Just 1.5% For Bicyclists and Pedestrians
A Challenge From T.A.
Too Many Have Been Killed
Now is the time to save lives and the environment. Over the next few years, the City, State, and MTA will be deciding how to spend $13.5 billion in transportation funds in NYC. About $6 billion will be for streets and highways and $7.5 billion for transit projects. T.A. calls on the Giuliani and Pataki administrations, particularly influential transportation aides like Seth Kaye at the Mayor's Office of Transportation, Richard Malchow and Luiz Aragao at City DOT; Floyd Lapp at the Planning Department; and Richard Maitino and Joe Boardman at the State DOT to do three things to ensure that a fair share of the money is used to sharply reduce pedestrian and cycling deaths and significantly improve non-motorized travel on city streets:
I. Dedicate $204 million over six years, a modest 1.5% of the total transportation funding, to bicycle and pedestrian issues. $204 million amounts to a 31% increase over past bike/ped funding - which is about the proportion of increased funds under TEA-21. Bicyclists and pedestrians are more than half of traffic fatilities in NYC, and almost all transit trips begin and end with walking trips.
II. Establish basic goals and
ensure that projects are designed meet them. These goals should not confuse
means and ends. For instance, cutting the pedestrian and cycling death rate in
half in the next six years, and increasing the number of cyclists from the
current 100,000 a day to 150,000 are "ends." Trying to build an
arbitrary number of miles of bicycle lanes and paths is not the best means to
In line with these criteria, T.A. proposes a plan called "1.5% for Bikes and Pedestrians". The main thrust is to vastly expand the size of the bicycle and pedestrian network programs at the Departments of Transportation and City Planning. The expanded networks would allow the City maximum flexibility in meeting goals, reducing red tape, and further developing a core of skilled bicycle and pedestrian planners within the agencies. "1.5%" includes significant funding for the DOT's innovative School-Based Traffic Calming project. It also proposes a ten-fold increase in the size of the City programs to reclaim traffic islands as green space and pedestrian refuges and improve pedestrian conditions around subways. Lastly, per the anti-speeding recommendations in "Lessons from London" (T.A. Magazine Mar/Apr '98) "1.5%" calls for the number of red light cameras to be boosted from 18 to 200, and for the introduction of "speed-radar" cameras.
Achieving the biggest bang for the buck, saving the most lives, and improving the lot of New Yorkers in ways they will experience every day are ideas that make sense. T.A. will be working hard in the months ahead to ensure that cyclists and walkers get their fair share.
1.5% For Bicyclists and Pedestrians: 1998-2004
T.A.'s Six-Year Plan to cut pedestrian and bicycling fatalities in half and dramatically improve conditions for non-motorized travelers in NYC using an estimated 1.5% of the $13.5 billion budgeted transportation funds.
[Key: + Equals New Project; amounts represent 6-yr. total in millions]
Network Expansion / Citywide Projects
Project: School Based
Traffic Calming +
Project: Pedestrian /
Traffic Enforcement +
Streets / Traffic Island
Ped / Traffic Calming
going Cross-Walk upgrade
Grant Highway: Ped/Calm
Concourse Ped Safety
Staten Island Sidewalks
Army Plaza Ped / Traffic
Manhattan Ped. Continue
Stop Speeding Campaign
River Greenway Link +
Pkwy. (Bay Pkwy to Knapp)
Grand Total: 204.225