A DOT plan [pdf] to install a protected bike path on Eighth Avenue – similar to the one that’s already been implemented on Ninth Avenue from 14th to 23rd Street – has been rejected by Manhattan Community Board 4, which includes Chelsea. The proposal, which would not require the elimination of any traffic lanes while buffering cyclists from motorists, was previously approved by the board’s Transportation Planning Committee, as well as Community Board 2.
Chelsea Now reports that the committee “enthusiastically” presented the DOT proposal at Wednesday night’s meeting and recommended it for approval, but seemed unprepared “for the onslaught of opposition from the rest of the board.” Board member and long-time gay rights activist Allen Roskoff led the dissent:
I refer to Eighth Ave. between 14th and 23rd Streets as ‘Gay Boulevard.’ Large numbers of gay people go there… It’s where we feel at home… The atmosphere there—the restaurants, the activity, the people walking— it’s a home to many of us that no other avenue is. I don’t think these changes are for the positive in any way, shape or form.
The board voted against the change, but the DOT could still push the project through against the their wishes. Beyond painting the bike lane pink, it's unclear how the city would win over dissenters like Roskoff. [Via Streetsblog]