Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #16-106

Scott Gastel/Gloria Chin (212)839-4850

Vision Zero: Unveiling Two Completed Safety Projects in Lower Manhattan, DOT Commissioner Trottenberg Closes Book on 2016, A Record Year for Street Redesign

Fully-protected Chrystie Street bike lane is now complete; citywide bike lane network saw 80 new or expanded lane miles in 2016, including an unprecedented 18 fully-protected lane-miles

At Manhattan Bridge entrance, pedestrian improvements have transformed one of New York City’s most crash-prone intersections

New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg today announced that New York City had ended a record year for street redesign, including an unprecedented expansion of the bike lane network. The Commissioner was joined by State Senator Daniel Squadron and other advocates, who rode on Citi Bikes along the new Chrystie Street bike lane south to Canal Street, where major pedestrian improvements were recently completed around the entrance of the Manhattan Bridge.

“At the end of a big year, I want to thank the extraordinary team at DOT – planners, designers, and construction crews – who have gone above and beyond to make great bike lanes and safer intersections all across New York City a reality this year,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Our Vision Zero goals have always been to make sure that motorists, cyclists and pedestrians all remain safe. This year’s unprecedented progress on street redesign, including record bike lane expansion and safety projects like the Manhattan Bridge entrance, will help keep New Yorkers safe -- and get them home to celebrate the holidays and new year with their families.”

Chrystie Street Bike Lane Expansion: In December, DOT crews completed construction of the Chrystie Street bike lane. The lane had strong public support from local elected officials and the local Community Board. At 1.1 miles in total, the new two-way lane offers an easy connection between the Manhattan Bridge bike lane and protected lanes along Allen Street, First and Second Avenue. With the completion of the Chrystie Street lane (as well as lanes along Brooklyn’s Jay Street and 1st Avenue in Manhattan approaching the Queensboro Bridge), it is now possible to ride northbound on protected bike lanes for nine miles from downtown Brooklyn to the Bronx via the Manhattan Bridge and Willis Avenue Bridge.

Manhattan Bridge Safety Improvements: One of the largest safety projects completed this year, the Canal Street entrance to the Manhattan Bridge had previously been among New York City’s most crash-prone intersections for pedestrians. Between 2010 and 2014, over 147 people were injured at the intersection, with five pedestrians seriously injured and one pedestrian killed. The community and Council Member Margaret Chin requested safety improvements for pedestrians to more easily traverse the mouth of the bridge. Phased work began in August 2015 and was completed in September 2016. Overall, the $1.5 million project dramatically improves safety at the intersection with new signals, concrete curb extensions, along with extended and widened medians and triangles. The confusing daily reversals on the Lower Roadway of the bridge were ended, allowing for consistent and predictable traffic patterns, improved signage and lane markings. In spring of this year DOT continued work at the site with a new pedestrian refuge island on Canal St. Further improvements came with a shorter pedestrian crossing and better organized traffic for the northbound Bowery slip ramp and shorter pedestrian crossings across the Upper Roadway and the Lower Roadway at Bowery. A new signal and crosswalk were installed at the Bowery Slip to accommodate over 1,500 pedestrians in the peak hour that previously crossed the street unprotected.

is year, DOT installed 18 miles of protected lanes, creating more options for riders taking 400,000 daily trips in New York City. In 2015, DOT set the previous annual record for protected bike lanes when it constructed 12.4 lane miles. In 2016, DOT has expanded and enhanced the bicycle network by at least 80 miles, almost 20 more miles than in 2015. This year's protected bike lane output is greater than the last three years of the City’s pre-Vision Zero era combined (2011-2013). Queens and Brooklyn were the boroughs with the greatest expansion of bike lanes this year, with 29 and 23 lane miles added respectively. By January 1, 2017 NYC's bike network will be just over 1,100 miles, including over 400 protected miles.

Among the other and many notable protected or conventional lane projects completed in 2016: 1) Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx, from Hunts Point Avenue to Longwood Avenue (a Vision Zero priority corridor); 2) Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan from West 72nd Street to West 110th Street; 3) Queens Boulevard between 74th Street and Eliot Avenue (a Vision Zero priority corridor); 4) Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, between Sands and Fulton Streets (within a Vision Zero priority area) and 5) Rockland/Travis/Nome Avenues (primarily conventional), connecting the New Springville Greenway and La Tourette Park Greenway in Staten Island (within a Vision Zero priority area). A full and regularly updated list of DOT's 2016 protected lane projects can be found here.

“The new Chrystie Street bike lane is proof that when the community, elected officials, and the city work together, it leads to concrete improvements in our neighborhoods,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “When bicyclists tweeted concerns about Chrystie Street, we worked together to bring suggestions to Community Board 3, and urge DOT to enact the improvements. It was a great process that brings great news for bike and traffic safety. Thank you to Commissioner Trottenberg and DOT, Transportation Alternatives, CB3, my colleagues in government, and the constituents who got this started with a tweet.”

“After years of advocacy, the Lower East Side community got the two-lane, protected bikeway and infrastructure improvements that our cyclists and pedestrians needed and deserved,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “I am proud to be part of this successful effort to create protected bike lanes along vital travel corridors, as well as infrastructure safety changes at the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge to make our roads safer for pedestrians. I thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for making these safety improvements a reality, and for giving cyclists and pedestrians a cause for good cheer this holiday season.”

“The Chrystie Street 2-way bike lane is a perfect example of how the city should respond to community demand and implement safety improvements that both protect cyclists and enable them to make vital connections in our growing bike lane network,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “We thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for giving people on bikes something to be joyful about this holiday season.”

“For the thousands of commuters and recreational cyclists going to and from the Manhattan Bridge and riding on the Lower East Side every day, the two-way protected bike lane on Chrystie Street has been one of the most highly anticipated improvements to Manhattan's bike lane network in recent memory,” said Ken Podziba, President & CEO of Bike New York. “It will undoubtedly become an essential component of the city's transportation infrastructure, and we applaud the efforts of the DOT and the community leaders who, with this undertaking, have prioritized the safety and well-being of New Yorkers, whether they're traveling on foot, by bike, or in a car.”

In 2016, as part of Vision Zero, DOT is implementing its most aggressive street redesign safety program, a $115 million increased investment in street redesign and traffic-calming measures citywide. DOT has also improved the safety at a record number of dangerous intersections and thoroughfares and is installing a record number of leading pedestrian intervals (LPIs) to give pedestrians a head start while crossing the street.

For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/visionzero

—30—