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Second Avenue Will Get Protected Bike Lane Before Subway Opens, City Says

By Shaye Weaver | January 7, 2016 2:41pm
 The DOT unveiled plans on Wednesday to install a protected bike lane along Second Avenue among other changes.
The DOT's Second Avenue redesign
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UPPER EAST SIDE — Second Avenue is getting a new look this summer before the new subway line opens later this year.

The Department of Transportation unveiled plans for a total redesign of the avenue, with new protected bike lanes, dedicated left-turn lanes and a bus lane.

Once the MTA begins to restore the street this summer, it will work in conjunction with the DOT to redesign it, officials said.

The new protected bike lanes will stretch from East 68th to 105th streets, and will fill a gap in the in the existing bike lanes on Second Avenue, which ends at 59th Street and starts again north of 105th Street, according to the DOT.

To make room for the new bike lane, the DOT will reduce the number of traffic lanes on the avenue from four to three. A parking lane will also be replaced by a bus lane, and the width of the other parking lane will be reduced from 10 to 9 feet.

The bike lane from 59th to 68th streets will not be blocked off from car traffic because rush hour traffic is particularly congested along this stretch, the agency said.

The plan also features 9-foot-wide pedestrian safety islands at each intersection starting at 68th street and up to 105th street that will shorten the distance pedestrians have to walk to get across the street.

New designated left turning lanes will also be added along the avenue at 96th, 86th, 72nd and 79th streets, among others, to make turning safer and to reduce instances of double parking, according to the DOT.

The new bus lane will be installed in place of a parking lane from 59th to 105th streets. 

The plan was generally well accepted among Community Board 8 members when the DOT presented it to the transportation committee on Wednesday.

"I think the DOT has done a phenomenal job in reining in Second Avenue — It's a beast," said CB8 member Sharon Pope. "They have conceptualized...benefits for cyclists."