As part of his administration's ongoing effort to eliminate traffic deaths, Mayor de Blasio announced Tuesday that New York City will be getting 75 miles of new bike lanes by the end of 2016, including 18 miles of protected bike lanes.
The new plan exceeds the scope of de Blasio's initial Vision Zero announcement from earlier this year, when he announced that the city was on track to build more than 15 miles of protected bike lanes by the end of 2016. The new lanes will be added throughout the five boroughs, particularly in places deemed Vision Zero priority areas—i.e., where a disproportionate number of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities occur.
"We know that bike lanes not only get more people cycling, they calm traffic and save lives," de Blasio said in a statement. "No cyclist death is acceptable, and that's why we'll continue raising the bar to keep riders protected."
Among the new protected lanes are:
A 2014 study from the NYC Department of Transportation found that constructing protected bike lanes drastically reduced cyclist injuries. The DOT estimated that serious injuries on streets with protected bike lanes dropped by 75 percent after the lanes were installed.
Protected bike lanes don't do much good when drivers treat them as free parking, so the efficacy of the new lanes will depend on the de Blasio Administration's appetite for cracking down on scofflaws. Unfortunately, the NYPD doesn't have a great record when it comes to protecting cyclists from drivers.
More cyclists have been killed so far this year than in all of 2015.