Press Releases

June 10, 2022
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DOT Commissioner Rodriguez Announces Innovative Pilot to Harden Protected Bike Lanes

“Better Barriers” pilot will test new curb materials this summer across the city to keep bike lanes clear for cyclists

If effective, these barriers would greatly expand protections for cyclists with materials that are easier to install on a broader set of streets

Examples of seven different bike lane barrier materials from other cities (and one from N Y C). Barriers are made of rubber, plastic, metal and concrete, with a variety of sizes and shapes.

NEW YORK – New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today announced a Better Barriers pilot program to test new materials for protected bicycle lanes across the city. The pilot is part of the administration’s ongoing commitment to harden half of the city's existing delineator-protected bike lanes in two years, using sturdier materials that can keep lanes clear for cyclists. If effective, these barriers would greatly expand protections for cyclists with materials that are easier to install on a broader set of streets.

“Everything is on the table when it comes to keeping New Yorkers safe on our streets,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “My administration is going to be creative in finding and testing tools that can help us protect cyclists, and we will find the solutions that work for our communities to give New Yorkers the safe streets they deserve.”

“Our growing bike riding population deserves well designed protection, and the Adams Administration is committed to bringing creative infrastructure to our streets,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Through testing new forms of bike barriers, our City can more efficiently and aesthetically grow and support our bike network.”

“This summer, we are showing New Yorkers that bike lanes are protected for a reason: to keep our cyclists safe. The Better Barriers pilot is an example of the innovative ways we are addressing traffic safety and improving our cycling network,” said DOT Commissioner Rodriguez. “As we harden barriers along even more bike lanes this year, we are excited to begin this pilot — and will closely monitor its progress. I thank the DOT crews who have been working day and night to get this critical work done.”

The Better Barriers pilot will launch in summer, starting with an installation on Saturday, June 11, on Union Square East. Over the course of the season, the DOT will test new hardened rubber, plastic, and concrete barrier types along four bike lanes across the city. The materials will be evaluated for durability through the winter, at which point the DOT will determine which materials are most effective for wider use. DOT encourages all riders to check them out and provide feedback ( to help determine the future use of these products.

Pilot materials will be placed at the following locations:

  • Avenue C, East 3rd Street to East 13th Street (Manhattan)
  • Union Square East, East 15th to East 17th Street (Manhattan)
  • Quay Street, Franklin Street to West Street (Brooklyn)
  • 34th Avenue, multiple blocks along Open Street (Queens)
  • Northern Boulevard, 41st Avenue to 36th Street (Queens)
  • Edward L. Grant Highway, Plimpton Avenue to West 169th Street (Bronx) * protected bus lane test

“Protecting our bicyclists will only encourage more New Yorkers to rely on this healthier mode of transportation – healthier for them and for the environment,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Thank you to Commissioner Rodriguez for piloting barriers between vehicles and cyclists that I’m sure will make a difference in keeping people safe.”

“This innovative pilot program is a significant step forward toward making it safer to cycle around New York City,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “The barriers being tested have great potential to ensure that our streets truly and equally belong to all who use them, which will encourage more people to take advantage of these lanes. I look forward to seeing the results of this pilot and I will continue to partner with the Department of Transportation to continue promoting cycling in Queens and throughout New York City.”

“From delivery people to commuters on Citi Bikes, all cyclists should feel safe while moving through our streets. New York must build infrastructure that supports environmentally sustainable choices, and installing greater protections of bike lanes is a necessary step forward,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “I appreciate Mayor Adams and Commissioner Rodriguez for implementing the Better Barriers pilot program across the boroughs – including in my district – to determine the best way to harden bicycle lanes and bring much needed safety improvements throughout the city.”

“Hardened barriers protecting our bike lanes are a welcome addition to the community. As a cyclist myself, I look forward to providing feedback on the pilot barriers and will encourage constituents and other bike lane users to do the same,” said Assembly Member Harvey Epstein. “As a City, we must do more to protect cyclists and pedestrians. The Better Barriers pilot program is a step in the right direction.”

“It's clear we need more than paint to protect cyclists on the road. I'm thrilled NYC-DOT is experimenting with new materials to strengthen bike lanes around New York, including on Greenpoint's Quay Street,” said Assembly Member Emily Gallagher. “With enough vision and commitment, New York City can make our streets safer for everyone. I can't wait to see the Better Barriers pilot program in action.”

“New Yorkers are walking and biking more, and our infrastructure must continue to meet increasing bike ridership and uplift pedestrian and biker safety across our 5 Boroughs,” said Council Member Shekar Krishnan. “We are excited that the ‘Better Barriers’ pilot program will be implemented across our City and on our 34th Avenue Open Streets. It will create another layer of safety, and we commend the proactive steps by Commissioner Rodríguez and DOT to make our streets safer. Not only will this instill peace of mind for our bikers and pedestrians, it will also save lives.”

“Our streets belong to all New Yorkers, and we must prioritize street design and infrastructure that keeps everyone safe. These innovative new solutions to harden protective bike lanes and bring Better Barriers to our streets will save countless lives,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “I applaud Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and the Department of Transportation on today's announcement, and commend their dedication in honoring theircommitment to bring safe streets to New York City. I look forward to the success of this and future innovations on our streets, both in District 2 and across the five boroughs.”

“The Better Barriers pilot is fantastic,” said Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “This is the innovation we need to get more bike lanes protected and build out a world-class bike lane network. Each new protected bike lane will get us one step closer to achieving both NYC 25x25 and Vision Zero. We look forward to the results of this pilot and to quickly bringing these new barriers to communities across the five boroughs. Thank you DOT!”

“More than ever, we need real barriers to save the lives of cyclists instead of the false protection of plastic bollard bike lanes,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. “We’re very thankful to Commissioner Rodriguez for continuing to provide actual solutions to the traffic violence crisis so early in his tenure and we look forward to continuing to work with and support the innovative street design improvements of DOT.”

“We’re excited to see the city moving ahead with the ‘Better Barriers’ pilot effort. This type of innovative, quick-build bike lane protection can be a game-changer for keeping people safe, and the sooner DOT can put these barriers into place, the better,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. “Feeling protected is a major factor in choosing to bike, and keeping drivers out of bike lanes will greatly improve safety and encourage more biking, which in turn improves safety – it’s a virtuous cycle. We thank Commissioner Rodriguez and the team at NYC DOT for bringing this effort forward.”