New York City Council Candidate Proposes Bronx Street Safety Initiatives

New York City Council candidate John Sanchez recently laid out his plan for making the streets of The Bronx safer for cyclists and pedestrians. In an essay on StreetsBlog NYC, Sanchez described the key elements of his plan, which include protected bike lanes, curtailing parking, and better street design. “As a lifelong resident of The Bronx, I want my neighborhood to be one in which a family can ride bikes safely,” he wrote, “in which no one dies or become seriously injured simply for walking in the neighborhood or for performing the job of delivering food — left and discarded on the road by a hit-and-run driver.”

Here are some of the key planks of Sanchez’s proposal.

“A Green Grand Concourse.” Sanchez notes that The Bronx’s Grand Concourse is “one of the most dangerous streets in the borough,” with no protected bike lanes, accounting for “half of the cyclists killed last year in The Bronx.” He proposes that bike lanes be protected with Bollards, and pledges to protect any bike lanes installed by the Department of Transportation under an existing project. He goes on to propose the return of “Car-Free Sundays,” in which driving is prohibited on the Grand Concourse once a week and the lanes can be used for “basketball, biking, skating, walking, jogging, and running year round.”

“Curtailing Parking.” Noting that only about 5% of New York City’s three million parking spots have parking meters, Sanchez proposes that The Bronx monetize its streets by installing more parking meters. He proposes legislation “to create parking benefit districts in which people have a say in where the meter revenue goes in their communities,” such as “enhanced sanitation, bike lanes, sidewalk repair, and even lighting and facade improvement for local  businesses.”

“Better Street Design.” Sanchez’s proposals for better street design include “Universal daylighting,” in which parking spots at intersection curbs are removed in order to improve “driver and pedestrian visibility,” and in which bike racks are placed “at two-thirds of the intersections and a third of the spots for motorcycle and motor-scooter parking.” He proposes that slow-flow and yield-flow be implemented in Tiebout Avenue and Bainbridge Avenue, narrowing lanes to help prevent speeding. There should also be an expansion of bike stations, he writes, in places like Fordham Plaza.

A supporter of the Green New Deal, Sanchez also supports the installment of a busway on The Bronx’s Fordham Road. “The next mayor must assert control of our city’s streets,” he concludes. “Let’s make it safe to ride a bike and walk in The Bronx.”

More information about Sanchez’s street safety proposals is available here.

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