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State DOT Throws Cold Water on West Side Highway Bike Lane – Streetsblog New York City

State DOT Throws Cold Water on West Side Highway Bike Lane – Streetsblog New York City 2020-09-10Leave a comment

electrical bike State DOT Throws Chilly Water on West Facet Freeway Bike Lane – Streetsblog New York Metropolis

The State Division of Transportation shouldn’t be feeling the can-do spirit of Excelsior with regards to a motorcycle lane on the West Facet Freeway.

New York State Division Of Transportation Regional Director Craig Ruyle, who represents the company on points in New York Metropolis, advised members of the Hudson River Park Belief Advisory Council on Tuesday that they shouldn’t maintain their breath waiting for a protected bike lane on West Street in Manhattan — aka the West Facet Freeway — although three neighborhood boards and 9 elected officers assist an extension of the Hudson River Greenway onto the street.

“We have now just a few issues with eradicating a lane on the journey approach on the southbound facet,” Ruyle mentioned, citing three points:

  • The MTA and metropolis DOT are nonetheless engaged on a congestion-pricing-related visitors research, which incorporates West Avenue, and the companies “want to use a number of the present infrastructure alongside [West Street], which would come with the precise lane on the southbound facet to position their digital sensors” for tolling infrastructure.
  • Eradicating a lane of visitors from the street might set off an environmental assessment, though Ruyle acknowledged that he wasn’t certain that was true.
  • Taking a lane from the street may change visitors patterns. “There’s a given quantity of visitors on [West Street], and I don’t know the place that might go. Would we push it on to the native streets?” Ruyle requested.

Tuesday night time’s assembly was held in response to a rising name for the state DOT to do one thing about crowding on the Hudson River Greenway, the nation’s busiest bike path. Residents of Manhattan’s West Facet say that the Greenway — which cyclists share with pedestrians — has change into utterly choked as extra individuals have taken to biking in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. In response, Manhattan Neighborhood Boards 2 and 4 proposed an extension of the Greenway into West Avenue, from Canal Avenue to West 57th Avenue (the place the street turns into an elevated freeway) in Might.

In the course of the summer season, Neighborhood Board 1, State Sens. Brad Hoylman, Robert Jackson and Brian Kavanaugh; Meeting Members Deborah Glick, Richard Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Metropolis Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Metropolis Council Member Margaret Chin, all joined the push. By then, the proposal had morphed from a proposed two-way, protected bike lane into the topic of Tuesday’s assembly: a one-way, protected bike lane southbound from West 57th Avenue to the Battery.

“The Hudson River Greenway alongside the west facet of Manhattan is house to the busiest bicycle freeway in North America and ought to be approached with the identical daring imaginative and prescient that so many cities all over the world have used to rework their transit infrastructure,” the elected officers wrote in an August letter pitching the bike-lane conversion.

Members of the advisory council who spoke on the assembly differed with Ruyle’s learn of the state of affairs; all voiced assist for the proposal. Council President Jeffrey LeFrancois additionally mentioned that the council and elected officers have been banking on Gov. Cuomo to override any environmental-review consideration.

“The request was primarily based on the [coronavirus] emergency powers granted to the governor, which might preclude the necessity for environmental research to take over the lane,” LeFrancois identified.

Ruyle’s issues echoed these of state DOT Regional Site visitors Security and Mobility Director Adam Levine, who final 12 months said that “to take away a lane would congest the street.”

However the metropolis’s expertise with creating a big, car-free road, the 14th Avenue Busway, has confirmed that such issues are largely unfounded.

According to a recent report, using winter 2020 traffic figures, by Sam Schwartz Engineering, “the diversion of most car visitors from 14th Avenue has not resulted in main will increase to congestion on space streets, with most east-west streets that run parallel to 14th Avenue experiencing solely minor will increase in car journey occasions.”

Ruyle mentioned that he would relate the feedback in favor of the bike lane to the State DOT, however he admitted that it’s going to take a change of coronary heart in a division that’s proven hostility to eradicating automotive and truck visitors from West Avenue.

“All people is conscious of the will to show this into a motorcycle lane, and proper now the division shouldn’t be comfy doing that,” Ruyle mentioned. “It doesn’t imply that they received’t change their thoughts in some unspecified time in the future, however that’s the sensation proper now.”

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