Photo by Yoav Aziz on Unsplash
This Biketober, New York City reaches the milestone of 1,500 miles of bicycle lanes — by far the largest urban bicycle network in the United States.
The new Bronxdale Avenue redesign delivers 2 miles of protected bike lanes and much needed safety improvements to a community where greater access to transportation and mobility is being prioritized, including through a successful e-scooter pilot.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez celebrated a historic milestone in reaching 1,500 miles of bicycle lanes and cutting the ribbon on the transformation of Bronxdale Avenue in the Eastern Bronx. This transformative project brings major safety improvements – including protected bicycle lanes on both sides of the street, turn speed reducers, intersection redesigns, and new pedestrian spaces – to a tier-one Priority Investment Area (PIA) connecting cyclists to/from Bronx Park and between Morris Park and Parkchester. As the first major on-street protected lanes in the area, Bronxdale Avenue is also expected to be popular with e-scooter riders, as the street is located entirely within DOT’s e-scooter share pilot area.
“We are proud to have the largest bicycle network of any American city right here in New York, and there is no better way to celebrate that by marking the city’s 1500th bike lane mile,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Our administration is investing nearly $1 billion to deliver more projects like this redesign of Bronxdale Avenue, and our teams are working every day to get these projects done and foster a safer, healthier, more equitable built environment for New Yorkers.”
“DOT is proud to have built 1500 miles of bike lanes, making our city the largest bicycle network nationwide. This historic milestone marks just how far New York City has come in support of bicycling, a sustainable, healthy, and fun way to get around,” said NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We acknowledge the significance of celebrating this milestone during Biketober at the Bronxdale Avenue protected bike lane, a project that has boldly moved the needle towards greater access to transportation in New York. Our agency is diligently prioritizing equitable and efficient street safety improvements, and that includes building new bike lanes and upgrading existing routes.”
“By collaborating with all of our partner agencies in New York City, the NYPD is leveraging the best ideas, and innovations, to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and all of the city’s valued road users,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Y. Royster. “The NYPD embraces the improvements being announced today as a continuing investment in our guiding principle – that traffic safety is public safety – and a strengthening of our mission to keep all New Yorkers safe.”
DOT’s redesign of Bronxdale Avenue better accommodates riders by converting the road into one travel lane per direction with turn lanes, providing more space for a parking-protected bike lane in both directions from East Tremont Avenue to Bronx Park East. The project also delivered new painted pedestrian islands at intersections to slow down turning drivers and shorten the time pedestrians spend crossing traffic. The redesign provides safer bike link between Bronx Park and the nearby Castle Hill Avenue bike lanes.
This redesign improves traffic safety for all road users. Protected bike lanes have proven to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries by 18%. The addition of pedestrian islands has shown to drop serious injuries and fatalities by 35.5%.
1,500 MILES OF BIKE LANES
More bike lanes means more cyclists. There have never been more bicycling and micromobility trips in New York City.
- Thirty percent of adult New Yorkers – roughly 1,9 million people – ride a bike; and nearly 900,000 do so regularly.
- On a typical day, there are over 550,000 cycling trips made in New York City, a 121% increase since 2009.
- The number of people biking to work in New York City grew nearly five times faster than other major U.S. cities between 2014 and 2019.
- Citi Bike broke its daily ridership record three times in September 2022.
- NYC DOT recently expanded its e-scooter pilot in the Bronx, which has logged more than 1.2 million trips since its launch in summer 2021.
To meet this moment, NYC DOT pledges to continue expanding and improving the bicycle network in all five boroughs, building on the momentum of NYC’s bike share expansion in the outer boroughs and a successful e-scooter pilot in the Bronx. We are excited that in addition to recent completed projects on Schermerhorn St in Brooklyn and Amsterdam/Ft. George in Manhattan that several of our projects are near completion, including bike lanes on Emmons Avenue in Brooklyn; Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island; 62nd Drive and 63rd Road, and Grand Central Parkway in Queens; and East 233rd, Webster Avenue, and Bronx Boulevard in the Bronx.
BRONX E-SCOOTER PILOT
In 2021, DOT brought shared mobility options to East Bronx neighborhoods, providing new transit options for travel between hospitals, schools, and subway stations. The pilot serves neighborhoods from Eastchester and Co-op City to Throggs Neck and Soundview, an 18-square-mile area home to 570,000 residents. Three E-Scooter brands are available to ride, including Bird, Lime, and Veo. The pilot allows DOT to determine the function of e-scooter share on City streets and requires companies to operate in alignment with the City’s Vision Zero and equity goals. In March 2022, DOT expanded the e-scooter pilot, nearly doubling the program’s footprint. For more information about the differences between E-Scooters, E-Bikes, and mopeds visit nyc.gov/ebikes.
DOT is committed to incorporating equity principles into programs and projects. To accomplish these goal DOT established an overall framework that identified Priority Investment Areas (PIAs) where future investments can have the greatest impact. Criteria for the development of PIAs include racial and income demographic data, population and job density inputs, and prior investment levels. Based on these determinants, the Eastern Bronx area was deemed a Tier 1 PIA. The Bronxdale Avenue Protected Bike Lane is an important step on the road to rebalancing investments towards higher-need neighborhoods.
