Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Prepping for the new protected bike lanes on 12th and 13th streets


[Click to go big]

Back on Sept. 20, we noted that — presumably — DOT officials distributed the above flyers to residents who live on 12th Street and 13th Street... providing information about protected bike lanes that are in development on 12th Street and 13th Street (as well as Horatio Street and Greenwich Avenue) ahead of the April 2019 L-train shutdown.

As reported in June, the DOT decided against its original idea for a single, two-way bike lane on 13th Street in favor of two separate, one-way lanes for 12th and 13th streets.

The city is putting in a bike lane on the north curb of 12th Street from Seventh Avenue to Avenue C, and the south curb of 13th Street from Greenwich Avenue to Avenue B separated from traffic with a painted buffer and flexible delineators.

Multiple EVG readers have pointed out that this work has started in recent days/weeks (painted buffer and flexible delineators still to come).

Here's a look at 13th Street, starting at Avenue B... where the "No Stopping Anytime" signs are now posted on the south side of the street ...



... at Avenue A...



...a view to the east from First Avenue...



...at First Avenue...



...a view to the east from Third Avenue...



... looking to the west between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue...



The work is just underway on 12th Street, where the "No Stopping Anytime" signs arrived ... here are two photos (thanks Brian K!) ... at 12th between Avenue A and Avenue B...



... and between Avenue A and First Avenue...



This link takes you to the DOT's overview for these bike lanes.





During the L-train outage, DOT officials expect these bike lanes to handle a surge in people bicycling. Cycling advocates have applauded this development, citing the lack of protected bike lanes going crosstown.

While the bike-lane work is moving forward, another lawsuit is aiming to put an end to this plan, as well as other L-train related planning. As Gothamist reported on Oct. 2:

On [Oct. 1], West Village resident and attorney Arthur Schwartz filed his second lawsuit against the MTA and the DOT, calling for yet another environmental assessment, as well as last minute changes to the agencies' sweeping mitigation plan. Specifically, Schwartz and his allies are opposed to the creation of a dedicated busway on 14th Street and an adjacent sidewalk expansion for pedestrians, along with the addition of protected bike lanes on 12th and 13th Street.

"The goal is to eliminate those bike lanes as designed, to make them not protected bike lanes or not do them at all," Schwartz told Gothamist, adding that his preference would be for the lanes to be restored to parking spaces. "I just don't think there's any genuinely demonstrated demand for people who used to take the L train who are all of a sudden going to hop on a Citi Bike."

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm all for protected bike lanes but unless they extend to Brooklyn this will have little to do with the L train shutdown. NIMBY lawyer is worried about (his) parking, as are many of my friends, and that's at least understandable though I personally am for anything that takes cars off the streets. A bike only avenue from the Williamsburg to Union Square would be fantastic but politically impossible.

Anonymous said...

by fire station between 3rd and 4th avenue the bike lane is already completely blocked by fire station parking ..

they need to make protect part of the street next to bike lane and convert to fire station only parking -

noble neolani said...

I live on 12th street and I am thrilled by the gain of the incoming bike lane. Car owners have gotten subsidized free parking for decades and I am glad pedestrians and bike riders get to claim part of the street for themselves. The gutters in front of my building will have less garbage from drivers dumping their trash. There will be less human and dog waste on one side of the street without theses parked cars. I know car owners will be hating on me but I have as much right to enjoy this public land as you do.

agranddayout said...

I just hope that the UPS trucks will stay out of the bike lanes.

Anonymous said...

"No stopping any time" - so if someone elderly or on crutches needs to get let off in front of their building, tough luck?

And what will this do to congestion? I can tell you: it'll get worse.

In an era of Amazon, Fresh Direct, UPS, and FedEx deliveries, this is going to be a huge mess. And yeah, some of the bike riders love their Amazon deliveries.

If we can get a law saying Uber has to cut its operations by 20% we'd be making progress. But these bike lanes are overkill for what they purport to do, and a HUGE imposition on all the residents of these blocks.

IMO, this is "screw you, residents, you don't matter" at its finest. And you know that whenever the L train work is done (sometime in the next 20 years) the bike lanes will be kept, along with the "NO STOPPING ANY TIME" signs. Because this city doesn't give a shit about the majority of us who are NOT on bikes, and cares very little for the elderly & disabled.

JQ LLC said...

The bike lane and the buffer combined is wider that the driving lane. This design is stupid and hazardous. It will also not deter reckless driving or illegal parking.

What's going to happen when it snows and the weather gets colder in November, December and January during the shutdown? And if the L doesn't reopen on schedule and extends to another winter?

Anonymous said...

