NYC moves fast on first physically separated bike lane

Posted by on October 4th, 2007 at 1:17 pm

A few weeks ago, I shared the news that the New York City Dept. of Transportation had decided to install the city’s first-ever physically separated bike lane (a.k.a. cycle track).

Well, the bike revolution must have taken hold within the bureaucracy because they’ve already started the project.

Video activist extraordinaire Clarence Eckerson happened upon it yesterday and says, “I had to pinch myself when I ran into it today. Thank goodness I had a camera [watch his video below]. The DOT here is moving at such an accelerated pace it is hard for us to even keep up!”

His short video shows that New Yorkers are wasting no time in giving it a try…

One commenter on StreetFilms (where the video was first posted) said, “I can’t wait to go there and ride on it just because I can.”

Awesome.

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Portland Carfree Day » BikePortland.org reports on carfree stuff this week, 2007peder hornerMacme likeyKristen Recent comment authors
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a.O
Guest
a.O

It looks pretty cool! Still, the striped area looks big enough to incorporate an entire additional bike lane. It seems like you could get the same result with less space if you used a curb between the parking and the track.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

a.O.,

I think the reason for the width is so they can fit standard sized street sweepers.

Believe or not, sweeping out a separated path is a big sticking point if a city\’s existing maintenance fleet doesn\’t include the proper tooling.

In Europe they have mini-sweepers specifically for bike lanes… we\’re not at that level yet… but you get the idea.

This type of thing is exactly what I mean when I refer to \”institutional barriers\” to making a big leap for biking.

a.O
Guest
a.O

Ah, yep that makes sense.

anp
Guest
anp

The striped area also provides a zone for drivers to open their doors and exit their cars without encroaching on the bike lane. This seems like a great advantage over separating the bike lane and car parking with a narrow curb.

Christopher Cotrell
Guest
Christopher Cotrell

This looks really great! I noticed at one point where left turns were possible, the cycle track shifted to the right so it was immediately adjacent to the car left-turn lane, which means that drivers have a better view of cyclists coming than you would have if there were still a parked car between the two lanes.

A similar thing is being done on the Carrall Street Greenway here in Vancouver, BC. There are cycle tracks on both sides of the street, with parking allowed on once side. On the side without parking, the track amounts to little more than a normal bike lane, though it is paved in concrete instead of asphalt and separated by a narrow row of cobblestones, so it is at least visually distinct. On the side with parking, it is separated from traffic in the middle of the block, but veers to the left as it approaches an intersection.

I could see this working very well in downtown Portland. You\’d only have to eliminate one or two parking spaces every other block to accommodate this design.

toddistic
Guest
toddistic

sweet! I want one!

tbird
Guest

Geel lekker!
I can\’t wait to see this in PDX!
Separate AND Equal…;)

Randy
Guest
Randy

Rocky the Mt. Biking Squirrel says: 200 bikes = 1 less bus on the bus mall.

Clar...er...Sasquatch
Guest
Clar...er...Sasquatch

I am told the width of the bike lane is also so that emergency vehicles can opt for it if stuck in gridlock. That might be a real key as, it will provide even more reasons for the NYPD to ticket parked vehicles who sit there illegally.

Jeff M.
Guest
Jeff M.

Personally, I love this idea.

Kristen
Guest
Kristen

Hm, interesting. It\’s totally different from what I was envisioning, but then again I\’m more of a visual learner. Gotta see the thing to make sense of it.

I like that there\’s a series of flexible poles in the stripey area. Reminds the folks in cars to be careful in opening their doors. I was thinking that a series of solid poles would definitely cut down on the incidents of dooring, but these seem to work good too.

I like it! 🙂

me likey
Guest
me likey

in the netherlands the have lots of variations on these that cross different kinds of intersections. in the cities they are more like to cross the regular ol\’ intersections like we have here and in the smaller towns they use more roundabouts. the roundabouts are easier to get \’round on bike, especially for left turns but all types work out.

ps it was only about 2 years ago that a law went into effect there dictating that cyclists ALWAYS have the right of way at intersections. just sayin.

Mac
Guest
Mac

I always knew that New Yorkers were a bit crazy, but only about 1 in 10 of the cyclists that they showed riding through downtown NYC had helmets on (including the little kids). There must be some busy neurosurgeons in that town.

peder horner
Guest

I agree with Mac (13). I wonder what the NYC/NY state laws are regarding helmets for children.