DOT Wants East-West Bike Lanes in Chelsea
CHELSEA — The city's Department of Transportation is proposing a network of east-west bike lanes on West 29th and 30th streets in Chelsea.
The lanes would connect traffic between the Hudson and the East rivers, and would include a dangerous area frequented by postal trucks. The corridor became infamous last month when a truck struck and killed Marilyn Dershowitz, the sister-in-law of famous lawyer Alan Dershowitz, on West 29th Street at Ninth Avenue.
The proposal comes in the wake of Dershowitz's death, after members of the Community Board 4 requested a safe bike route west of Eighth Avenue, to and from the Hudson River. There are currently no east-west crosstown bike paths in Manhattan between 21st and 77th streets.
Representatives from the community board said that the specific plan to use West 29th and 30th streets was the department's idea.
"Our community board has requested many bike lanes," said Jay Marcus, co-chair of CB4's transportation planning committee. "But this one the [Department of Transportation] is approaching us about."
Marcus said that the trucks from the nearby postal facility are one of the board's biggest concerns.
"The trucks are very large," he said. "When they load, they back up into the driveway and usually take up the whole street."
He suggested that if the lanes are approved, the department add signs to the bike lanes alerting riders to be on guard during times that truck traffic is particularly heavy.
"The safety of the bicyclists is our primary concern," he said.
Rob McKenna, 28, is a cyclist who frequently commutes on his bike from his 10th Avenue apartment to the Lower East Side. On his way home Monday, he said the bike lanes would be a welcome change.
"I'm in favor of anything that would stop those kinds of accidents," he said. "It can be terrifying. Those trucks — I've had some close calls with them more than once."
A representative from the Department of Transportation is set meet with CB4's transportation committee about the lanes at its next meeting on Aug. 24.