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Hundreds of parking spots to be eliminated to make room for protected bike lane along Central Park West

Posted: 6:23 PM, Jun 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-13 18:23:34-04

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — Hundreds of parking spots may soon be eliminated along the park side of Central Park West from 59th to 110th Street to make way for a delineated or bollard- protected northbound bike lane.

Bicyclist Susan Berger has no sympathy for drivers losing 400 parking spots.

“No, nada, zippo,” she said.

It’s a big win for bicyclists and a big loss for drivers. Driver Genevieve Stewart considers it a hardship; she can’t take subways for health reasons, so she drives to an Upper West Side Y to exercise.

“I might have to go to a parking garage if meters are full,” Stewart said.

A 23-year-old bicyclist from Australia was fatally hit by a truck as she served to avoid hitting a taxi near the park last August. The head of Community Board 7 said that after the woman's death, they had no choice but to look for the safest way to bicycle north along the edge of the park. That meant using bollards.

“We had a young woman killed in the prime of her life," Roberta Semer, chair of Community Board 7, told PIX11 News while explaining the need for protected bikes lanes. “We’ve also had serious injuries."

Originally, the community board wanted two-way protected bike lanes to replace the current way, just separating bicyclists with a painted lane. But the NYC Transportation Department said that wasn’t possible while maintaining four lanes for vehicular traffic.

The full Community Board 7 votes on July 2. And if approved, the bollard-protected bike lane could be installed by late summer or early fall.