Best bike route through midtown manhattan?
May 20, 2010 2:49 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to get across midtown Manhattan by bicycle? Looking at bike maps of the city, it seems there's no bike lanes going East-West between the lower 20s and wayy up in 90th St (on the east side) and 77th St (on the west side) Assuming I want to get across town by travelling in the 50s (or reasonably close to that), which street(s) should I take for the safest, least traffic-rife ride?
posted by Greg Nog to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are you talking about during the week or the weekend? Traffic varies significantly. The 50s is midtown Manhattan, which has some of the densest traffic anywhere on the island of Manhattan.

So, there's no real ideal street here.

One road you definitely shouldn't take is 59th St/Central Park South, as that is larded with cars, tourists, and horses.
posted by dfriedman at 2:58 PM on May 20, 2010

Response by poster: Either the week or the weekend (or both!) would be fine. I work on the Upper East Side, and have friends in Hell's Kitchen, so basically my problem is figuring out a way to bike over to their places after work without either having to deal with a million cars or a huge detour. I'm aware that the area pretty much just sucks, bike-wise, but what I'm hoping for is that someone'll be like, "Well, 53rd sucks a BIT less until you hit 5th ave, then you should switch to 51st and that's a little better" -- just a general route that's less sucky than the others.
posted by Greg Nog at 3:02 PM on May 20, 2010

There aren't any great options, but 49th westbound and 48th eastbound both go through Rockefeller Center, so they may have less crosstown vehicular traffic. You're also well above the crush of 42nd/Grand Central.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 3:03 PM on May 20, 2010

If you're on the UES, why not cross the park? You might even save time taking a diagonal instead of having to go down and then across.
posted by dantekgeek at 3:47 PM on May 20, 2010

Best answer: There's a good crossing of the park just below the boathouse, I think at 72. I would take 72 all the way to the Hudson, then hop on the bike path that runs along the river down to wherever you are going
posted by rakish_yet_centered at 4:17 PM on May 20, 2010

Through the park is the way to go. The 72nd street transverse is the way to do it.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:24 PM on May 20, 2010

Response by poster: The East Side was still rather busy, but 72nd Street on the West Side was actually quite clear at rush-hour. And of course, the park was lovely!
posted by Greg Nog at 11:57 AM on June 16, 2010

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