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De Blasio’s Budget Adds $300 Million Over 10 Years for Street Reconstructions

The mayor is allocating more money for street reconstructions, but will the projects include significant safety improvements like DOT’s concept for Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn?

Mayor de Blasio's executive budget, released yesterday [PDF], includes $300 million more for street reconstruction projects over the next 10 years than his draft budget from January.

The 10-year capital plan now allocates $2.7 billion for street reconstruction projects, up from $2.4 billion in January's preliminary budget. That should cover 75 additional lane-miles of reconstructed streets. Of that total, $1.5 billion will fund Vision Zero-specific projects, according to budget documents.

However, the budget includes no funding to extend the bike-share system to more neighborhoods. With Citi Bike not planning any further expansion after this year, advocates and City Council members have said the city should start funding new stations in neighborhoods not currently served.

In a statement, Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White thanked the mayor for the additional street reconstruction funding, but warned that the funding won't actually lead to safer streets if projects fail to meet Vision Zero design standards. Some "Vision Zero"-designated projects, like the reconstruction of a portion of Atlantic Avenue, lack significant safety features like narrower crossing distances or protected bike lanes.

"The City must adopt a Vision Zero Design Standard to make sure projects are consistent across the five boroughs and contain all the safety improvements that have proven to save lives and prevent injuries -- including curb extensions and 'daylighting' to improve visibility at crosswalks to protect pedestrians, and protected bike lanes to safeguard vulnerable cyclists," White said.

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