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Let There Be Bicycles: Cross-Town Lanes Coming To Midtown Soon

City Hall's Fascination With 2 Wheels To Continue In Most Congested Area
Midtown bike lanes

Bicycle lanes are coming to eight Midtown Manhattan streets this summer. (Photo: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – You’ve probably done it, and you probably dread it.

Going cross-town through Midtown Manhattan almost always means sitting in traffic. However, the city now has a plan to speed things up — as long as you are on a bicycle, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported Friday.

It’s been called a “nightmare” by cabbies, getting from one side of Midtown to the other. Many suggest simply hoofing it, but we all know that’s usually not an option. It’s also not that easy by bike, which Aiello found out the last time he tried to pedal across town. Other drivers seem to think they can get where they need to go quickly, when in reality there’s often nowhere to go.

But now the Department of Transportation is giving a boost to cross-town cycling by designating bike lanes on eight streets through Midtown — from 39th Street to 54th Street between Eighth Avenue and First Avenue.

“I think it just makes it easier for bikers to co-exist with trucks and cars and the other traffic on the street,” said Wally Rubin, the Director of Community Board 5.

The cross-town bike lanes will arrive at the same time as the new bike-share program, which will put thousands of two-wheelers at docking stations throughout Midtown.

“This is for short-distance travel. Where maybe walking there would feel too long, you can get right on the bike, get there, it’s done,” Rubin said.

Rubin said he’s heard no complaints about the new bike lanes, but lots of worries about the bike-share docking stations clogging streets and sidewalks.

* 45th and Eighth will get one big enough to hold 51 bikes.

* 49th and Fifth will make room for 35 bikes.

New Yorkers seem to be on the fence about the whole thing.

“I think it’s great,” one person said.

“I’m very skeptical. Anything that Bloomberg does is kind of on my radar, you know?” another person said.

“I think there’s always concern until something is tried,” Rubin added.

This next phase of the bike boom is coming this summer.

The city said the cross-town bike lanes will be engineered so there is no loss of vehicle travel lanes or parking.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …