Melissa Stands in Support of Protected Bike Lanes in El Barrio/East Harlem

Melissa stood with cyclists and elected officials yesterday in support of extending protected bike lanes on 1st and 2nd Avenues beyond 34th Street, where they currently end.  While El Barrio/East Harlem has seen the addition of bike lanes, they are not designed to provide the maximum protection for bikers, pedestrians and motorists as they are below 34th Street.

Melissa holds hundreds of petitions from residents who want bike lanes to run on 1st and 2nd Avenues all the way to 125th Street (Photo by Evie Przybyla).

The Bloomberg administration has spearheaded the transformation of many New York City streets to accommodate bike lanes.  However, the redesign of 1st and 2nd Avenues below 34th Street allows cyclists to ride between the sidewalk and a line of parked cars, providing greater safety for bikers and drivers, while also including pedestrian islands that help those trying to cross the street.  None of these additional protections have been included in El Barrio/East Harlem.

“We’re talking about equity for our neighborhood,” said City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents East Harlem, where biking options are limited despite rising interest in cycling. “Why should Midtown get the benefit?” (from New York Times City Room article).

See below for some coverage from yesterday’s rally:

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