The Upper East Side’s local newspaper, Our Town, has an article in their latest issue that highlight’s Upper Green Side’s advocacy of protected bike lanes on major Avenues. We recently reported that Community Board 8 passed a resolution 38-1 in favor of protected bike lanes as the result of a coordinated effort among East Side environmental advocates.
“People are realizing now that painted lanes are just not enough,” said Michael Auerbach, president of Upper Green Side, an environmental sustainability group. “It’s a safety issue. [The painted lanes] don’t keep cars from parking in it, driving in it.”
The Upper East Side only has one painted bike lane—on First Avenue—that runs the length of the neighborhood, and just three painted lanes on area side streets (East 90th, 91st and a slice of 89th streets). Within the boundaries of Community Board 8—East 59th to 96th streets between Central Park and the East River—there were 413 pedestrian and bicycle accidents in 2005, with five fatalities. This is the most recent information available from the New York State Department of Transportation.
Board 8, which has traditionally been friendly to pedestrian concerns, passed a resolution last month, 38 to 1, asking the Department of Transportation to study protected bike lanes.
The resolution, however, was vague, leaving all the details—including where the protected bike lanes should go—to the city.
Upper Green Side, however, is pushing to get the protected lane installed along with “Select Bus Service,” which speeds bus progress through dedicated lanes, pre-paid fares, traffic signal coordination and other adjustments. The city is slated to add a dedicated bus lane for this purpose on First and Second avenues in 2010.
“Take a look at the street. It’s so wide,” Auerbach said of First Avenue. “This is a great opportunity to put in a bike lane as well as a bus lane.”
Some specific statistics cited in the article is that protected bike lanes reduce traffic accidents by 30% and sidewalk cycling by 80%.
Here’s a video of different types of bike lanes that the DOT uses in NYC