Bicycle Blueprint
Introduction

NYC Cycling
1. NYC Bike Policy
2. State of NYC Cycling
3. Cyclists & Streets
A Bike and a Prayer


Riding Infrastructure
Street Design
5. Bridges
6. Road Surfaces
7. Greenways
8. Parks
9. Bicycles and Transit
10. Reducing Traffic


Security
11. Bicycle Theft
12. On-Street Parking
13. Indoor Parking


On the Job Cycling
14. Bicycle Messengers
Fifth, Park & Madison
15. Freight Cycles
16. Gov't Cycling


Reducing Risks
17. Accidents
Three Who Died
18. Air Pollution


Bicycle Education
19. Schools
20. Public Education


Appendices

      Chapter 4:
Street Design
a) Street Design
b) Bike Lanes in NYC
c) Working Bike Lane Systems
d) Bike Lanes for New York City
e) Elements of a NYC Bicycle Lane System
f) Side Streets and Residential Areas — The Need for Traffic Calming
g) Chapter 4 Recommendations
Sidebar: The Lanes That Failed
Figure 4a) Riding Infrastructure
Figure 4b) Suggested Bike Lane Configurations

Moy Wong
Cyclist protests removal of barrier bike lane, 1980. The city tore out the lanes, on 6th Ave. and Broadway, only months after installing them.
Photo: Moy Wong.

The Lanes That Failed

“I was swept away by the thought of what could be when I saw a million bikes in Beijing. And I see two in New York City — on a Sunday.” With these words, in November 1980 Mayor Edward Koch removed the barrier-separated bike lanes he had installed one month earlier between Greenwich Village and Central Park.

The 6- to 8-foot wide lanes ran northbound on 6th Ave. and southbound on 7th Ave., Broadway and 5th Ave. Chronically blocked by pedestrians, food vendors and trash, they were shunned by some cyclists, who found riding in traffic more efficient. Taxi and trucking interests protested taking street space for “invisible cyclists,” although DoT reported both lower accidents and increased riding on 6th Ave.

The last straw for Mayor Koch was when Governor Carey derided him for his bike “fetish” after a too-close encounter with a cyclist. The lanes, which were conceived and executed without consultation with the bicycling community, were the Mayor's last move on behalf of cycling. This retreat and Koch's escalating hostility to cyclists — culminating in the 1987 Midtown bike ban — set back NYC cycling for a decade. Future bike lane experiments must put a premium on consultation with the cycling community, enforcement of the lanes' integrity, and patience. A one or two month transportation experiment proves nothing.

A remnant of the 1980 bike lanes survives on 6th Ave. between 34th and 35th Streets.




a) Street Design
b) Bike Lanes in NYC
c) Working Bike Lane Systems
d) Bike Lanes for New York City
e) Elements of a NYC Bicycle Lane System
f) Side Streets and Residential Areas — The Need for Traffic Calming
g) Chapter 4 Recommendations
Sidebar: The Lanes That Failed
Figure 4a) Riding Infrastructure
Figure 4b) Suggested Bike Lane Configurations