Mayor’s Office Announces Record Total Bike Lane Expansion for 2020

A protected bike lane. Image Credit: NYC DOT

The addition of protected bike lanes comes as more people opt for cycling as a transportation option during the COVID-19 pandemic. On December 29, 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 28.6 miles of new protected bike lanes have been constructed across the five boroughs throughout 2020. The announcement brings New York City’s total bike lane network to 1,378 miles. Of that, 545 miles are protected bike lanes. 

The 28.6 miles of protected bike lanes include the following: 

Manhattan (with 5.0 miles)

  • Broadway from Barclay Street to Morris Street
  • Central Park West from 77th Street to Frederick Douglass Circle
  • 5th Avenue from 110th Street to 120th Street
  • St. Nicholas Avenue from 165th to 170th Street
  • 6th Avenue from 35th Street to Central Park South
  • 2nd Avenue from 43rd to 34th Street

Brooklyn (with 9.1 miles)

  • Tillary Street Phase II
  • Franklin Street, N 14th Street to Quay Street; Quay Street, Franklin Street to West Street
  • N. 14th Street from Franklin Street to Berry Street
  • 7th Avenue Southbound from Bay Ridge Parkway to 79th Street
  • Flatbush Avenue from Grand Army Plaza to Ocean Avenue
  • Smith Street from State Street to Fulton Street
  • 4th Avenue from 15th Street to 60th Street
  • 4th Avenue from Flatbush Avenue to 1st Street

Queens (with 9.5 miles)

  • Cross Bay Boulevard from the Addabbo Bridge to East 6th Road
  • Laurel Hill Boulevard from 51st Avenue to 55th Road
  • Crescent Street from Queens Plaza North to Hoyt Avenue North
  • Cross Bay Boulevard from Van Brunt Road to West 20th Road

Bronx (with 3.2 miles)

  • Southern Boulevard from E Fordham Road to Mosholu Parkway
  • E.L. Grant Highway
  • Bronx Park East at White Plains Road

Staten Island (with 1.8 miles)

  • Western Avenue, Gulf Avenue, Forest Avenue, Goethals Bridge Ped/Bike Connection

The protected bike lanes are a part of the City’s Green Wave Plan to expand the number of people choosing cycling as a mode of transportation and improving the safety in doing so. Part of the plan includes installing over 80 miles of protected bike lanes citywide by the end of 2021. Next year, the Department of Transportation will focus on providing more protected bike lanes in the Bronx, including creating a bike lane network in Morrisania, Southern Boulevard and expanding work on University Avenue.

The Mayor’s Office also announced other changes to city streetscapes in 2020. As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City provided 83 miles of streets for the Open Streets program, which created pedestrian and cyclist only spaces on city streets, and the Open Restaurants program, which allowed restaurants to provide outdoor dining options using portions of sidewalks or street space in front of businesses. 

In addition, street safety enhancements were added citywide, with the addition of over 1,200 speed cameras installed in over 750 school zones and speed limit reductions added to nine major transportation corridors. The City also added 16.3 new miles of bus lanes, including a permanent busway on 14th Street in Manhattan and a new busway on Jay Street in Brooklyn.

Mayor de Blasio stated, “Our city has reimagined our streets as we’ve fought back the COVID-19 crisis. That means more space for restaurants and businesses, faster options for bus riders, and more ways than ever to accommodate the cycling boom with new protected bike lanes. Record numbers of bike lanes and bus lanes will change our urban landscape forever – and, as we continue our fight to build a fairer and better city, we won’t stop here.”

Acting DOT Commissioner Margaret Forgione stated, “As unprecedented as this year has been, I sincerely applaud everyone at DOT for being able to implement a record number of protected bike lanes this year. We have seen a tremendous shift towards cycling during the COVID-19 pandemic and predict the trend will continue even after the city recovers, so it is imperative we continue growing our bike network and keep cyclists safe.”

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


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