A picture I shot while cruising New York’s innovative bike lane.
Over the weekend I rode down to Chelsea to check out New York City’s newest experiment in sustainable transport: the separated bike lane. At less than 10 blocks (Manhattan itself is around 250 blocks from north to south), the new lane certainly seems experimental in size – I think I zipped down it in about 4 seconds. But those responsible for building the lane deserve credit; it was a beautifully spent, luxurious 4 seconds – as far as urban cycling goes. No potholes, car doors, wayward drivers or anything else of obvious threat to a cyclist’s life.
New York’s other segregated bike lane, the Hudson River Greenway.
I actually got down to Chelsea via another New York City bike lane – separated as well – called the Hudson River Greenway, which runs along the river parallel to the West Side Highway. But while both lanes are similar in concept, they are built to serve different needs. Chelsea’s new bike lane was fun to ride down, but it’s not really designed for recreation in the way the Greenway is. It’s built into the city, next to houses and shops, so it becomes intertwined with day-to-day activities. And if the city gets serious about scaling it up, the arguments for doing so might have less to do with expanding recreational options than exploring transport alternatives.
See what the New York Times has to say about it here.
Also check out the StreetsBlog for more about what New York City is doing to make its streets people-friendly.