NYC DOT plans revamp of Second Ave. bus and bike lanes

1 month ago 17

A new vision for Manhattan’s Second Ave. is on the drawing board, with a refreshed bus lane and more space for cyclists, according to a proposal made Monday by the city’s Transportation Department.

The East Side thoroughfare is home to one of the busiest on-street bike lanes in the city, as well as the city’s busiest bus route, the M15.

“Our proposed redesign of Second Avenue would make commutes faster and more reliable for 57,000 daily bus riders, better protect the increasing number of cyclists, and improve safety for all road users,” Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said in a statement.

NYCDOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. (Theodore Parisienne for New York Daily News)Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. (Theodore Parisienne for New York Daily News)

The city’s design — which would affect the avenue from E. 59th St. to Houston St.— is still not finalized, and was slated to be presented to Manhattan’s Community Board 6 on Monday evening.

But DOT officials told the Daily News that they hoped to move the Second Ave. bus lane away from the curb where it currently runs and bring it closer to the center of the street.

The so-called “offset” bus lane would allow the city to prioritize buses around the clock without having to compete with commercial vehicles loading or unloading curbside. Currently, the curbside bus lane is only in effect from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. during the morning and from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the afternoon.

NYC Transit President Rich Davey praised the plan.

“I applaud the DOT’s proposal on behalf of 57,000 daily riders on the M15, the busiest bus route in the city,” Davey said in a Monday statement.

“Along with traffic reduction from congestion pricing, shifting the bus lane away from the curb and making it active 24/7 will shorten wait times and bring faster service — our customers’ top requests for increased bus satisfaction,” he added. “It will work here, and anywhere else it may be proposed.”

The DOT’s proposal would also widen the Second Ave. bike lane from 6 feet to at least 8 feet — and up to 10 feet in some sections.

As in previous bike lane overhauls, DOT officials said the wider lanes should allow faster cyclists or e-bike riders to pass slower bike traffic without needing to veer into car traffic.

Pending community feedback, transportation officials said they hope to begin work on the project before the end of the year.

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