Borough President Proposes Turning One Lane of West Street Over to Bicycles
The bike lane alongside West Street is heavily used.
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine has proposed to remove the westernmost traffic lane of West Street, from Chambers to West 57th Street (and, eventually, beyond), to create a new, two-way bike lane.
In an August 1 letter to the City and State Departments of Transportation (DOT), Mr. Levine asked both to study “the feasibility of creating a two-way protected bike lane on Route 9A (known also as the West Side Highway) by removing a vehicle lane.” A state highway, Route 9A (also known as West Street) is under the jurisdiction of the State DOT.
He suggested “immediately developing plans for implementation between Chambers Street and 57th Street (Phase I) and developing plans north of 57th Street shortly thereafter (Phase II). Additionally, the City should study how best to connect the Hudson River Greenway to the Brooklyn Bridge so that inter-borough travel is safe and convenient.” The bike lane that begins at Battery Park and runs along the West Side is part of the Hudson River Greenway, which, in turn is part of the 750-mile long Empire State Trail.
A rendering of the bike plan proposed for West Street by Borough President Mark Levine.
Mr. Levine noted that “in recent years, congestion on the Greenway, both between cyclists but also between cyclists and pedestrians, has worsened significantly. Cycling has grown in popularity, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Compounding this issue is an additional increase in electric bicycles use. While recent state legislation banned electric bicycles from the Hudson River Greenway, enforcement is challenging and regulations are confusing for cyclists simply trying to get around.”
He added, “installing a protected bike lane on Route 9A would solve both issues by easing congestion on the current path while creating a legal space for cyclists using electric bicycles, many of whom are immigrant, delivery workers who should not be ticketed for trying to work and travel.”
Lower Manhattan City Council Member Christopher Marte supports the plan, as do advocacy groups such as StreetsPAC and Bike New York.
This plan would reprise the approach pioneered by the administration of former Mayor Bill de Blasio, who closed a lane of the Brooklyn Bridge to traffic and set it aside for cyclists. This initiative has proved enormously popular.
As with the Brooklyn Bridge plan, Mr. Levine’s vision for West Street calls for a green-surfaced path, physically partitioned from vehicular traffic by barriers such as planters, a raised pavement, and curbs.
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Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am-3pm (compost program: Saturdays, 8am-1pm)
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall St
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8am-5pm (compost program: 8am-11am)
World Trade Center Oculus Greenmarket
The Outdoor Fulton Stall Market
91 South Street, between Fulton & John Streets
Indoor market: Monday through Saturday,11:30am-5pm
CSA pick-up: Thursday, 4pm-6pm; Friday, 11:30-5pm
Outdoor market: Saturdays, 11:30am-5pm
Today in History
This is the pedal boat Moksha, seen on the River Thames in London. Inside, Jason Lewis is pedaling. On this day in 2007, he completed the first human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth, partly in this boat. Photo via Wikipedia.
1539 – Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto and his army enter the Apalachee capital of Anhaica (present-day Tallahassee, Florida) by force.
1600 – Jacopo Peri’s Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, receives its première performance in Florence.
1723 – Benjamin Franklin arrives in Philadelphia at the age of 17.
1889 – Thomas Edison shows his first motion picture.
1927 – Opening of The Jazz Singer, the first prominent “talkie” movie.
1952 – Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap opens in London. After closing for one year during the Covid pandemic, The Mousetrap resumed performances in 2021 and continues to this day.
1981 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is murdered by Islamic extremists.
2007 – Jason Lewis completes the first human-powered (no motors or sails) circumnavigation of the globe—by bicycle, by wooden pedal boat and kayak, and by roller-blading and hiking. It took him 13 years. Read this ESPN interview.
2010 – Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launch Instagram
1744 – James McGill, Scottish-Canadian businessman and philanthropist, founded McGill University (d. 1813)
1820 – Jenny Lind, Swedish soprano and actress (d. 1887)
1887 – Le Corbusier, architect and painter (d. 1965)
1914 – Thor Heyerdahl, ethnographer and explorer (d. 2002)
1973 – Rebecca Lobo, WNBA basketball center
836 – Nicetas the Patrician, Byzantine general, monk, and saint (b. 761)
1892 – Alfred, Lord Tennyson, poet (b. 1809)
1989 – Bette Davis, actress and singer (b. 1908)
2020 – Eddie Van Halen, rock guitarist, dies of throat cancer at 65
2020 – Johnny Nash, pop-reggae-soul singer-songwriter, dies at 80