New York City announced plans to install 28 miles of new and improved busways and bus lanes in 2021, along with 30 miles of protected bike lanes.
During his daily press conference Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will be increasing last year’s record protected bike lane installation and nearly doubling last year’s record bus project totals. Both will be the most installed in one year in New York City history, breaking records set by this administration just last year.
"In 2020, of course, we saw a bike boom across NYC. We want to keep it rolling. We want to keep it growing. Last year, even amidst the pandemic the City of New York built 29 miles of protected bike lanes. And, this year, we will surpass that total. We will build over 30 miles this year," the mayor said, adding that to date the city counts with 133 miles of protected bike lanes.
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The mayor also announced the proposed locations of new “Bike Boulevards” in each borough, as initially announced in the State of the City address.
“These bike boulevards are going to come with a variety of measures to make it a safe environment for bicyclists and connect key bike lanes to each other. So this is all about creating a cyclist-friendly, pedestrian-friendly environment making it easier for folks to get around from one part of the city to the other," de Blasio said.
The first five new bike boulevards, which will be completed by November or December 2021 will be in:
21st Street in Park Slope
University Place in Greenwich Village
39th Street in Sunnyside
Jackson Avenue in Mott Haven
"This is one part of the bigger strategy: to make biking always easier, always safer and it connects with Vision Zero. Vision Zero works when we focus on safety and we focus on getting people on to bikes, on to mass transit," de Blasio said.
Designated bike lanes will also come to the Brooklyn and Queensboro bridges.
"We are trying to make this a more effective bike network, not just isolated bike streets and bike pathways," DOT Commissioner Hank Gutma said.
Aside from the bike lanes, the city's DOT will build or improve 28 miles of Better Buses projects, serving nearly a million bus riders a day, to get people to work, minimize congestion and pollution, as well as support the city's economic recovery.
The mayor went on to say that it is time to “speed up the travel of New Yorkers on buses. To make it easier. So for 2021..we will complete 28 miles of new and improved busways and bus lanes...This will be the largest number of miles in our history for combining new and improved busways and bus lanes. It’s going to help move this city forward. It's going to help spark our recovery."
The projects include:
Busway Pilots: By the end of 2021, DOT and MTA will complete five busways. Busways will be constructed this year along Jamaica and Archer Avenues in Queens, and along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. In total, these five busways will improve service for 657,000 bus riders daily.
New and Improved Bus Lanes in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island: These bus lanes will benefit an additional 200,000 bus riders daily and include projects on 1st and 2nd Avenues, Battery Place and Avenues A and D (Manhattan), Merrick Boulevard (Queens), and Hylan Boulevard (Staten Island). In total, DOT will this year create 11.5 miles of new lanes and 16.3 miles of improved lanes.
Bronx Buses Transformed: DOT will build more bus lanes, bus boarding islands, protected bike lanes, and pedestrian safety improvements. Together, these Bronx projects will serve 175,000 bus riders a day. Projects include:
University Avenue Transformation: DOT will install dedicated bus lanes along University Avenue from Washington Bridge to Kingsbridge Road, including six new bus boarding islands. New protected bike lanes will also be installed along University Avenue from at least Washington Bridge to Tremont Avenue.
Re-envisioning Fordham Road Select Bus Service. The redesign of the street will follow as DOT listens closely to the needs of this community.
New Bus Lanes along Story Avenue and Gun Hill Road, along with changes to improve bus circulation near the Pelham Bay Park subway station.
New pedestrian islands on Webster Ave and 149th Street to ensure safe crossings to and from bus stops.
Signal Priority: DOT will activate technology to give priority to buses at over 300 locations, ensuring that buses are waiting at fewer red lights.
MTA Coordination: DOT will continue to work with the MTA on including bus priority in their essential Borough Network Redesign work.
“We will focus our bus projects where we can help the most riders, with a special focus on communities like those in the Bronx where buses have maintained strong ridership levels, even through the pandemic," Gutman said.
De Blasio went on to say that "these changes are going to make a big difference."
These announcements continue Streets Week!, which focuses on a number of transportation, traffic safety, and open space policies to double down on the city's Vision Zero initiative.