Protected bike lanes have proven to be one of the most efficient street designs to prevent bicycle accidents in New York City. Yesterday the Department Of Transportation (DOT) announced that it was planning to add such a bike lane on 7th Avenue from 30th Street to Charlotte Street, in downtown Manhattan. The project was partially presented last night to the Community Board 4.
Despite having several safer options to ride safely North or South in Chelsea and in the West Village, a significant number of bicyclists are still riding on 7th Avenue. In a 14-hour period, the DOT counted 2,350 people biking at the intersection of 20th street and 7th Avenue. The traffic is usually fluid on the downtown segment of the avenue and speeding is common, increasing the risk of serious or fatal crashes.
If the project is accepted, the number of traffic lanes will be reduced from 4 to 3 and a protected bike lane will be added. The DOT believes that the project will reduce speeding and increase bicyclists safety. Pedestrian safety will be improved as well as crossing distances being shortened.