May/June 1996, p.6-7

Cycling News

Harlem resident Thomas King rolls along the new St. Nick's bike lane.Uptown Welcomes Bike Lane

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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.
"We cyclists deserve our share of the road, and the bike lane helps reinforce that idea," says Dennis Smith, who often rides to Harlem from The Bronx with his 10-year-old son, Rennis. The bike lane adds a sense of security to his trip. "I feel safer, and much better about riding with my son, when we have our own lane. I'm glad bike lanes have finally made it to Harlem."

Which Way to the Brooklyn Bridge?

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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.

Hudson Street progresses-8th Ave. Falters

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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.

Write To:
DOT Commissioner Elliot Sander
Thank him for the bike lanes and racks and urge him to complete the Hudson
Street and 8th Avenue projects.

40 Worth Street
New York NY 10013

South Street Lane Eliminated

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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.

The shape of things to come? The first NYC "CityRack," on the Lower East Side's Clinton Street-999 more are due by year's end. Want one near you? Call the NYC DOT CityRacks office at 212-442-7705 for an application.T.A. Wins Federal Bike Bucks for NYC
Money = More Bike Racks

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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:

  • $1.25 million to improve the Shore Parkway bike path near Jamaica Bay in Queens
  • $885,000 to plant trees on Williamsburg and Greenpoint streets near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
  • $2 million for four Staten Island bike trails
  • $1.5 million to refurbish Staten Island's Ferry terminal
  • $6 million for redesigned streetscapes in Bronx, Manhattan and Queens
  • $3.4 million to clean up and protect Van Cortlandt Park lakes from highway runoff
  • $660,000 to extend the Alley Pond Park bike/pedestrian path.