De Blasio, NYC DOT propose ‘streets plan’ weeks before term ends

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Mayor Bill de Blasio and his Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman released a draft proposal for a “streets master plan” at the behest of City Council Speaker Corey Johnson late Wednesday.

The $1.7 billion initiative — proposed just weeks before all de Blasio and Johnson leave office — would direct spending toward bike lanes, bus lanes and pedestrian improvements.

Johnson and the Council tasked Gutman’s Department of Transportation in 2019 with coming up with a blueprint for reducing New York City’s reliance on cars.

The legislation set ambitious targets: 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.

Bike Lanes:New York
The plan would include 30 miles of new protected bike lanes.
Helayne Seidman

DOT’s draft plan released on Wednesday would include:

  • 20 miles of protected bus lanes
  • 30 miles of new protected bike lanes
  • benches or shelters at 500 bus stops
  • 500,000 square-feet of new pedestrian space in 2022 alone

The plan would also create another 30 miles of bus lanes, 50 miles of bike lanes per year through 2026.

Mayor Bill de Blasio
Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed the plan just weeks before he leaves office.
Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire
Speaker of the New York City Council Corey Johnson
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson also leaves office Jan 1.
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for New York Public Radio

Other recommendations include bike lane enforcement cameras and varying the price of parking based on vehicle size, which would require approval from Albany, as well as a proposed expansion of containerized waste collection.

DOT also plans to make its cargo delivery bike pilot permanent and “may” consider “automated enforcement” of city-issues parking placards, the document said.

“The NYC Streets Plan provides a roadmap for the future, featuring concrete goals, a new prioritization framework, and a robust set of recommendations for the City’s leadership to execute,” Gutman wrote in the report’s introduction.

Hank Gutman
Hank Gutman was tasked with coming up with a blueprint for reducing New York City’s reliance on cars in 2019.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press Agency/Alamy Live News

But the city’s leadership will look a lot different come Jan. 1 as de Blasio, Johnson and likely Gutman leave office. Mayor-elect Eric Adams has promised to add 300 miles of new protected bike lanes — or 75 per year if he serves one term. DOT’s current capacity is about 20 miles of protected lanes per year, the report said.

Adams also signed onto advocacy group Transportation Alternatives’ vision to “reallocate 25 percent of the city’s streetscape by 2025 from car-centric uses” to things like bike lanes, bus lanes, sidewalks, parks and plazas, according to his campaign website.

A rep for the incoming mayor did not respond to an inquiry from The Post as to whether Adams will pursue the blueprint pushed by the city’s outgoing leadership.

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