* This article was first published in Cities-Today.com by Christopher Carey

New York City’s Department of Transportation plans to expand its bike lane infrastructure in 2023 significantly. Here’s how the upgrades are an extension of the city’s Open Streets initiative –

New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) is planning a ‘significant expansion’ of its bike lane infrastructure from 2023.

The agency wants to make it easier for bicycles and pedestrians to access the Washington Bridge – which connects the Bronx and Manhattan, and add protected bike lanes and two-way paths to several streets.

It is also aiming to improve public spaces in Brooklyn, including an overhaul of the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park.

“The DOT is proud to have delivered life-saving initiatives – including its most recent victory in surpassing the city’s commitment to improve the safety of 1,000 intersections across the city and to harden 20 miles of bike lanes,” said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.

“As the DOT continues to build, we are also excited to unveil some of the agency’s plans to continue expanding protections for all New Yorkers in the next year.”

Open Streets

The upgrades are an extension of the city’s Open Streets initiative – which closes streets to motor vehicles in favour of pedestrians and cyclists.

Thirty percent of adult New Yorkers – approximatly 1.9 million people – ride a bike, with nearly 900,000 doing so on a  regular basis.

On a typical day, there are over 550,000 cycling trips made across the city, a 121 percent increase since 2009.

Last month the city hit a milestone by reaching 1,500 miles (2414 kilometres) of bike lanes, with New York City Mayor Eric Adams saying he was “proud to have the largest bicycle network of any American city”.

Bus lane cameras

Elsewhere in the city, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced that it has expanded its automated bus lane enforcement (ABLE) cameras to three bus routes in the Bronx.

The roll-out is part of an announcement made last month to equip 300 additional buses with ABLE cameras across nine routes.

ABLE cameras capture drivers violating busway and bus lane rules in real-time.

In accordance with state law, warning notices will be issued to motorists for the first 60 days before any fines are given.

“For many of our residents, public transportation is an essential means to getting to their destination,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “With this initiative, the MTA is prioritizing safety, accessibility, and speed.”

Image: SpencerThomas (Flickr)