There are a couple of protected lanes that take up a full lane of traffic or more, including 1st Avenue going north and Broadway going south. These lanes are on the left of the road, next to the curb or pedestrian area, with a 2 foot space to the right, then parked cars. The space limits the chance of getting hit by a driver's door.
Broadway has an amazing bike lane/ pedestrian cafe zone that separates it from the traffic. We rode it at dusk from Central Park to 19th St. We had gelato at Grom just at Columbus Circle, then rode along until we walked through Times Square. The daylight disappeared and the advertising lights came up. It got late as we dawdled on our bikes and looked around. Near Madison Square Park after nine we came upon Eataly, a giant Italian food emporium that had more gelato and everything delicious you can imagine. Breads, cheeses, pastries, coffees, little cured fishes, charred crusty pizzas... It was emptyish on the Sunday night we were there and we had a heavenly time looking, munching delicious pastries and having a little evening coffee. As we crossed by Madison Square Park there were twinkly lights in the trees sparkling over friends visiting in chairs strewn around the park.
|5th Ave lane isn't protected|
|Looking back, the 5th Ave bike lane isn't for kids or safety addicts|
Our kids could manage riding the protected lanes without any problems, I think. The crosstown streets in midtown, Soho and Greenwich Village that we took were pretty calm as well but I wouldn't take the kids on their own bikes on them since the traffic is too unpredictable. Broadway is great except for the several blocks around Times Square where it's like
|Times Square slows you down but it's fun for a visit.|