The New York City Department of Transportation has begun the process of strengthening 20 miles of protected bike lanes within the city, or roughly half of the city’s protected bike lanes. As a recent report by Streetsblog notes, DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez had previously pledged to strengthen 20 miles within 100 days of taking office. Now, the plan is to complete the process by the end of next year.
The strengthening process will involve the replacement of plastic bollards with fortified cement barriers weighing roughly four tons each, according to a report by Spectrum News. In a statement, Commissioner Rodriguez said, “New York City’s cyclists deserve to be safe everywhere, but especially in protected lanes—where drivers will too often disrespect and block that critical space… We have an actionable, concrete plan to protect cyclists and we are going to deliver on this work to keep our lanes clear.”
Streetsblog identifies six sections of roadway that will be bolstered under the current plan: a stretch of W. 40th Street between 11th Avenue and 12th Avenue; a stretch of 11th Avenue between W. 40th Street and W. 39th Street; a stretch of Clinton Street, in Manhattan, between Delancey Street and South Street; a stretch of Broadway, in Manhattan, between Barclay Street and Morris Street; a stretch of Crescent Street, in Queens, between Queens Plaza North and Hoyt Avenue; a stretch of Queens Boulevard between Yellowstone Boulevard and 73rd Street; and a stretch of Vernon Boulevard, in Queens, between 46th Avenue and 30th Road.
In a statement cited by Spectrum News, transit safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives praised the plan. “Real protection, not just plastic or paint, is needed to keep people riding bikes safe,” said the group’s Executive Director. “Today’s announcement by Commissioner Rodriguez to upgrade 20 miles of plastic-marked bike lanes will save lives.”
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards also had kind words for the plan. In a statement to Streetsblog, he said, “These enhanced safety measures will provide bicyclists with the solid protection they deserve and will help unclog our roads and reduce pollution by encouraging more people to travel by bicycle… I look forward to seeing the hardening of the bike lines at three high-volume locations in Queens in the coming weeks.”