On June 11, the Transportation Committee of Community Board 7 met to hear a proposal by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in reaction to the death of a bicyclist last summer on Central Park West (CPW runs along the west side of Central Park from W. 59th Street to W. 110th Street). Members of the public were allowed a minute each to give instant feedback. Very well run but the room was woefully overfull, and some people could not attend at all.
A number of alternatives suggested to DOT were examined, but only one proposal was the least disruptive to traffic flow — and that’s limiting the current bike path to northbound only, but giving that lane greater protection. Southbound paths are only a block away to the east in Central Park and to the west on Columbus Avenue.
DOT intends to wipe out all vehicle parking on the park side of CPW — a total of 400 plus spaces — which will give it the opportunity to widen the bike lanes and provide protective barriers. The majority view was in favor of the proposal so long as those who had been parking in that lane could receive residential permits and not be disadvantaged compared to those who currently park on the west side of CPW. If the plan passes Community Board 7 and the New York City Council, the new arrangements could be completed by late summer.
What will be the most fun for anyone who’s not intimately involved with the issue is the slides for the PowerPoint presentation which are a true work of art in clarity and thoroughness.