Residents Debate Proposed Bike Lane for Amsterdam Avenue

A proposed bike lane for a Upper West Side thoroughfare is stirring up some fierce debate among residents worried about traffic bottlenecks.

New York City recently announced plans to build a protected bike lane on Amsterdam Avenue between West 72nd and 110th streets. The proposal, part of Mayor de Blasio’s “vision zero” initiative to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities, would reduce the four-lane road to three while creating a separate lane for cyclists, but it’s left some worrying about congestion on the uptown-bound roadway.

“There’s a lot of trucks and deliveries,” said Patricia Trevisoni. “Not a good idea.”

The bike lane mirrors ones seen across the city – including a block away on Columbus Avenue -- and is set to be built this spring. But some people in the, including community advocate and cyclist Joseph Bolanos, are hoping a petition will stop the project because the roadway is used by commercial vehicles.

“They’re going to narrow down four lanes of commercial traffic down to three,” Bolanos bemoaned.
Others say that the change will make Amsterdam Avenue safer for everyone and will better meet the needs of people living on the Upper West Side.

Among the supporters is City Councilman Mark D. Levine, who wrote in a letter to community board 7 that the current design is unsafe for pedestrians, cyclists and cars alike and that one with protected bike lanes would address issues for all travelers. The full letter was posted to the Streetsblog NYC website

Marjorie Borba said she agrees with Levine’s assessment.

"I would love it,” she said. Totally missing a bike lane here."

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