The city’s Department of Transportation has unveiled plans to install protected crosstown bike lanes in Midtown Manhattan that would be the first protected bike paths to extend nearly the entire stretch between the East River and the Hudson River, reports the New York Times.
The first set of new lanes will each run roughly 1.8 miles with one going east on 26th Street and the second going west on 29th Street. The city is also looking to potentially add an eastbound lane on 52nd Street as well as a westbound lane on 55th Street. Each one of the protected bike lanes will be centered between a sidewalk curb on one side and a row of parked cars on the other, guarding cyclists from oncoming traffic.
“We clearly feel an urgency on the safety, but we’ve been working on this for several years,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We’ve long known this is a key part of the cycling network to build out in Manhattan.”
Last year, there were 23 cyclists killed in traffic crashes across the city, prompting officials to make an even stronger push for safer conditions for cyclists. The DOT added 25 miles of new protected bike lanes in 2017 and will continue to add more as part of a pledge to add 50 miles of new bike lanes annually.
The bikes lanes on 26th and 29th streets will each cost just under $500,000 to redesign the streets are expected to be complete by the end of the year.