For years, the city maintained signage like this on each block of First and Second Avenues between 55th and 38th Streets. The signs helped cyclists find their way and maximize their visibility to motorists while navigating the Midtown East "Greenway Gap"--the mile-long stretch where there is no esplanade or other bike route east of the FDR. The route has long appeared on the official New York City Cycling Map as a "Class 3-On Street Signed Route." But now almost all the signs have been removed. Here's the story why.
Advocates have long sought to improve conditions for cyclists in this Gap zone. When the city announced a plan to establish a Select Bus Service (SBS) corridor along First and Second Avenues, a campaign was begun to include a bike route as part of the street redesign. DoT ultimately announced in early 2010 that it would include a bike route, primarily using a parking-protected design, along the left hand side of First and Second Avenues all the way to 125th Street, to match the right-had SBS bus lanes. But then in June 2010, the plan changed and the project was cut short at 34th Street. Most of the story is here, with an update explaining that DoT is now in the midst of reaching a decision on whether to extend in 2011 here.
But here's the problem: when DoT installed the SBS lanes on the right hand side of First and Second Avenues in the Greenway Gap zone, it removed the Greenway wayfinding and "Bike route" signs. Nothing has been done to replace the signage on either side of these avenues. All that's left is this sign for eastbound bike traffic on 38th Street at Second Avenue.
As a result, cyclists have not only failed to receive the improvements in the Gap zone promised by the original SBS/bikeway project, but things are actually worse than before. Is this the new status quo? East Side cyclists deserve better. Complete the bikeway all the way to 125th Street!