UPPER WEST SIDE — Construction of the protected Amsterdam Avenue bike lane will begin next month, ahead of its initially planned start date, officials said.
The mid-May arrival represents a more concrete plan than previously shared by the DOT, which had told residents that construction of the northbound lane from West 72nd to 110th streets would begin this summer. However, the DOT did not give an exact start date.
The lane was approved by Community Board 7 during a raucous meeting this winter, but not all residents and businesses welcomed the addition, which would reduce Amsterdam Avenue to three traffic lanes from four, as well as eliminate parking spots.
Still, others believe it will boost safety and create even more "ambiance" along an avenue loaded with sidewalk cafes.
Board 7 members had originally called on the DOT to install the lane ahead of Citi Bike's arrival this past August, in order to provide a safer cycling route for novice riders and visitors.
To create the lane, the DOT will install pedestrian islands and move parking away from the curb so that cyclists are protected from moving traffic by a line of parked cars. The change will also shorten street-crossing distances for pedestrians, officials said.
A southern section of the Amsterdam Avenue lane, running between West 72nd and 59th streets, will be installed later, DOT officials have said. The department has not said exactly when that will be.