A new bike lane is coming to Spring Street in the coming months, though not without the expected amount of controversy.

Community Board 2 voted in favor of a new lane at Thursday's meeting, following a presentation by DOT to the board's transportation committee earlier this month (PDF). There, plans were laid out to designate a bike lane between Washington and Bowery on Spring Street, which would then connect to an existing lane on Stanton.

While CB2 ultimately came down in favor of the resolution, the decision still ruffled plenty of feathers. Board members were concerned that a new lane would further snarl the area's already messy traffic situation, with one calling it “ridiculous and chaotic,” arguing that “those blocks are crazy, and to encourage bike riding is madness."

Similar concerns were also voiced at the DOT’s presentation on April 2nd, with over 40 community members in attendance. Cyclist Reed Rubey spoke in favor of a Spring Street bike lane but against the DOT’s current plans, telling Gothamist that he was very disappointed that a protected bike lane was not on the agenda, only "painted lines that do nothing to direct cars and trucks unless the driver is mindful, skilled and driving safely."

Sean Sweeney of the Soho Alliance agreed, calling it a “poor solution,” and pointing out that a sharrow, which will identify the lane on sections of the route between Wooster and Broadway and Lafayette to Bowery, is insufficient for the amount of traffic in the area. “That’s the trouble with DOT,” Sweeney told us. “They’re a bunch of engineers who don’t really relate well with ordinary citizens. They’re bullies with bulldozers.”

The new bike lane comes as part of Mayor de Blasio's Vision Zero plan. While the Mayor’s initiative has improved street design and led to record lows in pedestrian deaths, cyclist fatalities rose last year. Sweeney wonders if bike lanes could actually be part of the problem—by “lulling cyclists into the belief that it is safe,” could the DOT be inadvertently contributing to more accidents? (There is no data to back up this hypothesis.)

Thomas Devito of Transportation Alternatives disagreed with this premise. “Spring Street is already a very popular route for cyclists,” he said. “So putting infrastructure in will just organize the flow of traffic, and make it a more pleasant, predictable street.” Devito also explained that while the solution isn’t perfect, it is certainly “an improvement” to what was there before.

While Sweeny abstained from voting at Thursday’s meeting, the majority of the board welcomed the new bike lane. One member, “speaking as a car driver and a bike rider,” said: “It’s a wild west on that street. By creating a safety lane, it will actually create some organization to the street. I think it’s a great idea, and I think it’s long overdue.”