New York street redesign plan and road and safety improvements announced for the next five years

One of the big complaints has been the lack of reforms to the bus lines in NYC

Photo: Edwin Martínez / Impremedia

Since the Mayor Bill de Blasio took over New York City, one of its flagship programs has been “Vision Zero “, with which he pledged to improve the streets of the Big Apple and increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists. And with less than a month left until the president leaves the Government, which will be assumed by Eric Adams, in January, De Blasio announced a master plan, as the last impulse of its initiative, which seeks to guide the redesign of the roads during the next five years

Under the name “New York City Street Plan”, the announced program offers guidelines to improve the development of the infrastructure of buses, bicycles and pedestrians, balancing the use of space between users and transporters.

“Vision Cero has shown the nation how to reimagine our streets for buses, bicycles and pedestrians, not just private vehicles. This plan outlines a way forward to take advantage of that progress with innovative ideas from the lessons we have learned, “he said. the outgoing Mayor. “This plan will make our streets safer than ever.”

The plan, among other details, outlines the way in which the Department of Transportation (DOT) must work, in order to achieve concrete progress in road maintenance. before December 31, 2026. Primary goals being pursued include the creation of 150 miles of physically or camera-protected bus lanes, 4,750 priority traffic signals at intersections, 250 miles of protected bike lanes, 2,500 updates to bus stops, such as banks, shelters and passenger information in real time and the redesign of 2,000 signalized intersections.

It also seeks to create 2,500 accessible pedestrian signals at intersections, assess and modify commercial loading zones and truck routes, develop parking policies, use of public transportation, reduce vehicle emissions, and access for people with disabilities.

Ultimately, the plan promises to create and maintain one million square feet of pedestrian space.

The president of the Municipal Council, Corey johnson, assured that this plan solves the street planning problems that for years led the city and that had a negative impact on everyone.

“The New Yorkers paid the price every day stuck in slow buses or as pedestrians or cyclists on dangerous streets. I applaud DOT for all its work to make this new vision of a master street plan a reality, ”said the head of the municipal legislative body. “This plan gives New Yorkers a concrete vision of how we will reform the city over the next five years and work toward our goal of making this a safer and more equitable place to call home.”

The DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman, stressed that the plan provides the framework that is needed to lead New York to effective and safe street redesigns, which will also improve the speed of journeys.

“It represents a roadmap that will help us deliver faster commutes for bus riders, safe bike lanes for cyclists, and sidewalks and curbs that are better managed for the changing demands of city life,” said the official.

The Commissioner highlighted as a relevant point that the new plan also includes communities that have been disadvantaged in terms of safe streets and transportation, also looking for priority areas of the city to make improvements.

Similarly, it was announced that the communities will participate in all infrastructure redesign projects for vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and buses, and in 2023 the DOT will begin to make periodic reports on its progress in the works.

Danny Pearlstein, Director of Policy and Communications of Riders Alliance, organization that defends the rights of transport users, called on the next mayor to ensure that the plans are not left in the pipeline.

“Bus riders urgently need faster and more reliable rides, as promised by the Mayor in the New York City Street Plan,” the activist said. “The next administration must improve a lot. Buses are the top priority. New York cannot claim to be the largest city as millions of New Yorkers are forced to rely on America’s slowest buses. “

The NYC Street Plan in numbers

  • December 31, 2026 is the goal to meet the plan
  • 150 miles of physically or camera-protected bus lanes
  • 4,750 priority traffic signals at intersections
  • 250 miles of protected bike lanes
  • 2,500 updates of bus stops, such as banks, shelters and passenger information in real time
  • 2000 redesigns of signposted intersections
  • 2,500 accessible pedestrian signals at intersections
  • Evaluate and modify commercial loading zones and truck routes.
  • Create and maintain one million square feet of pedestrian space.