A controversial proposed bike lane for Central Park West cleared its final hurdle Tuesday night — paving the way for the cycling path to replace 400 parking spaces.
Manhattan Community Board 7 approved the city’s plan for a northbound protected bike lane by a vote of 27-7, with four abstentions during a meeting Tuesday night.
The park-adjacent boulevard’s current bike lane puts cyclists in the direct line of car doors like the one that flung Aussie Madison Jane Lyden into the way of traffic last August.
“I can see where she was killed from my apartment,” the board’s Transportation Committee Co-Chair Howard Yaruss told the Post in June. “I was sad, but not surprised. I see potential accidents all the time.”
City transportation officials’ redesign eliminates all 400 parking spots along the park-side curb, replacing them with a 6-foot curbside bike lane and 7-foot buffer.
“My life is more important than my parking spot,” said Yaruss, a driver. “My neighbors’ children’s lives are also more important to me than my parking spots. I’d like to meet someone who disagrees.”
The board rejected a proposal to postpone the bike lane for six months to let the Department of Transportation study the plan.
Installation will begin in the fall, according to the Department of Transportation.
More than 1,500 people pedal along on Central Park West each day — many bound for the park, which gets nearly 40 million visitors each year.
With CB 7’s vote, Central Park West joins the growing number of park-adjacent strips with protected bike lanes.
City data shows that protected bike lanes reduce fatalities and injuries for everyone – not just cyclists, but pedestrians and drivers as well.
The project has the support of City Council Member Helen Rosenthal and the local police precinct.
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