New Study Finds Mayor de Blasio Will Not Reach 2020 Bicycling Goal Without 5-Boro Protected Bike Lane Network, Documents Widespread Desire for Protected Lanes

New Yorkers Say Current State of the Streets Is a Deterrent to Bicycling; TransAlt Calls for Protected Bike Lanes Within ¼ Mile of Every New Yorker
Caroline Samponaro -
(718) 753-6842

New York, New York: Transportation Alternatives, New York City’s leading advocacy group for better bicycling, walking, and public transit, today released BikeNYC 2020: How To Make New York a World-Class Bicycling City. Without the accelerated installation of protected bike lanes in all five boroughs, Mayor Bill de Blasio will not meet his goal to double bicycling in New York City by 2020.

 

The report, for which Transportation Alternatives conducted eight months of exhaustive opinion research in focus groups and surveyed nearly 7,000 New Yorkers, was developed in response to slow progress toward Mayor de Blasio’s goal to double bicycling in New York City by 2020, to 1.5 million New Yorkers who regularly ride a bicycle. Research found that a majority of New Yorkers -- including current and former bicyclists, as well as those who do not yet ride a bicycle -- said they would be more likely to bicycle if the City of New York built more protected bike lanes. Additionally, Transportation Alternatives found:

 

  • More than two-thirds of less frequent riders said the most important thing the City of New York could do to encourage them to ride more is build more protected bike lanes.
  • 71% of those who used to ride, but stopped, said that feeling unsafe played a role in their stopping, and 21% stopped directly because of a harrowing incident.
  • 92% of former bicyclists said that more protected bike lanes would encourage them to ride again.
  • 99% of less experienced bicyclists feel safer in a protected bike lane.
  • 88% of frequent bicyclists are concerned about being hit by a driver, and 94% of frequent bicyclists have encountered at least one car parked in a bike lane in the past month.

 

This research clearly demonstrates that the City of New York’s investment in protected bike lanes has been essential to the growth of bicycling, and that the widespread installation of this infrastructure is critical to its continued growth. Simply put, the Mayor cannot hope to achieve his goal of doubling bicycling in New York by 2020 without developing a plan to accelerate the build-out of a five-borough protected bike lane network.

 

BikeNYC 2020 is a blueprint for how to reach this goal. First and foremost, the City of New York should couple every redesign of a major arterial street with the installation of a protected bike lane -- in the past fiscal year, 80% of the 83 miles of bike lanes were added to New York City streets were unprotected. Over the same time period, the City resurfaced 1,321 miles of roads, yet failed to take this opportunity to integrate protected bike lanes on a single one. Each of those 1,321 miles is an opportunity to facilitate safe cycling across the city.

 

Additionally, to double bicycling by 2020, Transportation Alternatives recommends that Mayor de Blasio:

 

  • Develop a plan and timeline for a five-borough bike lane network that would ensure every New Yorker lives within ¼ mile of a protected bike lane.
  • Address the inequitable implementation of transportation investments which have left low-income neighborhoods with more dangerous streets by focusing street redesigns on neighborhoods that have historically been underserved.
  • Begin to pilot the installation of bicycle superhighways, protected intersections, and car-free PeopleWays.
  • Direct public funding from City Hall to build a five-borough Citi Bike system, and build dedicated, protected bicycle access on every bridge, and more bicycle parking in every borough.
  • Work with City Council to create an exemption for Vision Zero Priority Corridors in Local Law 61 of 2011, which encourages community board hearings on the construction or removal of bicycle lanes.

 

“With the strong reelection of Mayor Bill de Blasio, champion of the Vision Zero campaign and advocate for biking as a critical responsibility in the age of rapid climate change, it is clear that New Yorkers agree: New York City should be a place where cycling is safe and accessible transportation, and voters will overwhelmingly support public officials who prioritize streets for people,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “New Yorkers have spoken, and they want to ride their bicycles. Mayor de Blasio, please be the bold leader we know you can be, and invest in streets for New York’s future. You have the power to lead the city, and by turns, the nation, into a safer, more sustainable, and more equitable tomorrow. The greatest city on Earth should expect nothing less from its leaders.”

 

To read the executive summary and download the full report, please visit: https://www.bikenyc2020.org/

 

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