UPPER EAST SIDE — Two crosstown bike routes will be added to the neighborhood starting this month, according to officials, despite rejection from the local community board.
The new 5-foot bike lanes, which won't take up parking spots or travel lanes, will be painted on East 70th and 71st streets and on East 77th and 78th streets to connect the East River waterfront to Central Park, Department of Transportation officials said in a June 22 letter to Community Board 8.
The board's transportation committee approved the DOT's proposed routes on East 70th, 71st, 77th, 78th, 84th and 85th streets on May 4, despite a group of residents, including Woody Allen, who showed up to a public meeting to oppose them.
But the full board on May 18 voted to reject a resolution to support the set of lanes, some members emphasizing concerns of crowding at certain streets, like East 84th and East 85th streets, because of high traffic in the area from schools, hospitals and doctors' offices.
"I wish the board had come to an affirmative resolution in May but the DOT chose to move forward rather than waiting to start the process over again," said Scott Falk, the co-chairman of CB8's transportation committee.
The DOT says the new routes will be installed this month.
Currently the only crosstown bike lanes that exist on the Upper East Side are on East 90th and 91st streets.
"Adding a 5-foot bicycle lane to the streets proposed ... will make cyclist movements more predictable and improve safety for all roadway users," wrote Luis Sanchez, the DOT's acting borough commissioner, in the June 22 letter to the board. "This project is thus an important step forward in achieving the ambitious goals of Vision Zero in the Upper East Side."