A win for bikes, cars and feet

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The city says it will pull off a rare win-win-win for all the various users of Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights.

The Department of Transportation says cyclists will love the new bike lanes, while pedestrians will enjoy a landscaped median on some blocks between Dean Street and Eastern Parkway.

And drivers, say Transportation officials, are still enjoying last year’s changes to the wide avenue that created turning lanes and wider separations between opposing directions.

So now, the transportation agency is getting raves.

“I’m all for it,” said Rob Witherwax, a member of Community Board 8. “Anything that makes roads safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists is a good thing.”

Local merchants also support the plan — though only after the city agreed to omit the planted median between Park and Prospect places to accommodate delivery trucks that double-park outside the Met Food on that block.

“Bike lanes and medians — we can live with that,” said Steve Commender, owner of the Forest Floor and head of the Vanderbilt Avenue Merchants Association. “We’re pretty happy they’re going to beautify the street.”

The city has begun repaving Vanderbilt Avenue and will construct the islands this summer. The Park Department will begin landscape work on the medians in the fall.

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