Close West Side Highway lane to create bike path, official says

A proposal by Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine would close one lane of vehicular traffic on the West Side Highway to permanently create a two-way protected bike lane that would stretch from 57th Street down to Chambers Street.

Some drivers told FOX 5 NY that the idea is "crazy" and would make Manhattan traffic worse. 

Levine sent a letter to the state Department of Transportation requesting approval for the plan. The West Side Highway is a state roadway so the state DOT would need to OK any plan.

"The State Department of Transportation is in receipt of the letter and reviewing it," the agency told FOX 5 NY.  

Again, some drivers are against the idea.

"I'm a cyclist and I love my bike and I think that's a dumb idea," one said.

Danny Harris is the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, which supports more bike lanes as a way to  help alleviate traffic in the city.

"Right now in New York City, 76% of our public space is devoted to the movement and storage of vehicles," Harris said.

The second phase of the borough president's proposal would extend the bike lane on the highway above 57th Street.

Bike New York's Jon Orcutt said the West Side bike path along the Hudson River is overflowing with cyclists. He believes closing one lane of the West Side Highway to motorists could help out.

"Especially on the West Side where it's so crowded with bikes, there's room for a fast lane where we can have e-bikes and faster riders," Orcutt said.

City Hall said the mayor is reviewing the proposal.