It’s been three years since my last visit to New York and at that time I was reading that Mayor Bloomberg was proposing separated bike lanes similar to those in the Netherlands. I wasn’t sure how it would all work out given that traffic in the city is so crazy; ie. no one seems to stay within their own lanes. But, lo and behold – his vision has materialized! I was very impressed with the pedestrian and bike friendly sections of a few busy streets, especially the 7th avenue/Broadway stretch. Not only are there separated bike lanes, there are bistro tables and planters overflowing with flowers separating the traffic from the more pedestrian-related oases.(If you look closely at this photo below, you’ll see a person in a motorized scooter using the bike lane – that’s universal planning for ya’!)
I still didn’t have the guts to rent a bike and try these lanes out for myself, of course the rain helped me confirm that decision, but it’s a great start in the right direction given that Manhattan is only a few miles wide (under 3) by 13.4 miles long. If there weren’t any cars at all, a person could quickly pedal from the far end of the island to the tip within a little over an hour. A while back, I was under the impression that Bloomberg was trying to limit the amount of private vehicles entering NYC, but I’m guessing this is very political and difficult to do.
However, the plan is for me to visit New York again next June, given that my sister’s wedding plans all work out. I think a definite “must-do” will be trying out these fantastic bike lanes. I love New York (in the Spring and Summer, that is. 😉 )
Have you given these bike lanes a try? Are there new bike lanes appearing in your neighborhood?