Upper East Side Crosstown Bike Lanes

In November 2015, Community Board 8 (CB 8) passed a resolution, calling on the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) to study and make recommendations for a temporary network of cross-town painted bike lanes within the CB 8 district (59th Street to 96th Street), from Fifth Avenue to York /East End Avenues. Thereafter, DOT was to study and make recommendations for a permanent network of cross-town bike lanes, taking into consideration other locations, protected bike lanes and possible changes to parking and traffic lanes.

At the February and March 2016 public meetings of the CB 8 Transportation Committee, DOT presented its recommendation for three pairings of temporary cross-town painted bike lanes to supplement the existing pairing of painted bike lanes at 90th Street (going East) and 91st Street (going West). DOT recommended temporary, painted bike lanes along the following street pairings:

  • 85th Street (going West) and 84th Street (going East);
  • 78th Street (going East) and 77th Street (going West); and
  • 68th Street (going East) and 67th Street (going West).

After reviewing the issues and concerns raised at the public meetings of the CB8 Transportation Committee and after surveying numerous cross streets of the Upper East Side, CIVITAS has produced a report on temporary, painted Upper East Side bike lanes and proposes that the following three cross-town street pairings be designated:

  • 81st Street (going West) and 80th Street (going East)
  • 76th Street (going East) and 75th Street (going West)
  • 71st Street (going West) and 70th Street (going East)

CIVITAS has evaluated possible streets using the following criteria:

A. The foremost criterion is SAFETY for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. This incorporates four principles:

  • Quiet streets that are relatively modestly burdened by truck and auto traffic.
  • The placement of bike lanes on the left side of the street to minimize “dooring” of cyclists by parked cars.
  • Rejection of streets with cross-town bus routes; and
  • Avoidance of streets where the left, curbside lane of any block is marked, end-to-end, with a “No Standing” sign, indicating that the lane is expected to be used solely as a traffic lane.

B. Streets should be in pairs; one going East and the other West. The pairing should be separated in regular patterns of between 6 and 10 blocks.

C. Connectivity to the extent possible to Central Park, the West Side and the East River Esplanade.

D. No loss of parking or traffic lanes.

CIVITAS’s full report on Upper East Side painted bike lanes can be found here.

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