Press Releases

September 20, 2023
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NYC DOT Celebrates Completion of Soundview Avenue Redesign With Protected Bike Lanes as Part of Commissioner in Your Borough

The redesign improves traffic safety for all road users, adds 2.9 miles of bike lanes, and builds upon the agency’s commitment to equity

"Road diets" similar to the Soundview Avenue project have reduced traffic deaths and serious injuries by 30%

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New York — New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today joined elected officials and advocates to celebrate the substantial completion of the redesign of Soundview Avenue in the Bronx. The project includes 1.5 miles of new parking-protected bike lanes and a dramatic redesign that enhances safety for all road users. The Commissioner joined elected officials and advocates for the announcement as part of the agency's day-long Commissioner in Your Borough event in the Bronx, where NYC DOT executive staff meet with community representatives to better understand the transportation needs of individual communities. The road diet redesign added parking-protected bicycle lanes, pedestrian islands, and increased visibility at intersections – known as daylighting – by repurposing a travel lane in each direction. This north/south bicycle route connects cyclists and micromobility users between the NYC Ferry and Bronx E-Scooter Program area to new bike lanes under implementation in the area. Road diets have shown to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries by 30 percent, according to NYC DOT data.

"We are committed to ensuring all New Yorkers benefit from our safe street redesigns under Vision Zero," said NYC DOT Commissioner Rodriguez. "This dramatic upgrade to Soundview Avenue enhances safety for all road users through effective designs that help reduce speeding, improve intersections, and protect cyclists. I thank the elected officials and community for their partnership in advancing this important project as we work every day to support safe, sustainable, and efficient transportation options here in the Bronx and across the entire City."


Prioritizing Investments Equitably

NYC DOT has developed a new equity formula to double down on its commitment to ensure all New Yorkers benefit from safe street redesigns. The formula identifies Priority Investment Areas by weighing jobs and population density; percent of non-white and low-income populations; and history of prior investment. Soundview Avenue runs along a Tier 1 Priority Investment Area and the avenue is also one of the highest-crash corridors in the Bronx, with one fatality, 10 severe injuries, and more than 100 total injuries recorded between 2015 and 2022. Through a holistic redesign, left-turn bays were added at Lafayette Avenue and new pedestrian space was installed at intersections to slow down turning drivers and shorten the time pedestrians spend crossing traffic. NYC DOT conducted a traffic evaluation to remove one travel lane in each direction, known as a "road diet," which naturally calms traffic by reducing the instances of speeding.

Turn calming and daylighting improves visibility for all users at intersections including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. They encourage slower, safer vehicle turns and yielding to cyclists and pedestrians while also allowing for improved visibility at driveway locations.

As part of the project, NYC DOT is improving an east-west cycling connection in the area to further build out the Soundview bike network. The agency is upgrading the existing buffered bike lanes on Lafayette Avenue with parking-protected lanes that separate cyclists from moving vehicles. The forthcoming project on Lafayette will add another 2.6 miles of protected bike lanes. The agency also plans to extend the Soundview Avenue protected bike lane north from Lafayette Avenue to Watson Avenue through the Bruckner.

NYC DOT is also upgrading Rosedale Avenue with improvements for pedestrians and transit riders, including two new mid-block crossings requested by the community; enhanced bus stops and ramps; and curb extensions, with concrete work scheduled to begin in the fall.

Commissioner in Your Borough Day

The Commissioner has a full day in the Bronx with a schedule that includes safety education outreach with older adults, meeting with local elected officials, a visit to an NYC DOT Sidewalk Inspection and Management yard, a community and faith leaders roundtable, and riding the NYC Ferry.

The day marks the fifth Commissioner in Your Borough event, following a Queens Day tour held in December 2022, Staten Island Day this past February, a Manhattan Day in May, and Brooklyn Day in July. Through 2022, Commissioner Rodriguez has joined roughly 30 New York City Council members for in-district tours or site visits.

NYC DOT is committed to delivering high-quality projects in the Bronx and other Priority Investment Areas across the city. Since Commissioner Rodriguez took office, the agency installed protected bike lanes on Bronxdale Avenue, East 233rd Street, Eastchester Road, and White Planes Road. The agency has also installed bus and bike lanes along University Avenue and has nearly completed new bus lanes on Gun Hill Road. In August, NYC DOT brought Summer Streets to the Bronx this year for the first time ever.

"Today's announcement is a huge win for making our roads safe for everyone - drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and anyone else who utilizes our roads to get from point A to point B in our borough," said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. "By expanding our biking infrastructure with parking-protected bicycle lanes, pedestrian islands, and increasing visibility at intersections, the administration is demonstrating its commitment to making our roads safe. I want to thank Mayor Eric Adams and DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez for their work on this project and continued partnership to reduce traffic violence, increase our biking infrastructure, and improve our city`s roads."

"I commend the New York City Department of Transportation and Commissioner Rodriguez for their dedication to safe street redesigns under Vision Zero," said State Senator Nathalia Fernandez. "The substantial completion of the Soundview Avenue project is a testament to our commitment to equitable investments in transportation infrastructure. This redesign not only enhances safety for all road users but also serves as a model for sustainable and efficient transportation options in the Bronx and across the entire City."

"Prior to my first term, our community had little to no protected bike lanes - making micro mobility and sustainable transportation nearly unattainable for my neighbors and I," said Council Member Amanda Farías. "Infrastructure upgrades like this project have shown to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries by 30 percent, according to NYCDOT data. That is why I am proud to have made my promise of bringing more safety infrastructure to our community an actual reality in my first term. Thank you to Commissioner Rodriguez and the entire team at the Department of Transportation for your work and your commitment to finally bringing transit safety to the South Bronx."

"We love to see DOT work toward creating livable streets for New Yorkers who have contended with decades of disinvestment and neglect," said Jackson Chabot, Director of Advocacy and Organizing at Open Plans. "These projects allow every corner of New York to enjoy the same diverse, community-oriented streetscape that iconic, wealthy areas have long enjoyed. Kudos to DOT for adding to our protected micromobility network and employing proven measures like daylighting on Soundview and across the city."

"We're excited to see the redesign of Soundview Avenue coming to completion. This project will bring much-needed order to what has been a dangerous and chaotic road, and provide safe access to the ferry for people riding bikes and other micro-mobility devices. It's also an important step in advancing street-safety equity in the Bronx, which has long lagged behind other parts of the city when it comes to state-of-the-art infrastructure," said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. "Thanks to Commissioner Rodriguez and his team for making this a priority."