The problem I have with several cyclists are their entitled attitudes. You would think they own the streets. I can't mention how many times I've almost been severely injured when standing on the corner sidewalk for the light to turn green. Many of them just don't care about others. I've had obscenities screamed at me because I was in their way. And what annoys me even more is many don't wear helmets, which is idiotic and dangerous. The issue is becoming out of hand. I've seen two cyclists bike in the the opposite direction listening to music without a care in the world. How stupid is that? As a concerned resident who is worried about safety, there needs to be more laws in place to protect pedestrians and for cyclists to abide by them. These new lanes are just another excuse for anarchy.

Anonymous said...

They need a better plan, just look at all that wasted space with the “buffer” lane section. And all the lost parking spaces. Does anyone know if this is a permanent change? Or is it until the L train project is finished.

nyc sport said...

The comment above that bike riders should get to "claim" part of the street is indicative of bikers attitude. Cars don't get to claim the road, they share it, admittedly often poorly, but that is a different issue. The DOT's gridlock "solution" to take away a traffic lane makes absolutely no sense, and the idea that tens of thousands of people are going to suddenly take up biking (much less in the probably 20% or more of the days that it is too cold, too hot, snowing or raining) is insane. It would make far more sense to ban all parking one one side of the street, make both streets (and I live on one of them) two lanes of vehicle traffic, and divert the bikers somewhere else. One could, for example, make a two way protected bike lane down the middle of 14th street, which in my view is where bike lanes ought to be, so the bikes are easily visible to cars, forced to obey traffic signs, and not a threat to pedestrians.

Anonymous said...

Don't look like no protected bike lane. Unless you count paint as protection. (facepalm) I am alluding to other protected bike lanes on the avenues, but there are similar designs on streets like 29th. Wherein the line of parked cars provides, you know, actual, physical protection from car traffic. I am old enough to recognize that in a city like ours, painted lines don't mean shit. You can't expect people en masse to do the right thing based on SUGGESTION. They have to be forced into it.

Anyways the situation is better now than it was a week ago. Though I am sympathetic to car owners I do get a kick out of all the wailing and gnashing of teeth...over BICYCLES! It's quite farcical isn't it. The bicycles are not coming for you and your family. Besides, you can always drive your car over painted lines. Nobody (NYPD most of all) really cares about that sort of thing, right?

Anonymous said...

"I was almost severely injured by a cyclist"

What the heck does that mean? You got spooked? I am just attempting to point out the giant gaping disconnect between the perceived threat of the occasional aggressive rogue cyclist, and the perceived threat posed by the constant stream of gas-powered motor vehicles, which weigh anywhere from 1 to 10 TONS, and are capable of very high speeds, and um, death. That's right Jack. Even the puniest Smart Car weighs a goddamn ton and can easily be used to snuff out a human life. And here you are whining about being your life and safety being threatened by people riding on 20-30 lb. non-motorized pedal-powered contraptions. Priorities man. Cars literally kill people in the city on a DAILY basis. Have to pick your battles and if you pick one against the cycling trend, you have picked poorly, and also you have your head up your ass, and your ass stinks.

Anonymous said...

Winters are not that bad in NYC, and also it never is "too hot" for biking. Let me remind some people: biking is easier than walking. The bicycle, after all, is an invention prized for its ability to convert a modest amount of leg power into locomotion. It's this thing called mechanical advantage you see. Plus when you bike during hot weather, your motion provides you with some breeze. In my experience I arrive at work way sweatier when I walk and take the subway.

noble neolani said...

Studies have found that the more roads a city builds the more cars will occupy them. Robert Moses had plans to make lower Manhattan a "driver over city" for people on interstates going from NJ to Long Island. The Bronx had neighborhoods destroyed to make way for more cars. Entitled is exactly what car owner are, city streets are there for then to store their private property. We are so used to this idea that most can't imagine that's exactly what it is, free parking and storage for private possessions. NYC was not designed for cars but horses, carriages and people. Later on trolleys and the the subways system was built to move people greater distances. Cars are a much more recent invention and our cities surrendering our streets to the car industry was never good idea. If any city in the USA can do with less cars it is New York. If you are living in Manhattan especially and you own are car most likely it is not for commuting to work, More likely you own it to get away on weekends however you use public land to store your car.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! It's about time.

Giovanni said...

Wait a minute, how many thousands of Citibikes would they need to make a dent for the 300,000+ commuters who travel across 14th St on the L train every day? I’m all for more bike lanes, but this is actually not a solution to the L train shutdown. The L train construction is simply providing a good excuse for putting in more bike lanes. And the new East River ferries will also not accommodate more than a few thousand people per day, so where do the other 290,000 people go? Instead of increasing mass transit options, we will instead have fewer lanes for cars on 14th Street, and more lanes for bikes on 12th and 13th Street. This doesn't solve the problem, it just makes things worse for anyone not riding a bike.

