DOT Starts Construction of Protected Bike Lane and Other Safety Improvements Along Tenth Ave in Hell’s Kitchen

Diagram of improvements to Tenth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen. Top shows the current layout, bottom reflects the changes to lanes including a protected bike lane. Image Credit: DOT.

On August 23, 2023, the Department of Transportation announced the start of construction on the first phase in redesigning Tenth Avenue to implement various pedestrian and cyclist safety measures. The safety improvements will be implemented along Tenth Avenue between West 38th and West 52nd Street. 

As part of the project, a ten foot wide protected bicycle lane will be installed northbound on Tenth Avenue. There will be a three-foot buffered space between the bike lane and the parked cars lane. Additional improvements will include eight concrete pedestrian islands, and ten new bicycle corrals. 

Redesigned intersections will further improve pedestrian safety. The proximity to the Lincoln Tunnel increases turn volumes for cars at West 41st and West 42nd Street; the agency will install left turn lanes with signal timing to reduce the conflicts between pedestrians, motorists and cyclists. By giving pedestrians a head-start in crossing the street – called Leading Pedestrian Intervals – the number of pedestrian deaths and serious injuries has been shown to decrease by 34.3 percent. There will also be “do not walk” and red bicycle signals to indicate when it is time for motorists to turn. 

Protected intersections, or “offset” crossings, will be installed at West 39th, West 43, West 45th, West 47th and West 49th Streets. The intersections will have painted pedestrian space to improve visibility and naturally slow driver turns. 

In 2023, the agency expects to implement the second phase of the project from West 14th Street to West 38th Street. 

DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez stated, “We are reimagining Tenth Avenue for a safer, more sustainable future. This project will deliver much-needed safety upgrades to the Hell’s Kitchen corridor and help support more efficient transportation options. More people are cycling than ever before and by designing wider bike lanes we can keep encouraging this growth while providing more comfortable riding experiences. We thank Council Member Bottcher, other local elected officials, and community representatives for their strong support – and look forward to future upgrades to other parts of this vibrant neighborhood.”

Council Member Eric Bottcher stated, “This redesign is going to transform Tenth Avenue from a four-lane highway to a people-centered corridor that is safer and more pleasant for our residents. The thousands of people who walk or bike on Tenth Avenue every day deserve the same protections that other avenues have. This redesign is how we give these people those protections. I want to applaud the DOT and [Manhattan Community Board 4] for their tireless efforts on this. Streets should be designed with safety and the human experience in mind. New Yorkers deserve nothing less.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the Editor of CityLand and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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