The city Department of Transportation is adding bike lanes to six crosstown streets on the Upper East Side, routes they say will not take away a lane of traffic, but not everyone is pleased. NY1's Michael Scotto filed the following report.
Even when there's snow on the road, cyclists use East 84th street to cross town. Officials hope that ride gets a lot easier by the summer.
The city Department of Transportation is adding bike lanes to six crosstown streets on the Upper East Side.
"We'll be striping a bike lane to go along with the moving lane, really defining the street, giving cyclists their own space," said Ryan Russo, the deputy commissioner of the department.
Unlike lanes on major north-south streets such as First Avenue, these routes will not take away a lane of traffic.
Rather, they'll be painted on the street, looking similar to existing crosstown lanes on east 90th and 91st Streets.
The new lanes will appear on east 67th, 68th, 77th, 78th, 84th and 85th Streets.
Officials say the lanes are geared toward cyclists who use Citi Bike to get from one part of the East Side to the other.
"There's tremendous demand to get from the Lexington Avenue line to, for example, the medical institutions, Rockefeller University, Cornell Hospital on the East Side, and that's a long, long walk," Russo said.
With the new crosstown lanes and one being installed on Second Avenue, the Upper East Side will have seven miles of new bike lanes this year.
The decision represents one more example of the Mayor Bill de Blasio administration building on the bike-friendly policies of former mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The bike lanes, however, are not for everyone. There are a number of people in the community who think that cycling has gotten out of control.
Community Board 8 member Michele Birnbaum complains that the lanes inconvenience drivers and pedestrians.
"If you get out of your car, you're not allowed to park in the bike lane, so you have to park on the other side of the street," Birnbaum said. "You have to carry your things, across the street and across traffic into your building."
The Transportation Department argues that the community asked for the bike lanes.
City officials plan to unveil the new routes to the public next week.