New Traffic Patterns- Bike Lane Updates Central Park and 8th Avenue

Here’s a look at the beginning of the striping for the new configuration of the Central Park 72nd street crosstown bike path.  Striping has just begun on the east side of the park. The trickiest part of the new configuration was figuring out how to connect across the east (to 5th Avenue)  and west sides (to Central Park West) of the loop. In the community board meetings I had sat in on (both CB 7 & CB 8), even though I had seen the map drawings, it was hard to get a complete grasp of exactly how this part of the new configuration would work. So it’s exciting to see the work as it progresses.

The first photo below is the north side of the entrance road from 5th Avenue to the East Loop.

The west bound connection across the East Loop.

Looking towards 5th Avenue park entrance. West bound lane on north side, east bound lane on south side.

Northbound view, just below 72nd St. Widening to include connection to east bound lane exiting to 5th Ave

Northbound view above 72nd Street, East Loop.

Eastbound 72nd drive, striping for bi-directional lanes. View towards westside. Today’s work ended at first pedestrian crossing/traffic light.

A little bird told me that 8th Avenue had striping and green paint up to 50th street as of yesterday, so I decided to swing by. Not even complete and already filling up with people on bikes and skateboards! I also love that these pedestrians are instinctively figuring out the idea of the pedestrian refuge. And for anyone who regularly uses the 8th Ave bike lane- this is right in front of World Wide Plaza, a particularly contentious block where the old door zone lane was always filled with double parked livery cabs. New configuration eliminates the old conflict.

As for the other contentious part of the 8th Avenue bike lane, I hope someone will figure out how to make the bike lane actually usable for people on bikes and not just an extension of the sidewalk. This is what it usually looks like during the evening rush hour for the first six blocks above Port Authority.

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About bikepeacenyc

Just another NYer who is happier when on a bike. Gezellig fietsen. Advocate for Liveable Complete Streets.
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3 Responses to New Traffic Patterns- Bike Lane Updates Central Park and 8th Avenue

  1. Gene says:

    Hey…please update…the new, new pattern (October version) in the park is just getting completed. I have to say: While I appreciate the effort and applaud the intent, it seems really (really, really) complicated. It’s hard to see how visitors (here one day, gone the next, replaced by millions of other new visitors) are going to get this. I live here and I had problems. I hope we’ll begin to give out useful information to visitors (& show them a video) at all the myriad bike sources. Bike rumble strips might seem like a good idea to someone at DOT, or the Conservancy but most cyclists I saw swerved into the adjoining lane to avoid them. The section of East Side drive (59th to 72nd) seems even more dangerous now. I would not have thought it possible.

  2. bikepeacenyc says:

    Gene, I have a new post about the new configurations in Central Park, but I wouldn’t truly call it an update. I haven’t had the time to truly document the new configuration in photos, but I actually think it’s working pretty well based on the many times I pass through the park while commuting. As for the ‘rumble strips’ you refer to, is it what I would call a ‘buffer’ between the jogger’s lane and the bike lane? If so, I had mentioned it to one of the DOT people when they were working on thermoplasting the west side of the loop this week. I questioned why their was a buffer between peds and bikes but not bikes and cars. He said that it was a mistake (it was supposed to be erased) but they decided to leave it because they felt that erasing it would create even rougher pavement for people on bikes and said that the full bike lane includes the buffering stripes. I thank you for your comments and feedback, however I don’t work for DOT or Parks, so I would suggest that you contact them with your concerns.

    • bikepeacenyc says:

      I do agree with you that the east drive is a wonky configuration, especially at 72nd street. Both Parks and DOT are aware of this and when I’ve spoken with them, seem to be very open to suggestions on how to improve it. Also, they do plan to be in the park doing outreach in regard to the new configuration.

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