NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Hank Gutman Tuesday announced plans to further transform city streets in 2021, by increasing last year's record protected bike lane installation and nearly doubling last year's record bus project totals.
Officials say the administration plans to install 28 miles of new and improved busways and bus lanes in 2021, along with thirty miles of protected bike lanes --both will be the most installed in one year in New York City history, breaking records set by this administration just last year.
The mayor also announced the proposed locations of new "Bike Boulevards" in each borough, as originally announced in the State of the City address.
The announcements continue Streets Week!, a suite of transportation, traffic safety, and open space policy announcements to double down on the transformative Vision Zero initiative.
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"A recovery for all of us means reducing our dependence on fossil fuels while deepening Vision Zero. This administration has made historic investments in bus and bike lane infrastructure, and now is the perfect time to deepen that commitment," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "From record bike lane installations, to more busways and bus lanes than ever, to brand-new Bike Boulevards, New York City is proud to transform its streets to make them more accessible for everyone."
Better Buses Restart: "Red Carpet to Recovery"
As part of its Red Carpet to Recovery in 2021, DOT will build or improve 28 miles of Better Buses projects, serving 951,000 bus riders a day, to get essential workers to jobs, minimize congestion and pollution from private automobiles, and support the city's economic recovery.
New and improved projects will include:
- Busway Pilots: By the end of 2021, DOT and MTA will complete five busways - four more than have ever been completed in one year. In addition to already-completed projects on Main Street in Flushing and 181st Street in Manhattan, busways will be constructed this year along Jamaica and Archer Avenues in Queens, and along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. In total, these five busways will improve service for 657,000 bus riders daily.
- New and Improved Bus Lanes in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island: Both new and improved bus lanes will serve bus riders citywide, with changes including new red paint and markings, signals improvements, pedestrian safety and clearer signage. These bus lanes will benefit an additional 200,000 bus riders daily and include projects on 1st and 2nd Avenues, Battery Place and Avenues A and D (Manhattan), Merrick Blvd (Queens), and Hylan Blvd (Staten Island). In total, DOT will this year create 11.5 miles of new lanes and 16.3 miles of improved lanes.
- Bronx Buses Transformed: DOT continues its radical transformation of bus corridors throughout the Bronx. Building on the work done in 2020 along critical streets like 149th Street and E.L. Grant Highway, DOT will build more bus lanes, bus boarding islands, protected bike lanes, and pedestrian safety improvements. Together, these Bronx projects will serve 175,000 bus riders a day. Projects include:
- University Avenue Transformation: DOT will install dedicated bus lanes along University Avenue from Washington Bridge to Kingsbridge Road, including six new bus boarding islands. New protected bike lanes will also be installed along University Avenue from at least Washington Bridge to Tremont Avenue.
- Re-envisioning Fordham Road Select Bus Service: In 2010, Fordham Road was the site of New York City's first Select Bus Service route. Now, DOT will reinvigorate the street through an inclusive outreach plan with businesses, community leaders and families. The redesign of the street will follow as DOT listens closely to the needs of this community.
- New Bus Lanes along Story Avenue and Gun Hill Road, along with changes to improve bus circulation near the Pelham Bay Park subway station, the terminus of the 6 train that also serves as closest stop to City Island. Changes here will eliminate the current indirect bus routing to the station, saving transferring bus riders up to two minutes per trip.
- New pedestrian islands on Webster Ave and 149th Street to ensure safe crossings to and from bus stops.
- Signal Priority: In line with the Better Buses Action Plan, DOT will activate technology to give priority to buses at over 300 locations, ensuring that buses are waiting at fewer red lights.
- MTA Coordination: DOT will continue to work with the MTA on including bus priority in their essential Borough Network Redesign work as that process works forward and encourage MTA to implement all-door boarding on all bus routes, now that OMNY contactless payment has been installed systemwide.
Last year, the Mayor's Better Buses Restart created more than 16 miles of new bus lanes and busways across all five boroughs - the most ever in one year. Completed projects include Jay Street and Malcolm X Blvd in Brooklyn, 14th Street extension and 181st Street in Manhattan, Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island, E.L. Grant Highway, University Ave and 149th Street in the Bronx and Merrick Blvd and Main Street in Queens.
Protected Bike Lanes
DOT plans to build a record 30 miles of protected bike lanes in 2021, including:
"Return to Manhattan"
- East 61st and 62nd Street, Manhattan/Northern Blvd, Queens: Connecting midtown to the Queensboro Bridge and the 34th Ave Open Street in Jackson Heights
- 7th Avenue - Connecting Central Park to midtown
- Varick Street/West Broadway/Church Street/6th Avenue and Centre Street: Connecting Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan to Tribeca and Chinatown
Bronx Network Development
- Bronxdale Avenue and White Plains Road: Building protected lanes into the existing neighborhood network, hosting e-scooter pilot starting this summer.
- Morrisania Neighborhood Network: Improving access and safety for local community and schools
Brooklyn Parks and Community Connectors
- Meeker Avenue: East/West connection from new Kosciusko Bridge to Williamsburg
As Mayor de Blasio outlined in his State of the City address, DOT will create a Bike Boulevard in each borough in 2021. Bike Boulevards slow vehicular speeds and limit volumes to create low-stress bike infrastructure in a pedestrian-friendly environment.
The planned boulevards will include a portion of:
- 21st Street (South Slope, Brooklyn)
- 39th Avenue (Sunnyside, Queens)
- Jackson Avenue (Mott Haven, Bronx)
- University Place (Greenwich Village)
- Netherland Avenue (Mariners Harbor, Staten Island)
In coming weeks, DOT Borough Commissioners and planners will present proposed plans to elected officials and community boards, with the expectation that they will be completed this year.
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