@nyc sport is correct that it would be better to eliminate the parking lanes to increase traffic flow. I’m not sure how a protected bike lane in the middle of 14th St would work, but I always use 15th or 17th Street to go West and 10th or 12th Street to go East, and there’s usually not much traffic on those streets. If you ride on 14th Street you’re either dodging buses or getting stuck behind the traffic, at the moment it’s just not a good cross street for bikes.

Choresh Wald said...

12th St is nicer and calmer already even without the bike lane lines. The north curb is clean, the buildings are not blocked.
@Anon 9:51AM: The elderly and the disabled can be picked up and dropped off way easier then going through parked cars blocking access to the curb.
@NYC sport: it is not a moving lane that was removed, just using a space that was formerly free storage for car owners (a tiny majority of the neighborhood residents).
All the armageddon predictions about endless cars circling the neighborhood looking for parking never materialized: since the No Standing signs we're put up on Saturday, there is so much less traffic on 12th St.

Jill W. said...

Chiming in to add that I do ride year-round. It doesn't snow every day during winter months, and even snowy days don't prevent riding (only heavy snow). Bad weather makes every type of commuting sucky. On hot humid days I'd rather be above ground.

Agree with the comment above that biking is easier than walking. After a leg injury it was/is much easier to get around on bike than foot. In physical therapy they put you on a bike first before walking.

Regarding the comment lamenting that the lanes don't go all the way to Brooklyn -- it's not just Brooklyn folks who are displaced by the L train. Everyone who commutes in Manhattan & Brooklyn (and possibly beyond) will be affected by the shutdown. People who bike are taking a burden off all the other transport methods, which will be bursting at the seams. Non-cyclists should really be happy that there are people willing to bike commute and give up their spot in overcrowded trains & buses. Cyclists are going to help traffic, not make it worse.

Anonymous said...

Car owners aren't so much entitled as they are licensed, registered and insured. If we're going to elevate cycling why not level the playing field and required the same as much as possible? No seat belt - that's a ticket. I know, I've received one while driving. Talking on the phone while driving - that's a ticket. I know, I've received on while driving. Bicyclists? Anything goes, in any direction. And I say this as a former car owner in the E.V. Put bicyclists to a test in order to pedal, it's only fair.

c9000 said...

I'm sure this will be great for the 6% of residents in 10009 who use a bicycle to commute... screw the 20% that have access to a vehicle, or 6.6% that drive to work: https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/16_5YR/S0801/8600000US10009

Bike lanes aren't going to fix NYC... get over yourselves. Filling up that now-unparkable side of these streets with Zipcars or equivalent would be much more beneficial to the neighborhood.

Furthermore, I abhor the increase in deliveries, Fly Cleaners, other services for grown-up-children who can't be bothered to leave their apartment except for work or some pop-up "experience", but even I'll admit that much more parking should be dedicated to delivery trucks.

MrNiceGuy said...

I'm torn about this one. I am very excited that we'll have protected bike lanes on 12th and 13th St -- simply put, they're safer for EVERYONE, motorists included. However, I worry about incessant honking now that there will be no stopping on my block and it'll be very difficult for one car to get passed another.

Either way, this is temporary, and I doubt it'll be as invasive as the construction noise from another condoplex being built on our block. There is no good way to "fix" issues caused by the L-train shut down, at the very least the bike lanes will help.

Anonymous said...

Just now took a 13th st test ride. The design is awful. And I say this not as a car-owning NIMBY, or a jackass daredevil cyclist. I am just a regular, slow-riding cyclist who really appreciates protected bike lanes here in Manhattan. I hesitate to even call myself a cyclist. No I am a bicycle rider.

The lane is extraordinarily wide for starters. It looks as if they are going to put in a bi-drectional bike lane (I know they are not). Or as if they are expecting some sort of mass exodus pedaling across town. It's too goddamn wide.

The buffer zone is a waste of space and does nothing to calm car speeds. I'd also like to point out that in my short ride there were cars parked in the bike lane on every block. They could illegally park in the buffer zone instead but only one car I saw did that. Why not just make the buffer zone into parking spaces? That's how every other protected bike lane works around here.

If they keep this design in place I predict the only real beneficiaries here will be the southside 13th residents, who will enjoy a bit of a better view of the street now. That's about it. When cars park in the bike lane, on a design like this, it instantly renders the whole lane useless, and increases danger for all. I predict a whole lot of illegal parking/standing and not much else.

Anonymous said...

@2:01 that same set of statistics can be used against your argument. From 2011-2016, bicycle commuter numbers grew while those of car commuters stagnated. In 2015, bicycle commuters actually outnumbered car commuters, 6.1 to 5.8. I am pretty sure that using the same set of stats you cited, overwhelming majority of statisticians would posit that there are more bicycle commuters than car commuters in 10009 in 2018. The census numbers cover 2016, and since then, anyone with eyeballs can see there are growing numbers of bicycles on our East village streets. Even if we assumed that bicycle commuters and car commuters were equal in number, aren't the car commuters using a disproportionate amounts of public space, and for free? Also cars wear out the roads a far higher rate than bicycles. These are important facts to consider, that are all implicated by your same argument. You need to think about such facts, if you are to have any hope of making a credible argument.

