NY Daily News
Hundreds of miles of new bike lanes, bus lanes and pedestrian plazas are on the way to New York City thanks to a new law that’s set to be passed by the City Council.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Tuesday said his legislation to form a “master plan” for city streets has the support of the majority of the chamber, as well as Mayor de Blasio.
The law will require the city Department of Transportation to implement 150 miles of new bus lanes, 250 miles of new protected bike lanes and thousands of pedestrian-oriented spaces over a five-year span beginning in 2022.
“For decades, New York has prioritized the movement and storage of vehicles over the safety and possibility of its residents,” said Danny Harris, executive director of street safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. “The streets master plan will usher in a new era of opportunity for New Yorkers”
The bill passed unanimously by the Council Transportation Committee Tuesday, and is expected to be approved by the whole chamber on Wednesday.
Johnson introduced the bill in May, and has given it several tweaks since. The law now requires the DOT to form its “master plan” to hit the aggressive benchmarks by December 2021 instead of 2020. The delay pushes the plan’s due date to the very end of de Blasio’s final term as mayor.
“It was pushed back because… what we are going to do with this legislation is totally reshape the Department of Transportation, totally reorient the Department of Transportation,” Johnson said Tuesday. “They’re going to have to hire more staff, they’re going to have to build whole new facilities."
The bill that passed Wednesday creates a master plan for city streets. It comes in the wake of 25 cyclist deaths so far in 2019. There was also a serious and potentially fatal bike versus car incident in Brooklyn the same morning the bill passed. (Link here)
The master plan bill will cost $1.7 Billion. It requires the Department of Transportation to come up with a five-year master plan by the end of 2021. The plan must include:
- 150 miles of protected bus lanes
- 250 miles of protected bike lanes
- 500 bus stop upgrades
- 2,000 intersection redesigns
- An overhaul policies relating to pedestrian signals, commercial loading and deliveries, along with parking policies