Being a cyclist in Manhattan is challenging and dangerous.
Thousands of tourists, motor vehicles, buses, and pedestrians force their way through crowded streets at all hours of the day and night. For years, cyclists have felt that they are at an increased risk of injury due to the lack of bike lanes in many parts of the city.
However, the Big Apple has recently outlined its plan to extend a bike lane on Seventh Avenue from Chelsea to Greenwich Village. This part of the city is especially congested for cyclists.
The bike lane will extend from W 26th Street to W 14th Street. The plans were presented to Manhattan’s Community Board 4 in a recent meeting.
Both local residents and community leaders have begged for Seventh Avenue to be updated to improve its safety. New York City’s transportation department named Seventh Avenue a “priority corridor” for Vision Zero, the mayor’s goal to lower traffic deaths to zero by the year 2024. In a four-year period, from 2011 to 2015, 38 individuals were severely injured and one individual died on Seventh Avenue between Greenwich Village and Chelsea.
New York officials studied traffic on Seventh Avenue last July. In a 14-hour observation, officials recorded approximately 2,350 cyclists traveling toward W 20th Street.
Once implemented, Seventh Avenue will have close to 24 additional blocks of protected bike paths. One of the street’s four car lanes will be eliminated.
According to the plans, the transportation department will introduce split-phase signals. These lights provide pedestrians a certain length of time to cross a street. Split-phase signals will be installed at 14th and 23rd Streets, as well as at mixing zones in other locations. Mixing zones are where bike lanes merge with vehicle left turn lanes. Cycling activists have expressed frustration at the implementation of mixing zones. In April of 2017, Kelly Hurley was traveling by bicycle when a delivery truck made an illegal left turn. The truck crossed several lanes of traffic and slammed into Hurley, who was killed. Although cyclists are supposed to have the right of way in mixing zones, these areas present serious hazards.
Eventually, the transportation committee hopes to extend the bike lane further to address the issue of rising cyclist deaths in the city.
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Bicycle injuries can be permanent, life altering, or even deadly. At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, our personal injury attorneys are equipped with the experience necessary to help injured cyclists obtain the compensation they deserve. New York limits the amount of time a cyclist has to file a claim after an accident. Speaking with an attorney immediately is essential to protect one’s legal rights and maximize recovery the cyclist may be entitled to.
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