New York City will increase the pace of bike lane construction, eliminate “thousands” of parking spaces and increase police enforcement following a spate of cyclist deaths, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced in July. The announcement came as the total number of cyclists killed this year climbed to 17 in late July. Only 10 riders were killed citywide in all of 2018.
The mayor’s new “Green Wave” plan sets a goal of increasing the rate of construction of protected bike lanes to 30 miles per year, up from the current 20 miles per year. It focuses on “Priority Bicycle Districts” – neighborhoods with high ridership but inadequate bicycle infrastructure – and includes the hiring of 80 new DOT workers. The plan seeks to improve safety and reduce emissions, furthering OneNYC 2050 goal that 1 out of every 10 trips in NYC be taken by bicycle. The price tag is $58.4 million dollars over five years, which includes “design, enforcement, legislation, policy and education.”
Enforcement will focus on the “100 most crash-prone intersections,” with officers targeting drivers who speed, fail to yield and block bike lanes. Oversized and off-route trucks will also be targeted. Progressive signal-timing will seek to discourage speeding and encourage steady cycling speeds.
Since implementation of Operation Bicycle Safe Passage, NYPD has doubled enforcement of cars parked in bicycle lanes. More than 8,600 summonses were issued in the first three weeks of July.
DOT has identified 10 Brooklyn and Queens community boards as Bike Priority Districts and has committed to build 75 miles of bicycle infrastructure in these districts by 2022. Fifty intersections will receive turn calming treatments in 2019 – and where possible, protected intersection designs will be added for new projects.
DOT will implement local legislation to allows cyclists to proceed on pedestrian signals and will work with the Speaker and Council Members to pass additional legislation requiring a three-foot passing distance between car and cyclist, along with enhanced requirements for truck sideguards. DOT will also explore and evaluate the capabilities of existing and emerging technology for automated enforcement technologies to keep bike lanes clear, as well as enforce overweight truck restrictions, and determine the feasibility of obtaining state legislative approval for use of these technologies.