Dec. 21, 2017 By Tara Law
The Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that it had installed more than 25 miles of bike lanes in 2017—a record year.
The 25 miles broke last year’s record when 18 miles were installed, according to the DOT.
The city now has a bike lane network that is nearly 1,200 miles with more than 80 miles of that network being on-street protected bike lanes. Most of the network consists of painted lines.
Many Queens residents have praised the City’s investment in protected bike lanes as a way to make the streets safer, and to improve transportation as streets have become more congested and the subways slower.
Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group seeking safer streets and bicycle lanes, has been a prominent voice in favor of the additions. Paul Steely White, the organization’s executive director, praised the DOT’s efforts.
“We look forward to working with the Department of Transportation not only to secure a year-over-year expansion of this life-saving infrastructure, but to ensure that one day soon every New Yorker will live within a quarter-mile of a protected bike lane,” said White.
DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg discussed the strides the city has made to expand cycling.
“Twenty years ago, the city took a big step forward with its first plan to build a bike lane network, and cycling is now growing by orders of magnitude, faster than any other mode of transportation in the city,” said Trottenberg.
Not all New Yorkers have welcomed the protected bike lanes so enthusiastically.
Project opponents in Queens have contended that it is more difficult for drivers to navigate streets narrowed by the lanes. Some business owners have also complained that the elimination of parking spaces to make way for the protected bike lanes has cut down on their flow of customers.
Despite these objections, the DOT has moved forward with its plans last year, including three major projects in Queens.
The DOT installed Phase 3 of the Queens Boulevard transformation, which resulted in protected bicycle lanes being installed between Eliot Avenue and Yellowstone Boulevard as part of the ongoing project. The redesign resulted in the loss of 198 parking spaces.
A bike lane on 111th Street by Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Corona was installed this year.
Finally, by Alley Pond Park in Bayside, several miles of protected bike lanes connect Joe Michaels Mile to Douglaston via Northern Boulevard.