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Mayor announces vast bike lane expansion amid spate of cyclist deaths

Roll out: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his new $58.4 million bike safety plan, which will start by adding 80 miles of protected cycle lanes across the five boroughs by the end of his tenure in 2021.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a sweeping, multimillion-dollar plan to vastly expand the city’s bike lane network in the wake of a bloody year that’s already claimed the lives of 17 cyclists, most of them in Brooklyn.

De Blasio will funnel $58.4 million to the Department of Transportation to construct 80 miles of protected bike lanes by the time he leaves office in 2021, as part of a grand scheme to lay out a connected network of bike paths that span the Five Boroughs, and hopefully prevent future fatalities, according to the mayor.

“The fact that this all happened in such a small amount of time — it’s a crisis and an emergency,” de Blasio said at a press conference at Bay Ridge’s PS 170. “We’ve got to see this end, it cannot go on like this. These last weeks have been something that should never be repeated in this city.”

Out of the 17 cyclist’s deaths, 12 occurred in Brooklyn, and the borough routinely rates as the deadliest place to bike in New York, according to figures provided by the DOT, which showed that more cyclists have died in Kings County than other boroughs in all but four years since 2008.

So, it seems fitting that — in addition to the 30 annual miles of bike lanes — the mayor’s plan calls for the construction of an additional 75 miles of bicycling infrastructure by in 10 priority districts, seven of which are in Kings County.

These priority zones include parts of Bay Ridge, Borough Park, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island, East Flatbush, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Brownsville, and East New York.

The department will use most of the funds to hire 80 new transportation workers, adding to its existing 110 staff members.

In Brooklyn, the first phase of the bike lane expansion will bridge the large gap in existing cycling paths between Red Hook and Bay Ridge, with new protected bike lanes to create a continuous route along the Kings County waterfront by 2021, linking Greenpoint via the borough’s western and southern coasts to the frontiers of East New York, where riders can continue onto existing Queens bike lanes to distant Rockaway.

De Blasio also vowed to speed up construction of an ongoing Fourth Avenue bike lane through Park Slope and Sunset Park, connecting with existing bike paths that will take riders to Downtown Brooklyn, Prospect Park, and Bay Ridge, in addition to forging new eastbound routes connecting with Ocean Parkway.

Hizzoner also vowed to resist pressure from bike-wary community boards that shoot down city proposals to install bike lanes through their neighborhoods, saying that, while he valued their on-the-ground perspective, that he would use his executive mandate to roll out the cycling infrastructure regardless of any grassroots resistance.

“Community boards’ voices should always be heard, because sometimes what a community board offers is a perspective on how to do it better,” he said. “But you know, inaction is not acceptable. That’s the standard I’ve held. If a community board offers a critique or alternative that’s a better way to do things, great. If they simply want no change and we believe no change means less safety, I just give the order.”

The plan calls for the Police Department to crack down on risky driving behavior — such as speeding and failure to yield — in addition to featuring monthly enforcement sweeps, dubbed “operation safe passage,” targeting motorists blocking bike lanes.

And NYPD traffic agents will keep their eyes peeled for reckless truckers, according to de Blasio, who noted trucks have been involved in 40 percent of cycling deaths this year.

“I want everyone that drives a truck in this city to know that the NYPD will be watching and they will take action if any trucker does the wrong thing and endangers a bicyclist” he said.

The mayor touted the success of a three-week enforcement blitz he ordered police to conduct in the wake of a Williamsburg bike fatality during the first three weeks of July, when officers handed out double the amount of tickets for cars blocking bike lanes as compared to that same time period last year, hizzoner claimed.

But the mayor’s multimillion-dollar infrastructure scheme falls short for some bike advocates, including one Brooklyn lawmaker who said the mayor should do more to discourage New Yorkers from driving, saying cars remain at the heart of Kings County’s transit woes.

“The Mayor’s plan fails to address the root cause of our emergency,” Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D–Sunset Park) said in an emailed statement. “What we need is the courage to break the car culture and implement a master plan that protects the safety of our most vulnerable street users — cyclists and pedestrians.”

