Fifth Avenue Will Get a New Buffered Bike Lane

The Department of Transportation announced the installation of a buffered bike lane on Fifth Avenue in this month's NYCycles, a monthly e-newsletter produced by DOT on cycling issues.

In this photo taken yesterday, it is not clear where DOT plans to fit the buffered zone. The apparently temporary lines that were painted on a newly paved 5th Avenue beginning at 23rd Street lie exactly where the old bike lane used to be, however all street markings disappeared after a few blocks and nothing but bare asphalt reaches all the way to Washington Square Park. We'll keep an eye on the street:

In the late 1970s, when cycling was still mostly for the few and the brave, the DOT installed a bike lane on 5th Avenue. This lane was designed in accordance with the standards of the time, and the four-feet of space it afforded cyclists was a big step forward for cyclists. In fact, at the time New York was ahead of most cities in providing dedicated street space for cyclists.

Today though, with cycling booming in New York City, cyclists deserve better.  The DOT Bicycle Program and Geometric Design Office have redesigned the bike lane on 5th Avenue between 23rd Street and Washington Square North with a five-foot wide lane and buffer. New York City is again on the leading edge in installing these buffers, which provide cyclists with additional room to maneuver and a little extra room to breathe between parked cars and moving traffic.

The construction is being completed now, as part of a planned street resurfacing project, saving taxpayers money, by incorporating this work into a pre-existing project. The lane miles striped will be in addition to the planned expansion of the bicycle network.