New York City to add dozens of new bus lanes and bike lanes


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Dive Brief:

The New York City Department of Transportation proposed 37 new street redesign projects Thursday, many of which would add bus lanes and bike lanes.
According to a DOT report, the proposal focuses on improving access to and travel within Manhattan south of 60th Street, where New York’s congestion pricing plan will take effect June 30.
Almost 90% of commuters walk, bike or use public transit to access the congestion pricing zone, but daytime Manhattan traffic has slowed to a crawl, delaying buses, taxis and ride-hailing vehicles, the report states.

Dive Insight:

“The timing is right for bold action,” New York City Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said in the report, adding that the advent of congestion pricing is an opportunity “to make our streets even safer for all users.” 

“With fewer cars entering the tolled zone, we can repurpose street space to make commuting by bus, bike, or on foot safer, faster, and more reliable,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

The report outlines projects the DOT has completed since 2019 and those it plans to implement through 2025. Within Manhattan, one project on the Queensboro Bridge will convert a roadway into a pedestrian walkway and redesignate a shared-use path for bicycles only. Along Third Avenue, the DOT will extend dedicated bike and bus lanes south to 23rd Street and north to 128th Street over the next two years. The agency also plans a new bus lane on 96th Street and envisions transforming Broadway from Columbus Circle to Union Square with two pedestrian plazas and a two-way bike lane.

Outside Manhattan, the DOT plans for projects in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. These include bus priority lanes and bike and pedestrian infrastructure. 

Some of these projects could meet local opposition, however, as did a proposed dedicated busway along Fordham Road in the Bronx last year. Local retailers, major tourist attractions and a university lined up against the idea, citing concerns about diverting traffic to local streets and limiting access for those traveling by car. The plan was scuttled by Mayor Eric Adams’ administration in September.

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