NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced that the planned citywide bicycle improvements are on schedule, and an even more ambitious program is planned for the next twelve months. At the close of Fiscal Year (FY) 2008, DOT is on schedule to fulfill its commitment to nearly double the number of citywide on-street bike route miles by 2009. In addition, over the last twelve months, DOT has given away over 12,000 official NYC bike helmets, distributed over 200,000 re-designed NYC Cycling Maps, worked with the City Council to pass laws mandating safety gear for bike delivery workers, begun a multi-million dollar public awareness campaign to promote cyclist safety and installed over 1,000 bicycle parking racks as well as the first four protected bike parking shelters.
"We have seen a 77% increase in the number of cyclists in New York City since 2000 and we are working hard to ensure that the streets are as safe as possible for them," said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. "Our strategic plan calls for doubling the number of bicycle commuters by 2015. Bringing innovative cycling infrastructure to the streets of New York is a down payment toward reaching that goal."
In 2006 DOT committed to expanding the on street bike network by nearly doubling the number of bike lane miles by 2009, from 220 lane miles to 420 lane miles. The plan called for 40 new lane miles in Fiscal Year (FY) 2007, 70 new lane miles in FY 2008 and 90 new lane miles in FY 2009. At the close of FY 2008 DOT had planned, designed and installed approximately 111 new lane miles, encompassing over 50 separate projects during the previous twenty four months. Work has already begun on the next 90 lane miles and the public can track each project at www.nyc.gov/bicycle.
DOT's 200 mile, three-year commitment to expand the on street bike network, combined with Greenway expansions by the Parks and Recreation Department, is resulting in a high quality bicycle network that is helping to make cycling a real transportation choice for even more New Yorkers.
Other recent accomplishments include:
- New York City was recognized as a "Bicycle Friendly Community" by the League of American Bicyclists, joining Burlington, Vermont as the only municipalities in the northeast to receive the prestigious designation.
- Bicycling magazine named New York City one of the most improved cities for cycling in the nation.
- A first of its kind protected bike path was installed on Ninth Avenue in Manhattan, physically separating cyclists from motor vehicle traffic. Counts have shown a 57% increase in the number of cyclists using the Avenue since installation of the protected bike lane. The Institute of Transportation Engineers has given their "Program of the Year" award to this re-design of Ninth Avenue and this fall the protected path will be further extended and a companion path will be installed on Eighth Avenue.
- DOT distributed its one-millionth free NYC Cycling Map in late 2007. The 2008 edition of the annually updated map was redesigned and improved with new features such as a display of designated NYC historic districts.
- DOT reconfigured major, complex intersections incorporating cutting edge bicycle facility design in key locations such as Grand Army Plaza adjacent to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, at the Manhattan Bridge bike path entrance in Chinatown and at Madison Square where Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street converge around the historic Flatiron Building.
- DOT rolled out an ambitious pilot of high-visibility green bicycle lanes with the most recent on Prince, Bleecker and Carmine Streets in the popular cycling neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and SoHo.
- Mayor Bloomberg announced "Summer Streets," an initiative that will open up over 7 miles of city streets to cyclists and pedestrians, free of motor vehicles, on three consecutive Saturdays in August.
- To increase cyclist safety DOT has fitted and provided free of charge, over 15,000 official NYC bicycle helmets, including over 12,000 in the last twelve months.
- DOT has launched "LOOK," a multi-million dollar public awareness campaign to promote bicycle safety, with a new round of advertisements scheduled for this fall.
- DOT developed an attractive bicycle parking shelter that prominently displays the NYC Bike Map and the LOOK public awareness campaign. The first four sheltered bike parking structures have been installed with an additional 33 scheduled to be built by the end of 2008.
- DOT installed over 1,000 city bike racks in the last twelve months, more than double what has been done in previous years, bringing the citywide total to over 5,000. The pace of installation will continue to be accelerated until there is sufficient bike parking citywide.
- DOT developed a new design for bicycle guide signs and has begun deploying hundreds of these signs at intersecting bike routes and along routes to the East River Bridge bike paths.
- In a partnership with the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, DOT began a competition for new, visually appealing, on-street and indoor bike parking designs. Hundreds of entries have been received and the finalists will be announced in the coming weeks. The City plans on using the winning design of the on-street competition as the new standard city bike rack.
- DOT worked with the City Council to pass two new laws relating to commercial bicyclist safety. One required that businesses provide their employees with bike helmets and all legally required safety gear, and another required businesses to post signs that detail NYC bicycle safety rules and regulations.
- DOT and Transportation Alternatives began the "Bicycle Friendly Business" awards. These awards will be presented in two categories: to those businesses that follow the best practices in terms of employees who bike as part of their job and to those businesses that promote cycling as a commuting option for employees. The winners will be announced later this month.
- DOT removed parking for cars and replaced it with bike parking racks at the busy Bedford Avenue subway stop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
For more information on bike initiatives in New York City visit: www.nyc.gov/bicycle.