CHELSEA — A 1.5-mile stretch of Seventh Avenue could be getting a protected bike lane as part of a plan to make the thoroughfare more cyclist-friendly.
The city’s Department of Transportation on Wednesday unveiled plans to install the protected lane on the southbound avenue between Clarkson and West 30th streets.
The lane — which would be separated from traffic by “planted concrete pedestrian islands” — would eliminate a lane of vehicle traffic, as well as the pedestrian refuge island at West 23rd Street.
The stretch between West 14th and 26th streets would lose around 37 parking spaces, or approximately 22 percent of its parking capacity, the DOT's plan shows.
As part of the avenue redesign, the department plans to install split-phase signals at West 14th Street and maintain an existing split-phase signal at West 23rd Street.
"[A] parking-protected bicycle lane reduces bicyclists’ exposure to vehicular traffic,” while the narrowed road “discourages speeding,” the agency said.
Between 2011 and 2015, there were 96 cyclist injuries — nine of which were deemed “severe” — on Seventh Avenue between Clarkson and West 30th streets, the DOT added.