'Lil dicey on the upper east side...question for the NYC-ers in the hizzouse...
(Note: Duplicate post in the "Commuting" forums...I just dont know where to post these things sometimes!)
Any NY-ers commute through the upper east side? I currently bike from Brooklyn to either Grand Central or 57th and 1st, depending on the day (usually via the Manhattan Bridge and 1st Avenue), but today I met a friend at the Met on 84th and 5th Avenue and I must say, me no likey....
I had a rough time after 60th...usually I have few problems just taking 1st Avenue to where I need to go, but according to the bike map, I would lose the bike lane around 60th and should go one block east to York (Sutton?) to pick it up again...I tried that, but encountered a VERY messy commute...it was a harrowing 12-15 blocks full of traffic, emergency vehicles (hospital up at around 70-something?), trucks and vans pulling over, construction, etc, before I decided to just head back to 1st Avenue and try my luck there again...
Question, does anyone out there have any experience going up the east side any farther than midtown? I hope to eventually bike to the Metro North station at 125th and Park, but if it's going to be dodgy from 60th all the way up, maybe I should just head up the West Side Highway and then go all the way across town (I just very much dislike the crosstown sections...the roads arent as nice, it takes forever...). Drivers seem to be much more accustomed and open to bikers on the west side of the city...thoughts?
In the not-too-distant-future the First Avenue Bike lane may be extended to 125th.
In the meantime, I find the West Side Greenway takes me about a third as long to get from the Village to Harlem as it takes me on the East Side. It might well be worth the extra distance to take the greenway and then cut across town using either Central Park, or one of the side streets near 125th.
I live in the 90s off of first avenue and commute often to and from penn station. Going north, I usually cut through central park to the 90th street exit and then head east on the 90th street bike lane. Heading south I just take 2nd avenue and say a prayer.
To go southbound from UES, I take Park Ave., which is pretty good (2nd ave. has subway construction). Occasionally I also take 5th ave., but it gets chaotic near 59th st. (crowde cars and crowded pedestrians crossing the street), so I often turn to Park Ave from the 5th at 59th st. and continue south. 5th Ave. also has a lot of big buses. Going northbound to UES from downtown or midtown, I take 1st ave., but turn to Park Ave. a few blocks before the 59th crazy jam scene (I remember 55th or 56th st. was a very bumpy unpaved street, so now I turn a couple blocks earlier than that).
In general I find I like Park ave in both directions, except for a few slopes up, because even if you have a better 1-way ave. with bike lane, you would still have to switch to another ave. at some point to avoid traffic chaos. Park ave. is more "stable", seems to me.
I think I like Stacy's West Side Highway idea...I'm going to give that a shot. I know that in order to get more comfortable with riding in NY in all situations, traffic included, I should just expose myself to it more, but last week a cab driver passed me soooooooo close and soooooo fast and it startled me...
I think I might give that a shot today...Little nervous, but excited! I usually take the Metro North up to Riverdale, then the subway back home and there's a very short route from where I work to the 1 train, but I see ZERO bikers in the Bronx and I fear that they dont know so much how to handle bikers up there....cross your fingers!
Thanks for the input, guys! Much appreciated!
Last edited by chanamagoo; 08-22-11 at 08:36 AM.