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After Spike In Deaths, New York To Get 250 Miles of Protected Bike Lanes

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-10-30 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Riding a bicycle in New York City is often a harrowing journey across a patchwork of bike lanes that leave cyclists vulnerable to cars. The dangers came into focus this year after 25 cyclists were killed on city streets -- the highest toll in two decades. Now Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council have agreed on a $1.7 billion plan that would sharply expand the number of protected bike lanes as part of a sweeping effort to transform the city's streetscape and make it less perilous for bikers. Its chief proponent, Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, calls it nothing less than an effort to "break the car culture.'' Such ambitions show how far New York has come since around 2007 when the city, under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, started aggressively taking away space for cars by rolling out bike lanes and pedestrian plazas. Under pressure from the City Council, the city would be required to build 250 miles of protected bike lanes in the coming years, along with a dizzying list of other street upgrades that safety advocates have long called for. The city now has about 1,250 miles of bike lanes, including 126 miles on city streets that are protected, meaning that a barrier separates the lanes from vehicles. The bill calls for the Transportation Department to release a plan every five years to make streets safer and to prioritize public transit, starting in December 2021. The city must hit targets every year, including building 150 miles of bus lanes that are physically separated from other traffic lanes or monitored by cameras over five years.

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