De Blasio’s Proposed Budget Increases Funding for Street Redesigns

de blasio signing a bill
Bill de Blasio signs legislation with members of Families for Safe Streets. Photo: NYC DOT

Mayor de Blasio’s proposed budget includes an additional $400 million for street projects to be spread over six years, WNYC reports.

We’re still sorting through how this compares to current spending and we’ll update the story as more information becomes available, but the changes appear to be substantial.

Advocates have called on City Hall to devote more resources to street redesigns, pointing out that the de Blasio administration wasn’t getting projects done fast enough to meet its target of improving the most dangerous streets in the city in 10 years. And for two years, the City Council has asked de Blasio to increase the Vision Zero budget, proposing an additional $52 million annually for street safety projects built with paint, planters, and other low-cost materials.

The $400 million in new Vision Zero funding comes out to about $66 million per year. It’s not clear exactly how the money will be spent, but WNYC reports that it will quadruple the number of intersections that receive “high-visibility markings, pedestrian ramps and crossing signs,” and that crosswalk markings will be replaced on a faster timetable.

“Right now it looks very good for Vision Zero,” TA Executive Director Paul White told Streetsblog. “We want to thank the mayor for increasing his financial commitment.”

White said it’s vital that the additional funds go directly to street improvements.

“In 2017, we shouldn’t be debating the merits of protected crosswalks and protected bike lanes,” said White. “They should be implemented as a matter of course. We want to make sure 100 percent of this new funding is devoted to actual fixes, and not years and years of unnecessary process.”

  • Vincent Howland

    Additional detail:

    “The funding for bike lanes will increase from $245,000 in fiscal year 2017 to $690,000 in fiscal year 2018.”

    http://www.wnyc.org/story/mayors-budget-adds-funds-for-vision-zero-budget/

  • Larry Littlefield

    “They should be implemented as a matter of course. We want to make sure 100 percent of this new funding is devoted to actual fixes, and not years and years of unnecessary process.”

    You bet.

    Also, can we repaint lines in this state? Bike lanes are disappearing as fast as they are added.

    And when I’m driving my car on highways I have a hell of a time seeing lane and side of road markings at night, and in particular in the rain. Compared with other states its embarrassing, and potentially dangerous in a driverless vehicle future.

  • Komanoff

    I give this somewhere between 1 and 2 cheers, not 3.

    First, the same BdB budget nixed the CSS/RA “Fair Fare” and further Citibike expansions. Both of those would improve street safety, not to mention quality of life in general. While it shouldn’t be either/or, I wish someone could run a cost-benefit comparison to the street redesigns.

    Second, there are a host of low-cost/no-cost policy changes that would also improve street safety, perhaps radically. Here are three: (1) routine (quarterly, say) release of CIS reports in KSI crashes; (2) precinct KSI reporting against, say, 10% per year reduction targets — incentivizing/permitting each PCT to tailor and innovate its own safety strategy and have its success publicly evaluated; (3) end or at least sharply curb placard abuse.

    Of course, each of those entails some degree of NYPD reform/shake-up, so I wouldn’t hold my breath. Nevertheless, a cost-benefit comparison would be illuminating.

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