Uptown Welcomes Bike Lane
Residents in Northern Manhattan are pleasantly surprised by the newly striped bike lane on St. Nicholas Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. "It's about time that this neighborhood gets some of the amenities that exist downtown," says 124th Street resident Thomas King.
The generously wide new lane
extends northward from Central Park to 168th Street and was first proposed by
T.A. in the Bicycle Blueprint in 1993. T.A. has been pushing for the St.
Nicholas route ever since. Despite gloomy predictions from some community boards
and Harlem environmental groups, who claimed that the bike lane would only serve
cyclists passing through the neighborhood rather than local residents, the
three-mile, two-way route has already won the hearts of many.
A year-old T.A. campaign for directional signs to four Manhattan bridges is paying off. By Earth Week, April 22, the DOT should have installed signs pointing to the Brooklyn Bridge from various approaches.
By year's end, the Williamsburg, Queensboro and George Washington Bridges should all have similar signs.
As Northern Manhattan enjoys its new bike lane, the Hudson Street lane (Canal to 14th Street) is stumbling towards completion. The lane has been plagued by delays. According to the DOT, an aluminum shortage is keeping bike lane signs from being fabricated. No, we don't make this stuff up. Worse than the delays, the northern extension along 8th Avenue to 59th Street has been postponed indefinitely. DOT has doomed the 8th Ave. lane because of anticipated conflicts between cyclists and motor vehicles turning left at major intersections.
Without any public notice, the DOT, has obliterated the two-mile-long South Street bike lane near the Seaport in lower Manhattan and turned it into a sidewalk. When T.A. inquired about the lane removal, DOT said that South Street, used by numerous cyclists and joggers every day, was never an "official" bike lane and not part of the city's network of bike lanes.
DOT's failure to notify the cycling community before eliminating a well-established bike lane is appalling. DOT subjects every new bike lane to exhaustive traffic analysis and community review. Apparently the opposite is not true. Why didn't the DOT examine how removing the lane affects cyclists? This matter reflects poorly on the Department of Transportation.
Transportation Alternatives' lobbying paid off recently as an avalanche of local bicycling a pedestrian projects were approved for Federal "Enhancements" funding. T.A. sat on a committee of state and city agencies that allocated $14 million to 23 of 60 proposed projects.
Last-minute T.A. maneuvering rescued $600,000 for bike racks and will mean another 1,500 racks on city streets. The bike rack cash complements NYC's ongoing bike parking installation throughout the five boroughs.
The selected projects will be funded with a mix of 80% federal and 20% local money, and based on previous years' experience, the project money will take two years to reach city agencies.
Some of the other "Enhancements" projects: