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April 1

EXCLUSIVE: Mayor Adams Says 3rd Ave. Will be His First ‘Bike Superhighway’

12:01 AM EDT on April 1, 2022

The mayor briefed Streetsblog on the plan and will present it to the city on Friday, April 1.

Mayor Adams is poised to make good on his promise of creating "bike superhighways" with a stunning announcement set for this morning: He's going to turn the car sewer of Manhattan's Third Avenue into the city's first bike- and bus-lane boulevard.

For months, activists have been calling on the city to put the six-lane, car-only roadway on a crash diet — but Adams has gone even further than the advocates: He'll turn the westernmost four lanes into six bike lanes, plus a buffer. The remaining two travel lanes will be reserved for buses only. The plan will run the length of the one-way portion of Third Avenue from 24th Street to 125th Street. Plans are in the works to change the lower portion of the deadly roadway.

Here's the proposed design, leaked to Streetsblog in advance of the April 1 announcement:

Before and after on Third Avenue in Manhattan. Graphic: DOT
Before and after on Third Avenue in Manhattan. Graphic: DOT

"Getting stuff done means actually getting stuff done for New Yorkers," Adams told Streetsblog. "I promised bike superhighways during the campaign and now I'm creating them."

Activists were thrown off guard by the surprise announcement.

"Here I was about to settle for a few planters, a couple of bulbouts and a Street Seat, so I'm tickled," said Paul Krikler, who has been leading the charge to transform the car-centric roadway but faced apathy from the prior administration.

Transportation Alternatives has been pushing a plan to have New York City reclaim 25 percent of its public space back from cars by 2025 — a plan that Adams says he supports. City Hall did the math and concluded that taking away all of Third Avenue from cars amounts to 22.7 percent of the "25X25" campaign — and it's still 2022.

"Maybe we can do '40X40,'" Adams quipped.

Adams will brief the media on his plan at a City Hall press conference today, April 1, at 11 a.m.

Update: This story, posted at 12:01 a.m. on April 1, 2022, was an April Fool's satire.

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