As cycling expands, New York City hosts “Bike-tober” events for new and experienced riders
As cycling continues to expand in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced more than three miles of protected bike lanes (PBLs) have been completed in Midtown Manhattan and on the Upper West Side, including uptown protected lanes on both Sixth Avenue and Central Park West. Under the Green Wave plan announced in 2019, New York City committed to dramatically expanding access to protected bike lanes, which have consistently proven to make streets safer for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.
To support both new and experienced cyclists, New York City DOT also announced a range of activities continuing during the month of October. A full “Bike-tober” schedule is available at www.nyc.gov/biketober.
“More New Yorkers than ever are choosing cycling to move around our city, and I’m proud to expand their options and offer more ways to keep them safe,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Protected bike lanes help provide a safe and green transportation alternative, meeting the goals of our Recovery Agenda, Vision Zero, the Green Wave and OneNYC. We look forward to cutting the ribbon on more lanes and supporting every New Yorker who chooses healthy, car-free transit options.”
“With cycling up during the COVID-19 pandemic, the dedicated DOT team has been hard at work adding protected bike lanes through some of our City’s most congested neighborhoods,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We thank the Mayor for his leadership that has helped safer cycling return to Sixth Avenue – four decades after its first protected lane. We also credit Manhattan’s local elected officials and community boards for their fierce and unwavering support of these projects. As we support cyclists with so many Bike-tober events, let’s get riding uptown!”
NYC DOT has completed 10 PBL miles so far in 2020, with another 15 miles scheduled to be completed this year. The de Blasio administration has created more than 140 miles of on-street protected lanes; its recent pace represents about one of every five protected lane miles nationwide.
The Sixth Avenue PBL was requested by Manhattan’s Community Board 5 and multiple elected officials. Sixth Avenue is a Vision Zero Priority Corridor that provides a direct link between Greenwich Village and Central Park.
Demand for the new lane is high: from 2008-2019, Sixth Avenue saw a 161% increase in cycling, and 10 Citi Bike stations are located within 400’ of this project. The new protected lane removed a traffic lane from this wide corridor and added painted pedestrian islands at intersections. The project also added pedestrian head-starts at 13 intersections, offset crossings and left-turn lanes with split-signal phases added to nine intersections between 41st Street and Central Park South with a high rate of crashes.
The Central Park West PBL, a 2.5-mile stretch along the length of Central Park, makes the street safer for pedestrians, whose crossing distances are 20% shorter. The project also added a left-turn restriction at 96th Street, a location with a high rate of severe crashes.
In partnership with Mechanical Gardens Bike Co-op, NYC DOT also announced that it is offering free bike tune-ups to get cyclists ready and their bikes road-worthy.
Types of repair offered include: replacing flat tubes and used-up brake pads, adjusting brakes, improving shifting, adjusting saddles (seats), handlebars, and brake levers, replacing snapped cables and decomposed housing, making critical headset adjustments, truing critically wobbly wheels, and lubricating chains, gears, pivot points, and springs. Both adult and children’s bikes are eligible. Walk-up service only on a first-come, first-served basis. Please remember to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing. More info and event schedule available at www.nyc.gov/biketober.
"I'm thrilled that more and more New Yorkers are biking around the city but we need to give them the space they need to ride safely,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “We need an interconnected network of protected bike lanes citywide, and the additions of these two critical pieces of bike infrastructure are great steps forward towards that goal. The Council will continue fighting to make our streets safe for cyclists as we work to promote sustainable methods of transportation in our city."