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Community Board Approves Plan To Build Bike Lanes On Amsterdam Avenue

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Two major Manhattan avenues are getting bike lanes.

After three hours of public comments and discussion Tuesday night, a NYC community board approved a series of street safety proposals, including the addition of bike lanes on Amsterdam Avenue.

The design, unveiled by the city's Department of Transportation in November 2015, would take away one of the four traffic lanes on Amsterdam Avenue to create a dedicated bike lane and other new features, like loading zones.

The bike lane will run northbound on Amsterdam Avenue from West 72nd Street to West 110th Street. A southbound bike lane is already in place along partnering Columbus Avenue.

The final vote was 28 in favor and 13 against, with two abstaining, CBS2's Valerie Castro reported.

Local residents and businesses owners previously spoke out against proposed bike lanes on the busy avenue, citing concerns over limited parking space in lieu of the lanes, which could be bad for business.

"I have an inhaler, I can't breathe, if you think that I'm going to ride a bicycle on Amsterdam Avenue you're nuts" Joe Bolanos, a resident, said. "It's all commercial trucks and buses."

Those in support of the proposal said it's a necessary safety improvement after several pedestrian deaths, including one several weeks ago on 96th and Amsterdam.

"I can't believe we're talking about parking spaces versus people's lives," another man in support of the changes said. "I would not be willing to believe that someone chose a parking space over my son."

The DOT hopes to start implementing the changes this spring.

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