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Woody Allen and Neighbors Will Get Bike Lanes, Like it Or Not: Officials

 Woody Allen showed up to CB8's meeting on crosstown bike lanes on Wednesday.
Woody Allen showed up to CB8's meeting on crosstown bike lanes on Wednesday.
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UPPER EAST SIDE — Woody Allen may get a bike lane in front of his East 70th Street home, whether he likes it or not.

Allen, and a contingent of his neighbors, argued against the city's plan to install painted crosstown bike lanes on a handful of streets in the neighborhood during a Community Board 8 transportation committee meeting on Wednesday night. 

Residents fear the new bike lanes will clog up their roads and make it more dangerous for pedestrians, they said.

This is the third meeting the committee and the DOT have held to nail down specific sites for the bike lanes. And the bike paths are coming, it's just about where to put them, officials said.

Allen attended the meeting, but slipped out after his street was discussed and did not publicly weigh in on the matter, according to CB8 board member Craig Lader.

"None of the streets can accommodate a bike lane in a graceful way," Allen told Gothamist outside the meeting. "Every street has a good argument why it shouldn't have a lane."

The committee ultimately voted to approve bike lanes for six streets, including East 70th Street, where Allen lives, East 71st, 77th, 78th, 84th and 85th streets — stretching from Central Park to the East River.

The board members decided not to choose a bike lane on East 68th Street, considering the bus lanes that are there and the upcoming overhaul of the East 68th Street-Hunter College station.

These were chosen from a dozen streets the DOT had put on the table as viable locations for the bike lanes.

Many residents emphasized concerns bike lanes on their street would make it more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists because of existing high traffic in the area with a number of institutions, like schools, hospitals and doctor's offices nearby.

DOT representatives argued that they have hundreds of bike lanes near institutions across the city, and haven't had any major problems.

Many neighbors supported certain locations, 70th, 71st and 81st, specifically.

"I endorse 81st Street. It's a lovely, quiet, tree-lined street and I think it can accommodate bicycle traffic," said Dr. Ray Pastore, who works on the street. "I think the community board should endorse safety measures ... a commitment should be made for those who want extra traffic safety officers. I welcome cyclists there."

The full community board will vote on the committee's decision on May 18.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the date of the full board meeting.