Eyes on the Street: Protected Bike Lane Sighting on the Upper East Side

When the First Avenue project is complete, car owners will park on the right side of that thermoplast buffer, and cyclists will ride on the left. Photo: Liz Patek

Reader Liz Patek sends these shots of the new road markings on First Avenue in the 60s. The protected bike lane that Manhattan Community Board 8 approved last summer is going in.

Until now there was no bike infrastructure at all on First Avenue between 60th Street and 72nd Street. Filling that gap is DOT’s top construction priority as the agency builds out plans for protected bike lanes and pedestrian refuges on First and Second Avenue up to 125th Street. Farther uptown, work on the East Harlem bike lanes will begin on Second Avenue between 100th and 125th Street. Construction was originally supposed to start this spring — it’s not clear if that timetable still holds after the local community board waffled on the project before committing to it again.

This is one of those moments where you have to sit back and take stock. Five years ago, the idea of merely striping thermoplast on lightly-trafficked crosstown streets ran into a buzz-saw at Community Board 8. Now, after a lot of hard work by advocates, volunteers, city officials, and community board members, streets engineered for safety are coming to vital transportation corridors in a new part of town. Congrats to everyone involved.

Approaching a mixing zone-in-progress. Photo: Liz Patek