City Releases Master Plan for City Streets

Image Credit: New York City Department of Transportation

On December 1, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Hank Gutman announced the release of the New York City Streets Plan. The plan’s purpose is to help guide road design and infrastructure for the next five years.

Under the plan, DOT commits to meeting the following benchmarks by the end of 2026: 

  • Bus lanes and bike lanes: Adding 150 miles of physically or camera-protected bus lanes; 250 miles of protected bike lanes
  • Intersection upgrades: Using transit signal priority at 4,750 intersections; 2000 redesigned signalized intersections; 2,500 accessible pedestrian signals at intersections
  • Upgrades at 2,500 bus stops like benches, shelters and real-time information for passengers.
  • Create and maintain one million square feet of pedestrian space. 
  • Assess and amend commercial loading zones and truck routes to improve freight transportation and delivery citywide
  • Develop parking policies in line with the master plan’s goals of safety, reduced vehicle emissions, accessibility for individuals with disabilities and promotion of mass transit use

Other recommendations and proposals in the plan include but are not limited to utilizing waterways, rail, and other greener alternatives to bring freight into the city; pursuing state legislation to expand camera enforcement to include other behaviors like blocking bike lanes, illegal turns, parking violations and the presence of oversized trucks; developing greenways separate from vehicular traffic; and identifying locations with high demand for new cycling and pedestrian bridges. 

To read the plan, click here

Mayor de Blasio stated, “Vision Zero has shown the nation how to reimagine our streets for buses, bikes, and pedestrians – not just private vehicles. This plan charts a path forward to build on that progress with innovative ideas from the lessons we’ve learned. It will make our streets safer than ever.”

Council Speaker Johnson stated, “The piecemeal way we plan our streets held us back for far too long. New Yorkers paid the price every day stuck on slow buses or as pedestrians or cyclists on dangerous streets. I applaud DOT for all their work in making this new vision of a streets master plan a reality. This plan gives New Yorkers a concrete vision of how we will reshape the City over the next five years and work toward our goal of making this a safer and more equitable place to call home.”

DOT Commissioner Gutman stated, “This plan provides us the framework we need to target the next generation of street redesigns. It represents a draft that will help us deliver faster commutes for bus riders; safe bike lanes for cyclists; and sidewalks and curbs that are better managed for the changing demands of city living.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)


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