As discussed earlier this month, we are seeking Block Associations’ input on the 15 year-old bike master plan in our our neighborhood . Last week we had met with the 50/51st Street block association whose residents would welcome a bike lane . This week we met with the 47/48th Street block Association. Here is their comments:

West 48th is a vital thoroughfare east to midtown (Rockefeller Center, Radio City, Broadway theaters, etc.) — traveled daily by everything on wheels from cars to charter buses, school buses to delivery trucks, horse carriages to double-decker buses. Not to mention scores of motorized food carts (which are stored on 47th and 48th Streets).

There is a hotel between Ninth and Tenth Avenues and another hotel is under construction between Tenth and Eleventh. Delivery trucks and taxis stop in front. There is a school between Ninth and Tenth. School buses stop in front. A fire house is on 48th and Eighth.

Reducing 48th Street  to one lane to accommodate the few bicyclists seized by a sudden whim to travel from the Hudson River Park to catch a matinee is a charming idea. But it’s not likely to improve the situation. Those buses, trucks, carts will keep on coming — how else will they get to midtown? Neither a single vehicle lane, nor a painted bike lane, is going to deter them. It will, however, make them idle longer, and honk more, waiting in line to get to their destinations.

As you can imagine, a heavily-trafficked street like 48th could used a fresh coat of paving once or twice a century. DOT refuses because the street will eventually be torn up to install water pipes to Ninth Avenue. Instead, it will paint a bike lane!

Did the DOT policy geniuses once write for Monty Python?”

Undeterred we will meet with 45th and 44th Street Block Associations in the coming weeks.

Coincidentally today the Borough President released a survey of abuses in bike lanes by all users. This includes a few recomendations. Our favorite is to strictly separate pedestrians bikes and cars, which implies that all bike parking be located in the parking lane and NOT on the sidewalk. Manhattan Community Board 4 is on record for asking such measure.

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