The Manhattan Community Board 12 transportation committee was recently asked to vote on the creation of new bike lanes that will run down St. Nicholas Avenue, and they gave the proposal a vote of support. The Washington Heights area has already seen the creation of new bikes lanes out by the High Bridge, and the lanes in the proposal would link the two areas together.
The lanes would run between 193rd Street and 169th Street, going for just a bit more than a mile.
At this time, that road has two car lanes running both ways. In order to make the bike lanes, the car lanes would be dropped down to just one. Pedestrian islands may also be put in. Because of these changes in other areas, some residents have opposed the creation of bike lanes, so this vote of support is huge for the idea.
It’s also a big deal because of the accident rate in the area. This particular stretch is in the top third of dangerous streets in Manhattan, according to the Department of Transportation. When looking at stats running from 2009 to 2013, there were 404 injuries, of which 25 were said to be severe. Eighteen of these were to pedestrians and two were to cyclists. The implementation of pedestrian islands and bike lanes could lower these numbers.
Of course, all of these changes cannot prevent all accidents or ensure that people using the roads are going to be safe at all times. Those who are injured in accidents, with or without bike lanes and islands, should know what rights they have to compensation in New York.
Source: StreetsBlog NYC, “CB 12 Committee Backs Road Diet, Bike Lanes on St. Nicholas Ave,” Stephen Miller, Sep. 11, 2015