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Community Board Pushes for Northbound Bike Lane on Upper West Side

By Emily Frost | July 8, 2015 2:24pm
 With many more bikers expected on the streets of the Upper West Side, another protected bike lane is crucial, CB7 members said. 
Upper West Side Bike Lane
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UPPER WEST SIDE — Community Board 7 renewed its call for a northbound protected bike lane in the neighborhood, preferably on Amsterdam Avenue, by voting to put pressure on the Department of Transportation to act.

Last month, CB7 Transportation Committee members said they were frustrated by the slow response time from the DOT about whether or not a protected bike lane was feasible on Amsterdam Avenue. The board had requested a study of the avenue and the potential for a bike lane back in 2013. 

The call for another protected lane — which would feature a line of parked cars between cyclists and traffic — has only increased with the looming arrival of Citi Bike at the end of the summer, they said. 

On Monday night, the full board reaffirmed the committee's decision to push DOT for action, voting in favor of the committee's June resolution to bring a northbound bike lane to the neighborhood.

Though members would prefer a bike lane on Amsterdam Avenue because it's a major commercial corridor, they'd settle for a northbound lane elsewhere if the avenue isn't feasible, the resolution stated.

But the street's centrality in the neighborhood is precisely why a bike lane is a bad idea there, a handful of members noted. 

"It is extremely congested as it is. [Amsterdam Avenue] cannot afford to lose a lane," said board member Richard Asche. 

The DOT has said it is reviewing possible safety enhancements along Amsterdam Avenue.