New Yorkers created a human bike lane along Fifth Avenue in Midtown on Tuesday night, demanding that the city add protective bike infrastructure to the corridor. The leggy pathway for cyclists, pedicabs and at least one Nuts4Nuts cart lasted for about ten minutes, and amounted to a powerful rush-hour visual (with some extra protection from a strategically-placed cop car):

A new proposal to overhaul bus lanes between 60th Street and 34th Street with dedicated bus lanes is absent any protection for cyclists, to the chagrin of all three Midtown community boards, Borough President Gale Brewer, and a slew of local City Council members and State legislators.

DOT recently completed a protected bike lane on a southern stretch of Fifth Avenue between 23rd Street and 8th Street. But Transportation Alternatives, which organized Tuesday's action, argues that Midtown is still a terrifying maze for the cyclists who frequent it.

"It's a big mess," said Paolo Grassi, 56, a lawyer who commutes to Midtown by bike.

"The buses are very erratic the way they drive. They own the road," he added. "The speed is what really takes the cake. It's a close call every time you ride... You don't have time to look for the potholes because you are trying to figure out what the cabs are going to do."

In an October 10th letter to the city's major transit groups—including Transportation Alternatives, the Riders Alliance and the Straphangers Campaign—MTA Commissioner Polly Trottenberg argued that the current plan for Fifth Avenue is in line with a major advocate priority to "expeditiously create more 'bus only' lanes," and will benefit low-income New Yorkers.

According to Trottenberg, the city is planning to study the possibility of a protected bike lane on Fifth Avenue, but "since that analysis is still some months away from completion, we did not want to postpone what we see as a reasonably straightforward improvement for buses that will benefit thousands of riders from all corners of the city."

"Many of those riders commute from low-income neighborhoods with few transit options and, as a result, face long travel times," she added. "I am sure you would all agree that that population is the most in need of improve commuting options."

Luis Cruc, 36, works as a cook in Midtown and commutes by bike from Corona, Queens. He said that bike commuting from the outer boroughs is his preferred mode.

"I ride every day from Queens to here," he said. "Every day I ride my bicycle because the 7 train is too bad."

"The Department is actively evaluating potential bicycle facilities throughout Midtown, including 5th Avenue, and we look forward to begin sharing specific proposals with the community later this fall and winter," a DOT spokesperson added.

But advocates say they don't want to wait any longer.

"There is no reason not to include safe infrastructure on all of our streets, especially big arterial streets that are already being redesigned," said Transportation Alternatives Director Paul Steely White.