Conceptual rendering by AKRF and W Architecture and Landscape Architecture
The city announced on Thursday that plans to make Hudson Street between Canal and West Houston Streets in Hudson Square into a grand boulevard with wider sidewalks, parking-protected bike lanes and small outdoor “living rooms” with seating surrounded by greenery are moving forward with design and construction teams on board. Prima Paving Corporation, Sam Schwartz Engineering, and Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects have been chosen as design-build consultants for the project according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation and Department of Transportation, as well as the Hudson Square BID. The design-build concept means that contracting both the design and construction components to the firms, which will act as a team, can streamline the process.
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Via City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s comprehensive “complete streets” bill arrives just three months after he proposed a five-year plan to make New Yorkers who take mass transit, walk and bike a priority over motor vehicle drivers. Johnson plans to introduce legislation next week that would require city officials to build 150 miles of dedicated bus lanes and 250 miles of protected bike lanes within a five year period, Streetsblog reports. Johnson said, “I want to completely revolutionize how we share our street space, and that’s what this bill does. This is a roadmap to breaking the car culture in a thoughtful, comprehensive way.”
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Rendering courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance, via LPC
Brooklyn is getting a new bike lane. The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday approved a plan from the city’s Parks Department to build a protected bike lane on Ocean Avenue around the perimeter of Prospect Park. But two LPC commissioners opposed the design because it calls for removing 57 healthy trees to make way for the new path, the Brooklyn Eagle reported.
Delancey Street via Wiki Commons
Mayor de Blasio has announced the opening of a new quarter-mile, two-way protected bike lane along Delancey Street on the Lower East Side. The stretch connects to the Williamsburg Bridge, the most traveled by cyclists of all the East River crossings, and is “expected to play a central role during the shutdown of L train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan” when it begins on April 27th. Currently, 7,300 cyclists cross the Bridge each day, and the Mayor expects the new bike lanes to double or even triple that number.
Photo via NYC DOT/Flickr
May is National Bike Month and Transportation Alternatives (TransAlt) is hosting its Bike Commuter Challenge. TransAlt and the city are challenging New Yorkers to swap their normal commuting routine and cycle to work. With Citi Bikes on almost every block, over 250 miles of new bicycle lanes, and the hellacious winter behind us, there is no excuse not to “man up.” Especially since, according to NYC DOT, more than 800,000 New Yorkers ride a bike regularly, which is 140,000 more than rode five years ago and means that NYC commuters already bike to work more than any other U.S. city.
There’s more bike-related fun to be had in May
Photo via Wikimedia
Crosstown protected bike lanes may finally come to Manhattan’s Midtown neighborhood, the first of its kind in New York City. The city’s Department of Transportation presented on Wednesday a series of proposals to create bike lanes that stretch from the East River to the Hudson River, traveling east to west instead of north to south. The first two protected lanes are proposed to run east on 26th Street and west on 29th Street, where an existing lane will be replaced. Officials are also looking to add a lane moving west on 55th Street and east on 52nd Street. DOT’s move to add more protected bike lanes in Midtown comes after the city experienced an increase in the number of cyclist deaths in 2017, despite it being the safest year on record for traffic fatalities.
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Ocean Parkway circa 1894, via NYC Parks
While many hipsters can be seen trekking through Brooklyn on their bikes today, the borough’s infatuation with cycling actually dates back to the nineteenth century. On June 15, 1894, Ocean Parkway became the first street in the U.S. to have a designated bike lane. The nearly five-mile stretch of road was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the urban planning masterminds behind Central Park and Prospect Park. Originally, their design for Ocean Parkway was to be one of four spokes originating at Prospect Park and spanning across the borough. Today, the road doesn’t actually start at the park but runs parallel to Coney Island Avenue to reach the beach.
The full history this way
Vehicles parked smack in the middle of bike lanes are among the biggest scourges faced by city cyclists. It’s illegal (yes, there’s a $115 fine) though the law is rarely enforced–but it’s not just a modern obstruction. As it turns out, the main reason early bike lanes were created in the 1890s was because of lobbying by cyclists in the hopes getting more open riding space. New York City began paving whole streets and laying down asphalt strips specifically for cyclists–and, ironically, carts, wagons and other vehicles immediately began blocking them.
Naming and shaming the scofflaws
, Wed, September 14, 2016
The city’s newly released, five-year transportation plan is all about the bikes. As part of his larger Vision Zero initiative, the Mayor announced yesterday that he’ll roll out 75 miles of new bike lanes by the end of this year, which includes 18 miles of protected lanes, reports Gothamist. They’ll be dispersed throughout the five boroughs, but centered in areas where the highest number of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities occur.
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With CitiBike expanding deeper into NYC’s many neighborhoods and 70-plus miles of new and upgraded bike lanes added this year alone, it comes as no surprise that more and more New Yorkers are taking to the streets on two wheels. However, while things appear to be changing for the better, it may come as a surprise to many that when it comes to bike-friendliness, NYC still lags way behind other urban hubs. Ahead Michael Seth Wexler of Copenhagenize, a Copenhagen-based consulting firm that publishes the world’s bi-annual bicycle-friendly city index, gives us some insight into why New York can’t seem to catch up with other cities, as well as what can be done to foster a safer more inviting space for cyclists.
MORE ON NYC AND BIKING HERE…