July/August 1997, p.4

Bike Lane Bonanza

If the City sticks to its new Bike Master Plan, this ribbon-cutting on Hudson Street heralds a new era of bicycling. Read the latest news about this issue.

In a flurry of spring activity, the Department of Transportation has installed five new bike lanes, and three more will be in by September. This new burst of energy is especially encouraging since DOT installed only two lanes (Lafayette St. and St. Nicholas Ave.) in the preceding five years.

Some may carp about bike lanes being little more than extra parking lanes, but lanes are invaluable for a number of reasons: they emphasize a cyclist's right to the road, encourage new cyclists and lastly, despite the problems, often work to provide cyclists with their own road space. The most bike friendly U.S. and European cities all feature extensive lane networks, which when well used are most effective. Below is a brief description of the brand new lanes. When more than five feet, "width" includes a painted "buffer zone" between the bike lane and traffic.

After years of T.A. pressure, the City recently released its "Bicycle Master Plan." The plan outlines a system of 900 miles of bike lanes and off-road greenways. When, and if, built New York will become the most bicycle-friendly city in America. See the next issue of Transportation Alternatives for a detailed review.

INSTALLED:
NYC has never dealt with the conflict between bikes and turning cars-until now (Cross Bay Blvd).Cross Bay Blvd., Queens (Two Way)
Length: 3.7 miles in each direction.
Route: Cross Bay Blvd. from Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge to 165th Ave.
Width: 6-7 feet at curb, and averages 7 feet adjacent to parking lane.
Provides: access to Rockaway Beach, Broad Channel, Shore Parkway Greenway, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

34th Avenue, Queens (Two Way)
Length: 2.4 miles in each direction.
Route: 69th Street to 114th Street on 34th Ave.
Width: 5 ft (no buffer).
Provides: a link to Flushing Meadows Park, Shea Stadium and surrounding neighborhoods.

Hudson Street, Manhattan (One Way Uptown)
Length: 1+ mile
Route: Broome St. to 14th Street.
Width: 9 ft.
Provides: Route northward from TriBeCa to SoHo and Greenwich Village.

INSTALLED BY SEPTEMBER:
Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn (Two Way)
Length; 6.3 miles in each direction.
Route: Bedford Ave. between Emmons Ave. and Bergen St.
Width: 5 to 6 ft (no buffer).
Access to: Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and Medgar Evers Colleges; Erasmus, Midwood and James Madison High Schools; Community Hospital of Brooklyn.
Connects with: Eastern Parkway bicycle path.

Sunset Park Connector, Brooklyn
Length: 5 miles in each direction.
Route: Meanders through Sunset Park, following the southern edge of Greenwood Cemetery and connecting the Shore Parkway bike path and Prospect Park.
Width: 5 ft (no buffer).
Access to: Prospect Park, Greenwood Cemetery, Sunset Park, Shore Parkway bike path, Owls Head Park, new Owls Head bike/ped path.

INSTALLED BY END OF YEAR:
University Avenue, Bronx
Length: undetermined.
Route: Ft. Independence Park to the McCombs Dam Bridge.
Primarily on University Ave.
Width: 5 ft., at minimum.
Provides: Access to Lehman College, V.A. Hospital, Bronx Community College, Moshulu Parkway bicycle path.