[Avenue B, currently without bike lanes]
The proposal for a two-way protected bike lane on Avenue B has turned into a broader exploration for better and safer passage for cyclists on Avenues A, B, C and D.
Last Wednesday, local elected officials sent a letter to Ed Pincar, the Department of Transportation's Manhattan borough commissioner, to expedite and expand on the installation of protected bike lanes on Avenues A-D "as a result of the fast approaching East River Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) Project."
Here's more from the letter:
"We would encourage you to look at Avenues A through D spanning from East Houston to 14th Street to determine the best location for a one or two-way bike lane, understanding the multiple needs of the city and the impacts these options may have for cyclists and the community.
These new protected bike lanes would serve as a vital alternative to the East River greenway, which is projected to close starting in 2020 during the ESCR project. Recent reports of cyclist accidents in the area suggest the increased safety that protected bike lanes will provide is urgently needed."
The letter was signed by Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Sen. Brad Hoylman, State Sen. Brian Kavanagh, and City Councilmember Carlina Rivera.
The parent-led campaign to secure two-way bike lanes on Avenue B, an increasingly congested 14-block corridor currently without any marked paths for cyclists, began in April. Bike-lane organizers say they now have the support of nearly 30 businesses along Avenue B.
In late June, Community Board 3 passed a resolution asking city officials to study safety issues and improve bike infrastructure on Avenue B, as Patch reported.
Per that resolution:
CB3 asks DOT to conduct a safety analysis and report back to CB3 about whether it is feasible to install a two-way protected bike lane or other bicycle safety improvements along Ave B from Houston to 14th St. CB3 also asks DOT to determine where truck loading/unloading zones should be installed along Avenue B, and report back to CB3 with a proposal.
The report to CB3 should also discuss any impacts of such installations to street-side parking, teacher parking, loading zones, and overall street congestion, especially during the weekend nightlife hours.
There aren't any marked bike lanes now on Avenue B. Meanwhile, Avenues A and C have white-painted bike lanes without any separation barriers such as on First and Second avenues.
Avenue D does not currently have any markings for cyclists...
Bike advocates and elected officials have been urging the city to do more across NYC to ensure safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists — 15 of whom have been killed by drivers this year, five more than all of 2018.
Overall, there have been 110 road fatalities this year — an 18.3-percent increase over 2018, according to the DOT and as reported by Streetsblog. As of July 9, 56 pedestrians have been killed so far this year on NYC streets.
Mayor de Blasio recently ordered the NYPD and DOT to create emergency plans to protect cyclists. The DOT's plan is roughly due this coming week.