I would like to point out that people are still free to own cars in Manhattan. Nobody is trying to restrict any of that. Also want to point out that the majority of cars on the street--driving or parked--at any given time, they do not even live here. Why not whine about those people hogging up our neighborhood space for a change.

c9000 said...

@4:11 Ah good, I knew there would be one of you who conveniently ignored the "Taxicab, motorcycle, or other means" figure that brings total motor-vehicle-based commuters to more than the cycling commuters in all six years.

I don't think I was making an argument here, just hoping that the Census/ACS data is more widely seen, and stating some nice-to-haves (zipcars and more dedicated truck parking). Before I read that survey, I assumed there were more cyclist commuters than drivers, but it is much closer than I realized. Even as a driver only, I used to think bike lanes were a good idea, but after seeing that level of participation, I feel like the whole thing is about value signalling rather than actually helping people get around NYC.

I'd even say that some cyclists feel the same way about expensive, inconvenient, vanity bike lane projects (in SF): https://www.jwz.org/blog/2016/02/the-bay-bridge-bike-path-designs-are-completely-insane/

If I was going to get into an argument here, it would be that we should be making protected bus lanes, and scrap bike lanes completely. The thing that always seems to be forgotten in the bike lane discussion is how many people are excluded from them: elderly, infirm, disabled, people with too much to carry on a bike, parents with their children... everyone on a rainy/snowy day. But buses (and even taxis) actually serve all these groups. Bikes are not a general replacement for cars, taxis, buses, and trucks.

"I am pretty sure... the overwhelming majority" of "anyone with eyeballs can see" that your appeal to common sense is a logical fallacy, and also a torturous writing style.

Anonymous said...

@12:29pm: It seems you do not comprehend the meaning of street signs that say "NO STOPPING ANYTIME," as in: if you pull your car over to let your elderly aunt or your disabled friend out in front of their building (and, whoa, maybe you'd even have to get out of the car to HELP them, or get their folding wheelchair out of the trunk, etc.), then you're liable for a BIG FINE *and maybe points on your license*, courtesy of your local constabulary.

And if you think De-Blahsio isn't going to try to cash in by having his traffic enforcement agents swarm all over this & give out as many tickets as possible, you are wrong!

Anonymous said...

They’re installing flexible bollards in the buffer space to (hopefully) keep cars and trucks out of the bike lanes.

Anonymous said...

Cars don’t share the road, they dominate it. Look how much road space in our city is taken up by parking spots. It’s unfair to people who don’t own cars that so much public space is catered to storing cars.

Anonymous said...

@1:53pm: if a DRIVER is on the phone while operating a 4,000-pound metal vehicle, they can KILL a pedestrian or biker. Yes, a biker on the phone still should not be on the phone, BUT they are NOT PUTTING LIVES AT RISK! It makes sense that there are much greater penalties for car drivers than bikers because driving a car distracted puts the people around you at great risk.

Anonymous said...

@3:17pm: They’re installing flexible bollards in the buffer space to keep cars out. And I agree the buffer space is very wide but it’s just not big enough for parking spaces (8 feet minimum width). So they put a wide buffer to keep the car lane at a standard narrow width (11 feet) instead of a wider car lane which is conducive to speeding.

c9000 said...

@8:59pm This is, to me, one of the funnier arguments against street parking. What is stopping you from setting up lawn chairs in a parking space and hanging out? There was that bunch outside Kavasutra with a ping pong table a few months back. That being said, it seems like an overwhelming majority of people who have the gumption to deal with street cleaning regulations choose to park motor vehicles in these spots.

What should the alternative be? A permit process to allow use of the otherwise "NO STOPPING" "public" space? Sidewalk art fairs, flea markets, and other street vendors don't just appear out of thin air (and they'd already need a license, i believe, unfortunately). What is the very public space currently used for parking supposed to become, other than empty space? At the moment, it is already as public and freely accessible as it gets, you don't even need a resident parking pass, which is common in many cities. Set up a picnic, an easel, a basketball hoop, or park an RV if you want, but move it for street cleaning, just like everyone else.

careful driver said...

Let's not kid ourselves about bikes. A careless 150 lb + person driving a bike at 20 mph poses a real danger to pedestrians. I'm not equating the two - motor vehicles present a far
greater danger - but a small number of pedestrians have been killed over the years, with thousands more injured, many of them seriously.

Anonymous said...

Bikers need to be licensed and carry insurance and stop getting all the subsidized parking and lanes. Plus the bikers all want the subway to be working whenever they don't feel like biking, because maybe it is raining or cold out, so the bike fees should partly go to the MTA.