Construction starts on revamped Second Avenue bus, bike lanes

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Second Avenue’s existing curbside bus lane (seen here blocked by a parking scofflaw) will be upgraded to an offset lane.

Construction has begun on a project to revamp Second Avenue’s existing bus and bike lanes — some of the busiest lanes of their kind in the city.

The city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) project will widen the existing bike lane on Second Avenue between 59th and Houston streets from 6 feet to between 8 and 10 feet. Meanwhile, the bus lane will be moved from the curbside to an offset lane, with parking separating it from the curb.

Officials say these moves will protect cyclists and speed up commutes for riders on the M15 local and select bus lines, the busiest routes in the city with about 57,000 daily riders.

“We are putting people first on Manhattan’s avenues by improving bike, pedestrian, and bus infrastructure,” said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, “helping the vast majority of commuters on these corridors get where they’re going quicker and safer.”

Second Avenue’s heavily traveled bike lane will be widened (as seen here on Ninth Avenue) to accommodate more bike traffic.NYC DOT

The project is one of several slated for Manhattan’s Central Business District as the city prepares for the implementation of congestion pricing on June 30.

The existing section of the bike lane between 35th and 52nd Streets will be reconstructed to protect it from car traffic, and will also be widened. The bike lane upgrade will also include “layover” spaces for delivery workers on e-bikes.

As for the bus lane, DOT says the new offset bus lane will be in operation seven days a week, as distinguished from the current part-time lane which is decommissioned at off-peak hours for commercial loading and overnight parking.

Officials also contend the offset lane will result in fewer parked cars blocking people’s commutes.