NEW YORK___ As cycling continues to expand in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced more than three miles of protected bike lanes (PBLs) have been completed in Midtown Manhattan and on the Upper West Side, including uptown protected lanes on both Sixth Avenue and Central Park West. Under the Green Wave plan announced in 2019, New York City committed to dramatically expanding access to protected bike lanes, which have consistently proven to make streets safer for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.
To support both new and experienced cyclists, New York City DOT also announced a range of activities continuing during the month of October. A full “Bike-tober” schedule is available at www.nyc.gov/biketober.
“More New Yorkers than ever are choosing cycling to move around our city, and I’m proud to expand their options and offer more ways to keep them safe,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Protected bike lanes help provide a safe and green transportation alternative, meeting the goals of our Recovery Agenda, Vision Zero, the Green Wave and OneNYC. We look forward to cutting the ribbon on more lanes and supporting every New Yorker who chooses healthy, car-free transit options.”
“With cycling up during the COVID-19 pandemic, the dedicated DOT team has been hard at work adding protected bike lanes through some of our City’s most congested neighborhoods,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We thank the Mayor for his leadership that has helped safer cycling return to Sixth Avenue – four decades after its first protected lane. We also credit Manhattan’s local elected officials and community boards for their fierce and unwavering support of these projects. As we support cyclists with so many Bike-tober events, let’s get riding uptown!”
NYC DOT has completed 10 PBL miles so far in 2020, with another 15 miles scheduled to be completed this year. The de Blasio administration has created more than 140 miles of on-street protected lanes; its recent pace represents about one of every five protected lane miles nationwide.
The Sixth Avenue PBL was requested by Manhattan’s Community Board 5 and multiple elected officials. Sixth Avenue is a Vision Zero Priority Corridor that provides a direct link between Greenwich Village and Central Park.
Demand for the new lane is high: from 2008-2019, Sixth Avenue saw a 161% increase in cycling, and 10 Citi Bike stations are located within 400’ of this project. The new protected lane removed a traffic lane from this wide corridor and added painted pedestrian islands at intersections. The project also added pedestrian head-starts at 13 intersections, offset crossings and left-turn lanes with split-signal phases added to nine intersections between 41st Street and Central Park South with a high rate of crashes.
The Central Park West PBL, a 2.5-mile stretch along the length of Central Park, makes the street safer for pedestrians, whose crossing distances are 20% shorter. The project also added a left-turn restriction at 96th Street, a location with a high rate of severe crashes.
In partnership with Mechanical Gardens Bike Co-op, NYC DOT also announced that it is offering free bike tune-ups to get cyclists ready and their bikes road-worthy.
Types of repair offered include: replacing flat tubes and used-up brake pads, adjusting brakes, improving shifting, adjusting saddles (seats), handlebars, and brake levers, replacing snapped cables and decomposed housing, making critical headset adjustments, truing critically wobbly wheels, and lubricating chains, gears, pivot points, and springs. Both adult and children’s bikes are eligible. Walk-up service only on a first-come, first-served basis. Please remember to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing. More info and event schedule available at www.nyc.gov/biketober.
“I’m thrilled that more and more New Yorkers are biking around the city but we need to give them the space they need to ride safely,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “We need an interconnected network of protected bike lanes citywide, and the additions of these two critical pieces of bike infrastructure are great steps forward towards that goal. The Council will continue fighting to make our streets safe for cyclists as we work to promote sustainable methods of transportation in our city.”
“With every mile of protected bike lane built we are one step closer to making this City safer for all cyclists and pedestrians. Happy to hear that Upper West-Side residents will once again have crucial bike infrastructure that will increase street protection for cyclists,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. “We need to continue expanding protected bike lanes into all outer-boroughs. I look forward to continuing to work alongside Mayor de Blasio, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, advocates, and community leaders to ensure we make New York City the most pedestrians and cyclists friendly City in the world.”
