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DOT Mulls Closing Part of Park Avenue for Bike Parking

By Alan Neuhauser | February 19, 2013 6:47am

MIDTOWN — A plan to park bikes on Park Avenue would close a portion of the street in Pershing Square.

The Department of Transportation is considering placing parking stations for the city's impending shared-bike program in that area, according to Manhattan Community Board 5.

Citi Bike bicycle stations would be installed on the eastern half of Park Avenue, between East 41st and East 42nd streets and across the street from Grand Central Terminal, according to the board. It voted in favor of the proposal Thursday.

"We're supporting it," district manager Wally Rubin said.

Citi Bike stations are expected to be introduced in May, according to the program's website and Community Board 5.

The DOT did not return calls and emails for comment.

Traffic on the block is relatively light. Cars passing through the area instead travel an elevated portion of Park Avenue that leads around Grand Central Terminal.

The closure, however, would push buses that park on Park Avenue between East 41st and East 42nd streets onto East 42nd Street, between Park and Lexington avenues. Rubin said the DOT was working with the Grand Central Partnership to resolve the issue.

He added that the block is located within the area Mayor Michael Bloomberg hopes to rezone to allow new, taller skyscrapers.

"Our biggest concern is that a lot of this stuff is being done piecemeal, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of coordination. It's in a part of the area that the mayor wishes to rezone," Rubin said.

"If we had our druthers, this would be part of a comprehensive analysis, part of a plan."