaning private vehicle traffic would be heavily restricted on 65th, 66th, 72nd, 79th, 81st (East of Amsterdam) 86th, 96th, 106th, and 110th Streets (East of Broadway) Only buses, micro-mobility, taxis, commercial loading, emergency services, and assisted transportation (Access-a-ride) were allowed on those streets.
You keep your precious parking on sidestreets, but private cars cannot access those strips with minimal exceptions. Buses run seamlessly, ample room for wide bike lanes, opportunities for loading.
Do people want actually safe infrastructure for everyone who uses it, or are we just being anti-bike reactionaries?
I do not drive.
While I feel sorry for food delivery workers, I do not want more bicycles and more bicycle infrastructure.
Bicyclists endanger pedestrians.
(Actually Citibikers and “regular” bikers are the most eggregious in endangering pedestrians.)
What I do want is all transportation funding to go to State MTA bus and subway.
Mass transit needs to be the priority
Look at the statistics. Bicycles do not cause much serious injury to pedestrians, especially compared to the carnage of motorized traffic. Bicycle infrastructure HELPS protect pedestrians by removing the dangers and obstacles that send them to the sidewalks. Protected crosstown bike lanes (as existing in 12th & 13th streets downtown) do mean an adjustment – staying on the sidewalks until stepping on the street for crossing on the light for instance.
Anti-bike sentiment is justified when you have Uber/Lyft, rich men like Mark Gorton pushing for it and when its tied to gentrification and displacement of working and middle class people.
That would be pretty great, actually.
It’s clearly all about taking spots from cars no matter the cause. The anti-car agenda coming from TransAlt lobbyists funded by Uber/Lyft is relentless. They would rather see that space be empty then allow residents to use it for much needed parking. People need to start waking up and fighting back before they change the city permanently. Please go to the meeting and speak!
More than showing up to CB7 meetings and speaking, we need to engage voters and those who work and own businesses in the neighborhoods and live outside the UWS but drive to work here. There are plenty of elected officials in the outer boroughs and suburbs not bought by Mark Gorton (Open Plans founder) and StreetsPAC.
Whatever is done laws need to be followed.
Bicycles should never be ridden on sidewalks.
Bicycles should be required to use the bike lane if one is available not use both the bike lane and the street.
Monster fines need to be applied.
We were walking on a sidewalk the other day and a delivery e-bikes comes up behind us and beeps at us. I turned around and told him sidewalks are for pedestrians and the retort was we are walking to slow. Pedestrians are almost always going to be slower than bicycles that is why they should never be ridden on the sidewalk.
If all the cars were eliminated you still have this culture of bicycles (mostly e-bikes) going anywhere they please.
NYC loves to write tickets for the revenue.
Require everything that moves to have a license plate except people. Then ticket everyone and make the fine high enough to be painful.
The Gothamist has an article of a bicyclist getting $4,600 in red light fines so once upon a time it was enforced. Do the same for sidewalk violations.
Enforce the existing laws make it easier by requiring licensing.
End of the day with cars what do you want to eliminate.
Just personal vehicles or something more? Where are you going to eliminate these vehicles all of Manhattan or something more?
Hired cars are something like 30 percent of the volume in the CBD area not sure what it is on the UWS. Delivery vehicles also how are things going to be moved around? i am assuming most would not want to eliminate ambulances and fire trucks.
My view is you enforce the laws on the books
they have cameras for red light and speeding all over the place. running 24 hours that is an easy implementation I am sure the cameras could pick up a plate with those cameras on bicycle without much effort.
So if you want to add a bike lane make the bicyclists use it. First start with the bike lanes that exist now.
Change the law to require the usage of the bike lane when available and enforce it
Then eventually you can say sorry personal drivers and delivery people you can no longer egress in the city you must figure out how to move yourself and your stuff around (maybe horse and carriage just not on oppressively hot days and also have a larger scooper).
I am for removal of all kinds of bikes motor bikes etc and removal of all bike lanes
Let us go back to being a walking subway bus
city. Safety First!
Clearly the bikes have been an experiment
that didn’t work
It’s an indisputable fact at this point.
Our City has never been such a mess!
If you actually cared about preventing death and injury to locals, you’d be arguing for removing all cars, using your logic.
You remove all cars, Manhattan would go broke. Manhattan needs the outer boros and outlying areas.
How about some protective lanes for seniors who must use walkers and are not physically able to jump out of the way of silent speeding bikes with bike riders who do not have regard for or even knowledge of traffic laws? The sidewalks are no longer safe. I observe bikes on sidewalks every single day.
I am an Upper West Sider, and am in support of these bike lanes.
As a pedestrian, when I see a protected bike lane, I am more aware that a cyclist might be coming, and I pause and look both ways-as it serves as a visual prompt to be on the lookout for a cyclist. Bike lanes increase my feelings of safety, as it directs the cyclists (and ebike delivery folks) to this lane- instead of them riding on the sidewalks and spread across the streets. There should be better enforcement for motorized vehicles like ebikes who violate traffic laws- but increasing the lanes will give them more options and likely decrease the practice of riding on sidewalks, not increase it.
But rather than only highlight what I think might be the case, I would like to suggest we all use a more data informed approach to assess how these lanes might impact our safety.
A comprehensive University of Colorado, Denver study published in the Journal of Transport & Health analyzing 13 years of data in 12 cities found that improving bicycle infrastructure reduces fatalities for ALL road users.
“Safer cities aren’t due to the increase in cyclists, but the infrastructure built for them — specifically, separated and protected bike lanes. They found that bicycling infrastructure is significantly associated with fewer fatalities and better road-safety outcomes.”
how many deaths and serious injuries since
this bike thing started? Hundreds!!!
I agree with everyone who has said that what we need is more enforcement of current laws. The safety of pedestrians, bikers AND scooter/e-bike drivers are all at risk when the laws aren’t obeyed. First and foremost, all motorized vehicles that can go over 20 mph MUST be registered and have license plates and licensed drivers. That is the current law, but it is never enforced! If all these vehicles were required to be registered and have plates, the police wouldn’t have to do all the work. Red light cameras could catch them running red lights and citizens could report vehicles that are being driven unsafely, just as with cars. The police could and should ticket or arrest anyone driving without plates, even if they are obeying other traffic laws.
I don’t think we need bike lanes on small crosstown streets, but we DO need them for traveling across Central Park from west to east and back! Perhaps there could be a way to create a crosstown bike path through Central Park or through the transverse. The walking paths on the transverses are almost never used. Could they be made into bike lanes?