City officials are continuing their efforts to ensure the safety of New Yorkers traveling the streets. Mayor Eric Adams on Saturday announced a historic $904 million investment to help fund the NYC Streets Plan and address the city’s traffic violence problem by creating a safer and more environmentally friendly transportation infrastructure. Over the next five years, the investment will be used to expand bike lanes and bus lanes throughout the city and will be put towards the creation of new pedestrian spaces.
The nearly $1 billion investment will help the city fulfill the promises made in the NYC Streets Plan, a proposal that calls upon city officials to significantly expand transportation infrastructure throughout the five boroughs with the creation of 250 miles of bike lanes, 150 miles of protected bus lanes, and one million feet of pedestrian space. The Streets Plan also calls for the reformation of on-street parking and a crackdown on dangerous vehicles and drivers in the city to reduce the number of traffic incidents.
“This investment is a game-changer. Too many New Yorkers have lost their lives to the traffic violence crisis, and we are seeing cities across the country struggle just like us, but this historic investment will allow New Yorkers to walk and cycle around our city without fear,” Adams said.
“With this historic investment of over $900 million, we are tackling this crisis head-on and setting the tone nationwide. We are going to ‘Get Stuff Done’ and deliver safe streets for New Yorkers. This is how we save lives.”
NYC has seen a drastic increase in the number of deaths related to traffic accidents in the past couple of years, with 2021 being marked as one of the city’s deadliest years for transportation. Last year, crashes killed 124 pedestrians, 50 motorcyclists, 19 cyclists, and 15 people on e-bikes or mopeds, NBC New York reported.
Additionally, traffic fatalities are up 44 percent since the start of 2022, the deadliest start to a year since the traffic-accident prevention program Vision Zero kicked off in 2014, according to Streetsblog.
The investment comes short of the City Council’s request of an additional $3.1 billion for the construction of new bike lanes, bus lanes, and space for pedestrians.
Adams also announced that the city was diligently working to enhance many of the five boroughs’ already existing bike lanes by fortifying lane boundaries to keep vehicles out of the way of cyclists. The initiative began in February, and the city hopes to have improved 20 of the city’s 40 miles of delineator-protected bike lanes by the end of 2023.
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