Tish James Calls on DOT to Make Bike Lanes Standard on Vision Zero Projects

tish_fss
Public Advocate Tish James with members of Families for Safe Streets at the Vision Zero Vigil earlier this month.

Have you noticed that DOT street safety projects are leaving out bike lanes even when there’s plenty of room for them? So has Public Advocate Tish James.

In a letter to Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg last week, James called on DOT to make bike lanes a default feature of street redesigns, especially on wide arterial streets where a disproportionate share of traffic injuries happen. She also urged DOT to fold the addition of bike lanes into street repaving projects.

After a slowdown last year, in 2015 DOT’s bike program is making progress on protected lanes along segments of Queens Boulevard and Bruckner Boulevard, while creating better connections in the Manhattan network. But that’s a routine pace for New York City, which began implementing protected lanes in 2007. Trottenberg’s DOT hasn’t escalated its production of bike lanes as part of Vision Zero, leaving several projects without any bike infrastructure despite ample space.

This year alone, proposals for Riverside Drive, Eighth Street, and Atlantic Avenue, among other streets, failed to include bike lanes. DOT has yet to come out with a design for a protected bike lane on Amsterdam Avenue despite multiple requests from the local community board.

Noting that protected bike lanes have reduced injuries to all users on streets where they’ve been installed, James questions why DOT opts not to include them in some projects and calls for a more “ambitious” approach to implementation:

Given the success of protected bicycle lanes, and the imperative behind Vision Zero to do all that is possible to eliminate traffic deaths and injuries, the City must work harder to bring protected lanes to as many arterial streets as possible. The plan for protected lanes along Queens Boulevard is a good start, but I urge the Department to explore every opportunity to introduce these safety-enhancing measures across the five boroughs.

Here’s the full letter:

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Public Advocate Tish James Wants More Movement on Vision Zero

|
As a council member representing Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, and parts of Crown Heights, Tish James was a vocal proponent of redesigning Grand Army Plaza and other street safety initiatives. Since her election to the public advocate’s office two years ago, James has amplified her message about the need to rethink city streets, advocating for better laws to safeguard […]

James and Cumbo Wilt Under Pressure, Oppose Clinton Ave Bikeway

|
Last year, Public Advocate Tish James called on DOT to make protected bike lanes a standard feature of street redesigns, a stance she recently elaborated on in an interview with Streetsblog. In December, Council Member Laurie Cumbo stood with the family of Victoria Nicodemus, who was run over and killed on a Fort Greene sidewalk, at […]

DOT: Grand Concourse Project to “Replace and Upgrade Existing Bike Lanes”

|
With Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz calling for better bike infrastructure on the Grand Concourse, there’s some serious political momentum to make this major north-south thoroughfare a safer street. How far will DOT take it? The Grand Concourse is one of DOT’s Vision Zero “Great Streets” projects slated for capital improvements in the next few years. Currently, it has buffered bike […]