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

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State DOT Throws Chilly Water on West Aspect Freeway Bike Lane – Streetsblog New York Metropolis

The State Division of Transportation shouldn’t be feeling the can-do spirit of Excelsior relating to a motorbike lane on the West Aspect Freeway.

New York State Division Of Transportation Regional Director Craig Ruyle, who represents the company on points in New York Metropolis, instructed 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 Aspect Freeway — despite the fact that three group boards and 9 elected officers assist an extension of the Hudson River Greenway onto the street.

“Now we have just a few issues with eradicating a lane on the journey approach on the southbound aspect,” Ruyle stated, citing three points:

  • The MTA and metropolis DOT are nonetheless engaged on a congestion-pricing-related visitors research, which incorporates West Road, and the businesses “wish to use a number of the current infrastructure alongside [West Street], which would come with the precise lane on the southbound aspect to put their digital sensors” for tolling infrastructure.
  • Eradicating a lane of visitors from the street may set off an environmental assessment, though Ruyle acknowledged that he wasn’t positive 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 Aspect say that the Greenway — which cyclists share with pedestrians — has turn 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 Road, from Canal Road to West 57th Road (the place the street turns into an elevated freeway) in Might.

Throughout the summer time, 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 Road to the Battery.

“The Hudson River Greenway alongside the west aspect of Manhattan is house to the busiest bicycle freeway in North America and needs to be approached with the identical daring imaginative and prescient that so many cities around the globe have used to remodel 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 stated that the council and elected officers had been banking on Gov. Cuomo to override any environmental-review consideration.

“The request was based mostly 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 yr 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 Road 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 automobile visitors from 14th Road has not resulted in main will increase to congestion on space streets, with most east-west streets that run parallel to 14th Road experiencing solely minor will increase in automobile journey instances.”

Ruyle stated 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 Road.

“All people is conscious of the need to show this into a motorbike lane, and proper now the division shouldn’t be comfy doing that,” Ruyle stated. “It doesn’t imply that they received’t change their thoughts sooner or later, however that’s the sensation proper now.”

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