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Transportation & Environment

Application by Department of Transportation for parking-protected bicycle lanes on 26th and 29th Streets

WHEREAS, The New York City Department of Transportation ("DOT") has proposed the installation of an eastbound protected bicycle lane on 26th Street and a westbound protected bicycle lane on 29th Street; and

WHEREAS, Community Boards Four and Six have approved the sections of these bike lanes proposed to the east and west of Community Board Five; and

WHEREAS, The Vision Zero program mandates a multi-agency effort to improve safety measures for all road users and reduce traffic fatalities; and

WHEREAS, 26th Street features multiple Vision Zero targeted intersections, where pedestrians and bicyclists have been killed by motor vehicles within recent years; and

WHEREAS, Currently approximately 400-500 cars use each of 26th and 29th Streets during the peak hour of use each day; and

WHEREAS, Currently the number of bicyclists using each street without a protected bike lane is approximately 100 during the peak hour each day; and

WHEREAS, The existing condition for most blocks on each of 26th and 29th streets consists of one lane of moving vehicle traffic measuring an extra-wide 18 feet across, with 8-foot parking lanes on each side of the streets for a 34-foot total width; and

WHEREAS, These conditions are considered optimal by DOT for installing protected bike lanes without removing a lane of either moving vehicles or parking, utilizing the extra width available in the moving lane and/or the striped bike lane; and

WHEREAS, The existing condition for some blocks of 29th Street west of 7th Avenue includes a wider 50-foot total width; and

WHEREAS, The existing condition for the blocks of 26th Street between Broadway and Madison Avenue consists of a narrower street, requiring the removal of several parking places on the south side of the street to create a buffered bike lane there; and

WHEREAS, There are currently striped but not protected bike lanes on portions of both 26th and 29th streets; and

WHEREAS, DOT proposes to install a new 5-foot-wide bicycle lane on the south side of each street, protected by a painted buffer zone and a standard 8-foot-wide parking lane; and

WHEREAS, DOT proposes to maintain the existing 8-foot-wide parking lane on the north side of the streets while reducing the time allowed for commercial loading on this side of the streets from 3 hours to 1 hour; and

WHEREAS, DOT studies have demonstrated that narrower driving lanes and floating parking lanes calm motor vehicle traffic and inspire slower and safer driving; and

WHEREAS, DOT proposes the use of Mixing Zones for turning vehicles and bicycles at the intersections with south-bound Avenues; and

WHEREAS, DOT proposes to paint the newly-created bicycle lane with standard green-colored paint, accented with white-colored markings to indicate the proper direction of bicycle traffic; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five heard public comment and Q&A with the DOT Borough Commissioner on two occasions related to these proposed bike lanes; and

WHEREAS, The local community was supportive of the general concept of protected crosstown bike lanes through Midtown, though there were significant concerns expressed by residents and businesses on 26th Street to the proposed eastbound lane on that street, related to the busy nature of current use on that street; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of DOT’s request for the installation of a protected bicycle lanes on the south side of 26th and 29th h Streets; and be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five insists that DOT return to CB5 after the installation of these proposed bike lanes as soon as possible after significant data can be collected related to the use of these streets after their redesign, including but not limited to the number of total vehicles (cars and bicycles) using the street after the redesign, compared with the equivalent time period before the street redesign; and be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five requests that DOT return to CB5 at the appropriate time to present the results of its comprehensive study on the use of Mixing Zones and other intersection management designs such as Split Phase Signals; and be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five requests that DOT increase efforts to ensure the safe and lawful use of the streets by pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, in particular by funding more “Street Ambassadors” and deploying them to the streets around these new bike lanes to help with the adjustment to this new design.

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