DOT is also celebrating Biketober with a series of events to encourage safe cycling. Our Bike the Block program features a series of open-street events focused on bicycle programming, education, rides, and resources. The DOT is organizing street closures within underserved communities, offering programming that promotes fun, sustainable, healthy activities. The events will feature tips for riding, bike repair, bike law education, group bike rides, giveaways and cultural programming. The goal with these events is to expand DOT’s outreach and engagement around Street Improvement Projects, empower communities to reimagine their streets, create a platform for local cycling advocacy, and address barriers to biking. Our Safety Education team will provide free helmet fittings in cooperation with several local Councilmembers and will staff pop-up light and bell giveaways. For more information visit nyc.gov/biketober .
“As we prepare for our 28th Annual Tour De Bronx cycling event this Sunday, I am excited to join Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez for this ribbon-cutting celebrating 1,500 miles of bike lanes and paths now available citywide,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “As we mark this important week for biking here in the Bronx, I would like to thank Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and his entire team for their work in prioritizing alternative modes of transportation and traffic safety in our borough.”
“Bird commends Mayor Adams and NYC DOT on its continued commitment to on-street protected bike lanes,” said Austin Marshburn, Director of City and University Partnerships at Bird. “Combined with the successes we’ve seen thus far in the shared e-scooter pilot program, we believe this milestone truly makes a difference in getting riders where they need to go. Safe riding infrastructure will open new sustainable micromobility opportunities for all people in the Bronx as we continue to expand our footprint in the borough.”
“Nothing moves a city closer to achieving sustainability and transportation goals like concrete infrastructure improvements and all of us at Lime are so glad New York City is investing in its streetscape here in the Bronx and around the five boroughs,” said Phil Jones, Senior Director of Government Relations at Lime. “Tens of thousands of residents and visitors have taken hundreds of thousands of rides on Lime e-scooters in the Bronx and we only expect the success of the program to continue to grow as NYC DOT builds more and more protected bike lanes and other key infrastructure improvements. This will especially benefit people most in need of transportation solutions, like the thousands of New Yorkers who use our Lime Access discount program and those farthest away from subway stations and bus stops. We look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Adams, Commissioner Rodriguez, our local elected officials, and NYC DOT to build a sustainable transportation future here in New York City.”
“The Bronxdale Avenue redesign is an important project that will improve safety for everyone navigating their way around the Eastern Bronx and is especially noteworthy in that it brings New York City’s bike lane network to a robust 1,500 miles,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. “We look forward to continued growth in safe-streets infrastructure in tier-one Priority Investment Areas, which will help encourage New Yorkers in every corner of the City to safely bike, scoot, or walk. Congratulations to Commissioner Rodriguez and his team on this major milestone.”
“TSTC is thrilled to see the Department of Transportation reach the milestone of 1,500 miles of bike lanes and paths,” said Renae Reynolds, Executive Director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “I commend Commissioner Rodriguez and his team for committing to fortify at least half of the city’s bike lanes, and prioritizing areas that will have the greatest impact. This is a proven method of saving lives and encouraging more people to walk and bike. We must take aggressive and bold actions like these to restore balance to the city’s transportation network.”
“The Bronx deserves safe, fully-protected bike lanes. Physical protection along Bronxdale Avenue will people safe, whether they’re riding bikes, e-scooters, or other forms of micromobility,” said Shawn Gracia, Bronx/Uptown Organizer for Transportation Alternatives. “We look forward to working with DOT to bring safe biking infrastructure to more neighborhoods in the Bronx and meet the 30 miles required by the NYC Streets Plan by the end of the year.”
“As the saying goes, if you build it, they will come; and with each new mile of bike lane placed, more and more New Yorkers are choosing the safer, cleaner, healthier alternative to navigating our city streets,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Beyond the bike lanes themselves, this transformation of Bronxdale Avenue brings major safety improvements to a high-traffic area, and importantly, demonstrates that Mayor Adams and DOT Commissioner Rodriguez understand that everyone, regardless of their neighborhood and tax bracket, deserves access to safe streets and clean air.”
“RPA applauds the terrific progress NYC DOT has shown by implementing 1,500 miles of bike lanes in New York City, which steers us in a good direction toward a fully realized bike network for all five boroughs,” said Kate Slevin, Executive Vice President for Regional Plan Association. “Encouraging biking has great benefits for our city’s health and environment, and we look forward to continuing to work with DOT to make NYC an international leader in biking infrastructure.”
“We deeply appreciate the City’s focus on equity in rolling out this new bike lane in the Bronx,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. “These additions to the pedestrian and bike infrastructure in a long-neglected portion of the borough not only mean greater connectivity to nearby amenities, but also dramatically increased safety for all residents.”
“New Yorkers get a significant amount of the recommended daily physical activity from active transportation — walking, running, and biking. We applaud New York City’s efforts to ensure that people can move around under their own power safely and efficiently,” said Greg Mihailovich, American Heart Association Community Advocacy Director. “Environments that are safe and built with walking, biking and other physical activities in mind are correlated with lower body weights and reduced cardiovascular disease.”
“Protected bikes lanes, with accompanying public space improvements such as intersection redesigns, turn speed reducers, and new pedestrian areas, promote micromobility transportation options. Greater transportation options means a more accessible transportation network for all New Yorkers, including people with disabilities,” says Christopher Schuyler, Senior Staff Attorney in the Disability Justice program with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. “DOT’s 1,500th bike lane mile along Bronxdale Avenue, which is within the e-scooter pilot area, provides an environment for safe e-scooter usage, including wheelchair accessible e-scooters.”
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