New York City to Add 250 Miles of Protected Bike Lanes

By Jeremy Del Nero on 28 October 2019
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IMG_0622 (1)Riding a bicycle in New York City will become safer for visitors and residents alike after a $1.7 billion plan was approved to expand the number of protected bike lanes, meaning a barrier separates the lane from vehicular traffic.
The move comes as the city experienced the highest death toll in two decades for cyclists: so far in 2019, 25 bicyclists have died in accidents on city streets.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg first introduced bike lanes as well as pedestrian plazas in 2007. The city currently has approximately 1,250 miles (2,011 kilometers) of bike lanes including 126 miles (203 kilometers) that are protected.

The city’s plan far exceeds plans other cities have for their bicycle lanes.  San Francisco went from no protected bike lanes in 2010 to ten currently, while many bike lanes in Seattle not only have protective concrete buffers but also lean rails for riders to lean on while waiting for a green light.  San Diego has plans to add 70 miles (113 kilometers) of protected bike lanes on the table. Meanwhile, Minneapolis, thanks to a 19th century city planner named Horace W.S. Cleveland, has what appears to some as an unlimited number of off-street pathways that are cyclist friendly, and Copenhagen remains the gold standard for bicycle infrastructure with 250 miles (402 kilometers) of protected bike lanes.

The bike lane proposal is part of the City Council Speaker’s Streets Master Plan, which also includes segregated bus lanes to keep traffic moving.  The plan calls for an additional 250 miles of protected bike lanes and is also expected to add one million square feet (92,903 square meters) of pedestrian space.

The plan will be considered by the City Council as a bill on Wednesday and is expected to pass and be signed into law.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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