Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg discusses the bike lane expansion at a Flatiron press conference. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The Department of Transportation announced on December 19 that the city created 20.9 miles of protected bike lanes in 2018, expanding the bike network as cyclist fatalities also declined to a single-year-record low.
The DOT made the announcement with transportation advocates and local elected officials adjacent to the new crosstown protected bike lane on 26th Street, just north of Madison Square Park. The new protected bike lane on 29th Street is the westbound counterpart to the pair that includes the new lane on 26th Street, which heads eastbound. The two lanes are midtown’s first crosstown protected bike lanes.
Both new lanes, along with other treatments implemented by the DOT in 2018, were put in place in preparation for the upcoming L train shutdown (since cancelled!) and the majority of DOT’s projects on protected bike lanes in 2018 focused on preparations for the closure.
The new lanes on 26th and 29th Streets, which run from First to 12th Avenue, are among the new protected bike lanes that the DOT expects will be used heavily by displaced L train riders.
On two separate occasions I have been knocked down by bicycles going the wrong way against the light! This has led me to look both ways on one-way streets and in all directions when crossing the street. Now I have come so close to having had been run over on sidewalks with bicycles riding on sidewalks, going the wrong way! Stuy Town is pretty strict about the rules regarding bicycles riding around the Oval (riders are approached by Public Safety Officers to dismount) but of course, they cannot be everywhere.
No one should be riding on sidewalks or riding the wrong way against traffic.
Council Member Dan Garodnick and Mayor Bill de Blasio at a town hall on Tuesday (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
On Tuesday, the mayor was grilled about the proposed sanitation garage for East 25th Street by neighbors who attended a town hall.
The hotly-contested issue was the topic of discussion at numerous Community Board 6 meetings when it was first announced in 2012 but the plan has stalled in the last two years, and Mayor de Blasio said at the town hall, which was also hosted by Council Member Dan Garodnick, that the issue will be reviewed again once the next term for City Council begins.
“The fundamental problem is that the facilities are concentrated in Lower Manhattan so we need some kind of facility to serve this area and so far this seems like the most viable site,” he said. “But there should be a real conversation about what the community needs.”