By: Ilana Siyance On Saturday, Mayor Eric Adams announced that New York City will spend more than $904 million over the next five years on traffic safety measures to help New Yorkers, amid the increase in traffic deaths.
“This is a historical investment in making our streets safe,” Adams said at a press conference in Brooklyn. “Too many New Yorkers have lost their lives to the traffic violence crisis, and we are seeing cities across the country struggle just like us, but this historic investment will allow New Yorkers to walk and cycle around our city without fear,” Adams added. “We are going to ‘Get Stuff Done’ and deliver safe streets for New Yorkers. This is how we save lives.”
As reported by the NY Post, the initiative will include significantly expanding mileage of bike lanes, as well as bus lanes which will protect cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians. The $904 million budget commitment includes nearly $580 million in capital funding, and expense funding of more than $65 million annually, or $327 million over five years. The commitment moves forward with goals set by former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “NYC Streets Plan”.
The announced five-year budget commitment is above the city’s obligated commitment based on the $1.7 billion 10-year plan, which promised to add: 150 miles of dedicated bus lanes and 250 miles of protected bike lanes within five years, signal priority for public transit at nearly 5,000 intersections and 1 million new square feet of space for pedestrians within two years. The plan also works to reform on-street parking and reduce the number of dangerous vehicles and drivers in NYC.
Adams said the city will get to work “immediately” adding physical infrastructure upgrades and physical barriers to some five “protected” bike lanes. This will make up half of the 20 miles of protected lanes he had vowed to deliver by the end of 2023.
Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said the commitment is a great start, but New York City still has “lots of work to do to address reckless driving and the senseless traffic violence”. Rodriguez added, “This funding will help New Yorkers reduce their dependency on dangerous cars and embrace safer, greener alternatives like biking and [mass] transit”.
On Saturday, to celebrate the city’s “Car Free Earth Day,” Adams, Rodriguez and other city officials biked over the Brooklyn Bridge from City Hall to Albee Square.