Uptown Bike Network Gets Safer With New Buffered Path in Harlem
Perspectives on the proposal tended to hinge on this question: Are bike lanes scarcer uptown because Harlemites prefer it that way, or is the area overdue for some critical safety improvements?
Oye Carr, owner of Mod Squad Cycles on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, spoke in favor of the new lane. "Folks don't want to feel like people from outside the community are dictating what goes on in the community," he told Streetsblog. "But this impetus for bike lanes isn't just coming from outside of Harlem."
While some speakers associated the lane with re-zoning and development that they view as symptoms of City Hall's heavy-handedness, others welcomed the added safety and called on DOT to go further. Gwen Kash of Community Pride -- a program of the non-profit Harlem Children's Zone -- asked DOT to couple the bike improvements with pedestrian safety measures like LPIs and longer crossing times. (In January, CB10 passed a resolution calling for such improvements at dangerous intersections throughout the district.)
Carr, who opened his shop last November and says sales have been good so far, hopes his testimony helps people see the bike lane as a family-oriented amenity and a boon for locally-owned business. "The parents who come to my shop are concerned about the traffic," he said, noting that it's common to see kids biking in Morningside Park, but rare to see them riding in the street. "We're talking about being able to take their 8-year-old and ride with them. The idea that I could see Harlem on a safe and dedicated area is great."