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Transportation & Environment

Request for the New York City Department Of Transportation to redesign the street plan around Columbus Circle to improve safety and efficiency for all street users

WHEREAS, Columbus Circle ("the Circle") is a critical link in the city-wide bicycle network and current cycling conditions are treacherous with vehicular traffic entering and exiting the Circle quickly and crowded sidewalks forcing pedestrians into the busy streets; and

WHEREAS, Since 2009, 49 people have been injured in traffic accidents in the Circle, according to city data, 10 of the whom were pedestrians, 18 of whom were cyclists, and 21 of whom were motorists or passengers; and

WHEREAS, Pedestrian flow is consistently heavy in and around the Circle and is regularly impeded by food trucks and carts, often resulting in overflowing sidewalks; and

WHEREAS, There is currently no dedicated path for cyclists through Columbus Circle that would ensure their safe passage north from the 8th Avenue bicycle lane to the Central Park West bicycle lane or south from the section of Broadway above the Circle to the bicycle lane on Broadway below the Circle; and

WHEREAS, The creation of a protected bicycle path would safely separate cyclists from motor vehicles and pedestrians, ideally with physical demarcations to prevent the intermingling of the three modes of transportation; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five urges the Department of Transportation ("DOT") to consider recent street plan improvements at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn as a model, as that design is mindful of both the safety of all street users (including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists) and also the efficient movement of vehicles through the Circle; and

WHEREAS, Residents of the surrounding area and cyclists and pedestrians who regularly use the streets and sidewalks vocally expressed support of increased street safety measures; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five urges DOT to consider the Circle in terms of a Complete Streets plan for the entire district to better link the various bicycle lanes and networks throughout the district with those of its adjacent neighbors; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five urges the New York City Department Of Transportation to study the existing vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic conditions at Columbus Circle and to create a street plan to make the Circle safer for all users.


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