The city is on track to build more than 15 miles of protected bike lanes this year, according to an announcement by the Mayor's Office and the Department of Transportation, which say that amount would be the most such lanes laid in a single year. The DOT says it installed 12 miles in 2015.
"We know bike lanes calm traffic and reduce the chance of crashes. Even after the safest year ever recorded on our streets, our Vision Zero efforts will expand the network of protected bike lanes even farther, so we can have safer streets for all our people."
Many of the stretches of protected bike lanes have already been announced, and most have been approved by community boards, which the DOT is typically deferential to, though they are unelected and their opinions merely advisory. The coming lanes include:
· Bronx: Bruckner Boulevard, Hunts Point Avenue to Longwood Avenue.
· Manhattan: Amsterdam Avenue, West 72nd Street to West 110th Street; Chrystie Street, Canal Street to 2nd Street; 6th Avenue, West 8th Street to West 33rd Street and; 2nd Avenue, East 105 Street to East 68th Street.
· Queens: 20th Avenue, 37th Street to Shore Boulevard; Shore Boulevard, Ditmars Boulevard to Astoria Park South; and Hoyt Avenue North, 27th Street to 19th Street.
· Brooklyn: Marine Park Connector, Ave U to Flatbush Avenue.
· Brooklyn/Queens: Pulaski Bridge, linking Greenpoint and Long Island City.
That amounts to about 10.2 miles of two-wheel terrain. Where the difference will be made up is unclear, but the DOT writes that other projects are in the pipeline and soon to be announced. The proposals could take a while to wend their way through the contentious community board approval process, and will take some not-always-present hustle on the part of the DOT to get the construction done. The Upper West Side's Community Board 7 repeatedly voted in favor of a protected bike lane along Amsterdam Avenue starting back in 2009, and the design is only now becoming a reality.
In southern Brooklyn, meanwhile, a plan to connect a bike path through Marine Park to a two-lane path along Flatbush Avenue on the lead-up to the Belt Parkway has been met with strident opposition from local civic leaders. They fear the path, designs for which have not been made public, will be on the street, rather than off to the side where unmarked sidewalks currently serve cyclists.
"We are preparing a path into a pit of danger," Marine Park Civic Association president Bob Tracy told Brooklyn Daily. "They’re going to come around that bend, and they’re going to die."
"We will never, in any way, endorse bike lanes on Flatbush Avenue," Community Board 18 district manager Dorothy Turano told the website.