Not An Accidental Bicycle Lane
At Madison Square, where 5th Avenue, Broadway, and West 24th Street intersect, the DOT has installed a five foot wide, 20 foot long lane bordered by flexible bollards (four foot high rubber poles) that connects to the beginning of the 5th Avenue bike lane. Although the area is not marked as an official bicycle lane, it provides a physical barrier from cars for cyclists en route to the 5th Avenue bicycle lane. This innovative and safe arrangement sets an important precedent for the future of bike lane design in NYC.
For years, T.A. has asked the DOT to improve bicycle lanes by emulating cities like Montreal and Paris, which use flexible bollards and rubberized curbs. These designs significantly improve on-street safety for cyclists. The DOTís experimental lane in Madison Square works. Now it should be properly marked as a bike lane (so cyclists know what it is) and replicated on a longer stretch of lane.