Fall 2002, p.10

Heralding the New Herald Square: 
T.A. Calls for Bike Improvements and More Pedestrian Space

The Herald Square bike lane needs bollards.The DOT is finalizing its plans for reconstructing Herald Square. The DOT's past pedestrian and bicycle improvements in the Square have been a huge success. Pedestrian crashes have been reduced sharply, the massive intersection is easier to cross and the Square is generally less chaotic. In the DOT's new plans, pedestrians can look forward to permanently extended sidewalks at the striped out areas on Broadway, 6th Avenue and around Herald and Greeley Squares. T.A. asked the DOT to incorporate three important safety improvements to the final design on the 6th Avenue bike lane:

  • Move the 6th Avenue bike lane between 32nd and 33rd Streets to the East, or outboard, of the left turn lane. This will eliminate the conflict between cyclists and drivers turning across the bike lane onto 33rd Street. The Broadway bike lane between 33rd and 32nd Streets already uses this very effective design.
  • Use dashed "pegga" tracked lines to maintain the 6th Avenue bike lane's continuity from 33rd Street, across Broadway and 34th Street, to Herald Square. When the bike lane disappears, motorists squeeze cyclists off the road and end up driving in the bike lane when it restarts north of 34th Street.
    Physically separate the 6th Avenue bike lane on the East side of Herald Square (34th-35th Streets) using bollards or curbs. Bollards protect the southbound Broadway bike lane on the west side of the island. Police cars and taxis frequently park in the unprotected lane. Bollards physically define and keep vehicles from driving or parking in the bike lane.
  • The DOT should also extend the sidewalks at non-turning corners (e.g. the north corner of 33rd Street and 6th Avenue) as far into the street as possible and install steel bollards on every corner. Extending sidewalks will increase pedestrian safety by shortening crossing distances and improving visibility. Steel bollards, which the DOT is using throughout the city, will protect innocent walkers from the all-too-common occurrence of drivers mounting the sidewalk. Last December, a van jumped the curb in Herald Square and killed seven people. Steel bollards would have stopped the van and prevented this massacre.

DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall
40 Worth Street,
NYC 10013

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