“The pandemic has produced an enormous increase in the number of cyclists on New York streets, with an estimated 80 percent more cycling trips in July 2020 than we saw in July 2019, said State Senator Brad Holyman. “It is essential that we continue to make our city safe for pedestrians and cyclists alike. I’m grateful to the Department of Transportation for completing the protected bike lanes on 6th Avenue and on Central Park West, and I look forward to taking a ride on the lanes myself.”
“I am very pleased to see the completion of the Sixth Avenue Protected Bike Lane in my district. Now more than ever we are recognizing the importance of safe biking options as part of a holistic approach to transportation in our city,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “With the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, not to mention the ever-present threat of climate change and need to embrace a fossil-free future, it is vital that we take a thoughtful and well-planned approach to rethinking the way we use our streets.”
“The bicycle lanes on Central Park West and Sixth Avenue will improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. It’s great that more and more New Yorkers are cycling around town, because the more we get around by cycling and walking, the healthier we’ll be. But the dramatic increase in cyclist fatalities shows that safety improvements and stronger enforcement of traffic laws are badly needed throughout the city,” said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried.
“New York City has seen a substantial surge in bike activity during the COVID-19 pandemic as New Yorkers have chosen cycling for socially distant commuting and exercise. Increasing safety measures for cyclists and working toward a goal of zero tragic crashes on the road must continue to be a priority. The completion of the protected bike lane on the high-traffic street of Central Park West is an important step forward toward that goal,” said Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal.
“Whether it’s the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, or Rockefeller Center, Sixth Avenue is a central crossroads of New York City,” said Council Member Keith Powers. “For years, this stretch of Manhattan has been unprotected and unsafe for cyclists. Today that changes. I’m glad to have joined my constituents pushing for a safe and protected Sixth Avenue.”
“Regional Plan Association applauds the City for creating protected bike lanes on these heavily traveled avenues. As more people turn to cycling as an affordable and healthy transportation option, they find unsafe conditions on city streets,” said Senior Vice President, State Programs and Advocacy, Regional Plan Association Kate Slevin. “This has led to a tragic increase in cycling deaths. We look forward to working with this Administration and the next one to ensure bike lanes are free from traffic and obstacles and eventually create a robust citywide network similar to RPA’s Five Borough Bikeway proposal.”
“I am delighted for the return of the Sixth Avenue Bike Lane after a 40-year hiatus,” said ‘Gridlock Sam’ Schwartz, Founder and CEO, Sam Schwartz Engineering. “I was the architect of the 1980 bike lane but the city wasn’t ready for it then. Now is the right time for its resurrection; I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for bringing it back.”
“We commend the Department of Transportation on the completion of protected bike lanes along Central Park West and Sixth Avenues, two critical links in Manhattan’s bike network,” said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris. “We look forward to working together to bring more protected bike lanes to New Yorkers across the five boroughs.”
“With biking for transportation surging in New York City, safe, protected bike lanes like these newly completed routes on Sixth Avenue and Central Park West are essential for serving new and veteran riders, as well as continuing to attract more New Yorkers to the convenience, health and environmental benefits of bike commuting, especially as the city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic said,” Executive Director for StreetsPAC Eric McClure. “We thank Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Trottenberg, and her team at NYC DOT for forging ahead with these crucial new lanes.”
“Congratulations and thanks to Commissioner Trottenberg and everyone at DOT for finishing the key segment of the Sixth Avenue bike lane between Herald Square and car-free Central Park,” said President, Bike New York Ken Podziba. “Parking-protected bike lanes are the best and safest design we have on city streets. Sixth Avenue now provides a great uptown complement to the Broadway protected lane, and allows cyclists to ride a protected or car-free route from West 8th Street to 110th Street along the spine of Manhattan when connecting to Central Park’s East Drive.”
“Transportation is the leading contributor to climate change. To reduce emissions from the transportation sector and encourage New Yorkers to opt out of driving, we need safe, clean alternatives,” said President of the New York League of Conservation Voters Julie Tighe. “That’s why improving bike lane infrastructure is one of our top priorities. This project will slash air pollution and enhance street safety along the Sixth Avenue corridor. We thank Commissioner Trottenberg for her leadership on this issue.”