C.B. 5 O.K.’s protected bike lane outside Port Authority

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | The Department of Transportation’s proposed Eighth Ave. protected bike lane and sidewalk extension from 38th St. to 45th St. has been approved by Community Board 5.

According to D.O.T., the plan is to paint 10-foot-wide sidewalk extensions along the avenue and create a northbound protected bike lane separated by a series of plastic bollards. Three feet of buffer space to the east of the bike lane would further protect cyclists from traffic. The traffic lane to the immediate right of the buffer space would be an alternating taxi lane and left-hand turn lane at 39th St., 41st and 43rd St. Sts. The proposed plan would also extend metered parking until midnight along the avenue between 38th and 45th Sts., with vehicles allowed to use parking spaces for five-hour intervals.

A schematic rendering of the street redesign plan for the stretch of Eighth Ave. between 38th and 45th Sts. (Courtesy NYC Department of Transportation)

Outside of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, at 41st and 42nd Sts., the scheme changes a bit, with D.O.T. planning on creating a taxi boarding island to the east of a curbside bike lane and painted sidewalk. In other words, along this stretch, the bike lane and pedestrian space would flip, so that the taxi boarding area would be the one adjacent to motor-vehicle traffic.

According to the community board’s resolution, D.O.T. found that only 25 percent of taxi pickups at the Port Authority Bus Terminal use the existing curbside taxi stand. The plan also proposes banning left-hand turns at 42nd St. and consolidating M20 bus stops at 39th and 41st Sts.

A photo of existing conditions on Eighth Ave. between 42nd St. and 43rd St., which features a wide sidewalk and protected bike lane. The configuration on this block is, for the most part, what D.O.T. is basically proposing for the rest of the seven-block stretch. (Courtesy NYC Department of Transportation.)

In its resolution, C.B. 5 insisted that the Police Department minimize the number of concrete barriers it installs and instead use plastic bollards whenever necessary, so as not to impede safety but also to maximize pedestrian space. The board also called on D.O.T. to return to the community board after the creation of the bike lane and extended sidewalk with data on the number of cars and bicycles using the section of Eighth Ave. with the new bike lane section.

The resolution notes that some community board members are concerned about dangerous cycling activity, in general, throughout the borough. Since the beginning of this year, 15 cyclists have died on the city’s streets.

C.B. 4 is slatted to vote on the proposed plan at its next full-board meeting on July 24.

5 Responses to C.B. 5 O.K.’s protected bike lane outside Port Authority

  1. This is where protected bike lanes makes sense, on busy wide avenues with lots of traffic and pedestrians, not on narrow side streets like 12th + 13th streets or avenues like a-d.

  2. Great between Taxi Stand and the Bus Terminal entrance and exits. Just not rational. Travelers with bags and suitcases trying to catch a Bus or get home.

  3. This just goes to prove that the entire concept of bike lanes has nothing to do with bikes. It's sole purpose is to squeeze cars out. This is the WORST possible location to put a bike lane. It needs all the road space it can get to handle the vehicular traffic that needs to get past there.

    At some point the 2,000,000 drivers in NYC need to form a militant political organization to drive out the car hating idiots who run this city. Then we can get rid of all this anti-car nonsense.

  4. So you removed my comment suggesting to look at more efficient modes of transportation and to think of what will happen when 2 million NYC drivers would like some street space?

    Why do you keep the conversation one sided like that?

  5. Taxi drivers cannot make a living without a dedicated taxi line at the curb which allows them to wait for a pickup, and reliably return to the line. In this scenario, they'll technically be making illegal pickups away from the curb and would need to get 'lucky' to even get on the line. The study claims only 25% of pickups are made at the curb. That is a blatant lie. In the early morning, there is a second line until roughly 8am due to demand, IN ADDITION TO the line at the curb. 5am – 8am is a vital rush hour for day shift cab drivers. They cannot make a decent living without it. This will be a final nail in the coffin to already badly suffering taxi drivers, many of whom have declared bankruptcy, eight of whom have already taken their lives.

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