Eighth Avenue Bike Lane

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Anonymous's picture

This evening I went to a Community Board 4 Transportation Committee hearing on the Eighth Ave. Bike Lane. The Bicycle Coordinator from the Department of Transportation gave a presentation on where the DOT is with the bike lane. It's planned for 2006. The lane will run from 14th St. (where the current Hudson St. lane ends) up to 57th St., with a gap between 39th & 42nd (Port Authority). The plan includes signage at the Port Authority gap.

The Board Committee voted to recommend that the lane be colored and that it have a buffer zone (a striped lane between the bike lane and the next traffic lane). The bike lane will be 5 feet wide and the buffer (if DOT accepts the recommendation) would probably be 2-3 feet wide. This would make it much safer than the Sixth Ave. bike lane.

Noah Budnick from Transportation Alternatives spoke in favor of the buffered lane, as did I on behalf of the Cycle Club. The Committee was pleased that more than a dozen cyclist came to the meeting to advocate for the lane.

Our thanks to Community Board 4 for continuing to press for the Eighth Ave. bike lane and to the DOT for moving forward with it.

Anonymous's picture
hannah (not verified)
almost there

Thanks for representing NYCC at this meeting. I first heard about the proposal for this lane at a club meeting sometime last year. I have mixed feelings about bike lanes as they are implemented and enforced in NYC but still think it's a good idea to support them.

That said, what about the two blocks between where this lane ends and Central Park? Don't they expect that CP will be the destination of many of the cyclists using this lane? I've always found Columbus Circle to be very hazardous, despite the various reconfigurations, and yet I bike through it quite often. Is there anyone we can write to to suggest that the bike lane be built all the way to the park--or at least signed like the Port Authority gap?


Anonymous's picture
Carol Waaser (not verified)
Columbus Circle

I think they do intend to sign it. The problem as expressed by DOT is that cyclists will want to be in different lanes depending on whether they're giong into the Park, or up CPW or up Broadway or across 60th St.

Anonymous's picture
Andy (not verified)
Thanks, Carol.

"Though the pavement is pretty rough on Eighth, a bike lane would/will be a great idea for arguably the craziest avenue/section in the city. I usually take Tenth (starting from 25th Street) up to 59th Street then turn east towards Columbus Circle, avoiding Eighth like the plague, but a bike lane--particularly in tandem with the proposed ""buffer zone""--would make it seem a safer and more desirable route to get to Central.

Big thanks for representing us and for reporting the good news. Gettin' things done!


Anonymous's picture
af (not verified)
I second those thoughts

particularly about the lousy condition of Eighth Ave. as a cycling venue in its present torn up state. Do the plans for a bike lane include resurfacing the avenue? (Otherwise, Sixth Ave., even with no buffer, might stll be preferable -- at least in off hours). Thanks.

Anonymous's picture
Josh (not verified)
bike lane

I wrote CB4 thanking the committee and heard back immediately from Jay Marcus, a committee member, who will scout out the blue bike lane in Brooklyn -- by bike (!) -- this weekend. They appear set on moving quickly on this, so it seems. Appreciate the efforts of all those who took the time to attend and speak up. Way to go!
Thank you community board on behalf of cyclists! I cycle to work, and shop, take my child to school, etc., via this stress-free mode of travel ideally suited to Manhattan. The only problem is auto congestion and
gridlock, so I am thankful when any help in getting around that congestion is proposed.

The solid blue markings of a bike lane, suggested at your last meeting as a way to draw attention to them (and hence discourage scofflaw double parking), can be found at the exit to the bike lane at the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge. It goes for about two blocks, is solid
blue, and I've never seen any auto or bus double parked there, so it seems to be effective in alerting motorists that they are entering an illegal space (for them) that is a bike lane. The test, of course, is to implement a solid-colored bike lane in Manhattan. It's worth a try, I
believe, especially along Eighth Avenue.

But your bike lane proposal sounds like a nice improvement overall. The continuation of the Hudson Street bike lane, which I think is superb, is just fantastic and I'm so pleased. Now if we can only get this on the East Side, where I live . . .

Anonymous's picture
Carol Waaser (not verified)

As explained by DOT, they do the re-striping of lanes only when a street is being repaved. So the plan is they will repave all of Eighth Avenue (except for a few blocks in the 30's that were recently repaved) and restripe it with slightly narrower vehicle lanes to enable them to put in the bike lane and buffer zone. So for a couple of years, at least, this is going to feel like heaven!

cycling trips