The New York City Department of Transportation is continuing to make NYC a better place for cyclists and pedestrians with their new project, “Complete Streets,” to redesign 37 blocks on Third Avenue for new bike and bus lanes. NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced that the agency will begin construction on Third Avenue next week.
Spanning from East 59th Street to 96th Street, Complete Streets will improve safety for the many delivery cyclists that populate the corridor between Midtown and the Upper East Side, in addition to faster and more dependable bus service for the 50,000 daily riders along the 1.9-mile stretch.
Bike improvements on Third Avenue
The current bike lane will be refined with wider segments. Such improvements will provide cyclists with an additional northbound route besides the protected lane on First Avenue when traveling on the East side of Manhattan. NYC DOT promises to monitor and reevaluate the designs to see if further adjustments need to be made as time goes on.
The new bike lane width will be nine feet with a three-foot buffer. Typical Manhattan bike lines are only six feet wide with a five-foot buffer.
Specifically between 64th and 66th streets and 80th to 82nd streets on Third Avenue, even wider, 11-foot bike lanes will be added so e-mobility riders can safely pass pedal cyclists. Additionally, eight intersections with signalized left turn lanes will feature 10-foot wide bike lanes. Two side-by-side stencils of bikes will be the marker for these new wide lane segments.
Bus improvements on Third Avenue
“Efficient buses are drivers of equity as dedicated bus lanes have proven to speed up commutes and get New Yorkers relying on public transit to their destination faster and safer,” said New York City Transit Department of Buses Senior Vice President Frank Annicaro.
More than 150 buses travel along Third Avenue during peak hours in the morning (8-9am). Complete Streets will add a 24/7 camera-enforced offset bus lane (lane adjacent to the parking lane), improving Third Avenue bus routes like M98, M101, M102, and M103. The new bus lane will provide connections to Q32, Q60, Q101, M66, M72, M79 SBS, M86 SBS, and M96 services.
Safety improvements for pedestrians on Third Avenue
New pedestrian islands will enhance visibility and speed up crossing times. Furthermore, “offset crossings” will be included at certain intersections and new left turn lanes with dedicated turn signals will be added. As a result, these efforts should slow driver turns and alleviate issues between cyclists, pedestrians and turning vehicles.
“This nearly two-mile project will make a busy stretch of Manhattan smoother and safer for bus riders, pedestrians, and cyclists, including many hard-working delivery workers,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
Find out even more details about the project here.