• November 12, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

$1.7B bike and bus lane plan moves on

Corey Johnson’s brainchild will see more space for public commuters

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Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 1:11 pm, Thu Nov 7, 2019.

A $1.7 billion plan to add hundreds of miles of bus and protected bike lanes in the city is moving forward after Mayor de Blasio supported City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s (D-Manhattan) measure.

The goals of the “Streets Master Plan” are to add 150 miles of dedicated bus lanes and 250 miles of protected bike lanes within five years. It would also give signal priority for public transit at nearly 5,000 intersections and create one million new square feet of space for pedestrians within two years.

The Department of Transportation would also have to release a street-safety plan every five years under the proposal.

All 11 of the 13 Transportation Committee members of the City Council were in favor of the measure, sending it to the full City Council on Wednesday.

The first plan will be due by December 2021, de Blasio’s final month in office. It is widely expected that Johnson will run for the office.

“Our administration will do all the ground work to get ready to ramp up to that much higher level and then, my successor will take it forward,” de Blasio said Monday on “Inside City Hall.”

Johnson spoke about the plan at a rally at City Hall on Tuesday.

“The piecemeal way we plan our streets has made no sense for far too long and New Yorkers have paid the price every day stuck on slow buses or as pedestrians or cyclists on dangerous streets,” he said.

Johnson added that the city will be a “much more livable and enjoyable place to call home.”

The city currently has 1,250 miles of bike lanes with nearly 40 percent of them protected.

Cycling activists have rallied for more bike lanes as 25 people have been killed riding bicycles in 2019 compared to 10 in 2018.

In July, Johnson told NY1 “it’s time to reclaim our streets for pedestrians and cyclists.”

He added, “Enough of putting cars number 1 and making cars the king of the road. You’re literally taking your life in your hands if you’re not biking in a protected bike lane.”

Not everyone is a fan of the plan.

Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) spoke of his objection to the plan in a statement emailed before the Council voted on Wednesday, saying his district has been looking for more public transit options and can’t vote in favor of any long-term plan without guarantees it will improve transit deserts in the area.

“The plan does not even explain how it will achieve its goals or where it will gather the projected cost of $1.7 billion,” he said.

Holden added that he agrees with protected bike lanes and bus lanes when they are “well thought out and responsive to the input of the community, but that is something I have rarely seen from the [DOT]. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work in a city with such diverse landscapes as New York.”

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4 comments:

  • Buster57 posted at 9:55 pm on Fri, Nov 8, 2019.

    Buster57 Posts: 79

    Duh....of course, how could I forget - INSURANCE!! [wink]

     
  • 204th Street Jack posted at 3:55 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2019.

    204th Street Jack Posts: 23

    2 great points made not yet figured out most likely by the "Powers that Be''..

    Add insurance to the Bike statement too, they'll need it!

     
  • Buster57 posted at 4:44 pm on Fri, Nov 1, 2019.

    Buster57 Posts: 79

    When bicyclists pay annual inspections, registrations & must be licensed, then we can have a conversation. Otherwise - cars in streets, bikes in parks.

     
  • Buster57 posted at 8:54 pm on Thu, Oct 31, 2019.

    Buster57 Posts: 79

    How will these protected bike lanes effect snow removal?