The de Blasio administration is looking to expand New York City’s biker-friendly infrastructure. The Department of Transportation vowed in July to add 10 miles of protected bicycle lanes and allocate 50 lane miles of regular bikeways annually starting this year. In addition, the agency plans to rev up safety efforts in areas with high numbers of fatalities and injuries. These “priority bicycle districts” include seven neighborhoods in Brooklyn and three in Queens.

The number of bike paths citywide has more than doubled in the last decade, to 1,133 miles from 513 miles in 2006. Of the existing paths, 425 miles are protected, meaning they are protected from automobile traffic by a physical barrier, not just paint. Last year, the city installed a record 15 such paths.

About 90% of cyclist fatalities have occurred outside of bikeways.

In addition to allocating more biker-friendly street space, the city is distributing free bike helmets and protective gear for delivery workers who cycle.

“Drivers need to be aware of the vulnerability of bicyclists and drive in a manner conducive to bicyclist safety,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan. “At the same time, bicyclists must also obey the rules of the road and have the proper equipment to ensure their visibility.”

            Source: Crain’s New York Business


Article by Michele Norton
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