July/August 1998, p.6

Second Avenue Bike Lane Approved

Read the latest news about this issue.

Within a month's time, New York cyclists will see an important addition to the city's Bicycle Network: the Second Avenue bike lane. Anticipating the repaving of Second Avenue from 14th Street to Houston, the NYC DOT drafted plans for a bicycle lane to run through the heart of the East Village. Compelling testimony from T.A. members, area residents and cyclists at critical Community Board 3 meetings prompted the board to approve the lane.

Carol Kostik, one of a dozen cyclists who attended Board 3's May transportation committee meeting, told board members the image of a "reckless kamikaze cyclist" has been exploited to demonize cyclists. "I'm a neighborhood resident, and I use my bike for errands and shopping. I feel safer in a bike lane," said Kostik. T.A. member Marilyn Horan argued that far too many resources go to motorists and urged the board to use this opportunity to treat cyclists more equitably.

The planned lane will be 10 feet wide, including a 5-foot striped buffer and will replace a lane of motor vehicle traffic. To counter local merchants' fears that the lane would cause congestion and interfere with business, T.A. board member Rick Muller pointed to DOT analyses showing no adverse impact on Second Avenue's traffic flow.

The NYC Bicycle Master Plan identifies Second Avenue as a critical southbound route and says a bike lane will be considered for the entire length of the avenue. T.A. applauds the DOT Bicycle Program for seizing this opportunity.