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 7:38 pm, July 25, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
This article left out the best part. According to Polly Trottenberg, they will get rid of "thousands" of parking spaces to do this :-) :-) :-)
July 25, 9:18 pm
Selena from Columbus, Ohio says:
If they’re dying, why is he encouraging more people to bike? Is he trying to kill them??
July 26, 12:20 am
Wendall Flipson from Queens says:
The problem is that many of the bikers are vegans (emaciated, under nourished). They’re weak to begin with, and might have died anyway. It’s difficult to tell whether it was the car’s fault, or their body giving up from lack of normal food.
July 26, 12:47 am
Felicia from Williamsburg says:
He's not my mayor.
July 26, 5:44 am
Sage from Bayridge says:
Bikes need a written test, rode test and insurance if your going to put them in the street with Drivers. It doesn't make sense to have cars to follow the rules but bikes are allowed to ride how ever they want.
July 26, 8:24 am
Juan from Sunset park says:
Deblasio where are the bike lanes in borough park and in Williamsburg where the Jewish peeps live. How come no enforcement there of bike lanes
July 26, 8:32 am
It's certified says:
this mayor is insane. Instead of learning from the mistakes of the past, his solution is to throw fuel on a fire - wtf. How did this guy get into office. Elementary children have better problem solving skills. Class action for the deaths of the innocent at the hands of NYC.GOV.
July 26, 8:39 am
Sage from Bayridge says:
AlmadeCubano was what I said wrong you have to be responsibe if I have to carry insurance for my car so should you for you bike if you riding in the street. If you damage property or hurt a pedestrian how will they be compensated.
July 26, 8:39 am
Ronnie from Bensonhurst says:
These are all Transplants from other states who hate cars until they need a uber.
July 26, 8:42 am
Ronnie from Bensonhurst says:
Overall, 7,904 pedestrians in New York State (including New York City) were treated in a hospital for injuries caused by a person on a bicycle between 20011 and 2015.
July 26, 8:57 am
Kieran from Fort Greene says:
$58.4 million and not one red cent from bikers. Cars have to be licensed, inspected and insured. They pay to be on the roads. They also pay for the bikers' free riding. Bikers pay not one red cent to use the streets, to crowd out trucks and cars. They don't have to pass written and road tests to prove they know the rules. The rules don't apply to them and they show how not by riding the wrong way on streets, ignoring traffic lights, riding on the sidewalks and getting themselves killed. The mayor and bike lobby use biker deaths to fuel their plan of wiping out cars and trucks in NYC. De Blasio is not a deep or careful man. He has had no scruples flooding the streets with bikers so unregulated they don't even have to wear helmets (requiring helmets would have messed up Citibike). De Blasio and the bike lobby have calculated biker deaths into their biker crash course. You want to make a five-borough two-wheel omelette, you have to count the cracked eggs. De Blasio didn't get to be the slovenly mayor that he is without taking the easy way everywhere. Not de Blasio's style to implement a huge idea with care and attention to detail. Better to use the results of careless planning to virtue shame the whole way. No biker dies in vain. Every biker death is worth 50 more miles of bike lanes. If de Blasio cared about biker lives he would mandate biker testing and licensing. The training would include indoctrination on not riding into a driver's blind spot. Many deaths come from the biker trying to squeeze by a truck where the driver can't see. Far be it from de Blasio and crew to pull back the bike program to train bikers for safety. To the contrary, no training and full speed ahead! Biker safety has never been the point anyway. It's using bikes to push cars and trucks entirely off NYC streets. If more and more bikers are getting killed, more and more bike lanes are being laid. All good.
July 26, 9:18 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Kieran thinks that if you buy a bicycle or sign up for Citibike, New York City and New York State exempt you from taxes. I don't know why anyone would believe that, but Kieran thinks it. Maybe Kieran isn't bright.
July 26, 9:23 am
IAMRIGHTAGAIN from ALL5BOROS says:
Hmmm, Perhaps the Mayor should ride a bike. Just saying....
July 26, 9:25 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Are you people really this stupid? Bikers don't pay taxes? Taxes that pay for things such as... roads? Wtf do you think the taxes taken from your paycheck pays for? Holy $hit you are dumb Kieran!
July 26, 9:43 am
Sage from Bayridge says:
Kieran thank you that makes sense. I say rules and regulations for everyone using the roads.
July 26, 9:54 am
Mustache Pete from Windsor Terrace says:
Kieran, I've been paying taxes over 30 years and always thought part of the revenues went to roads & infrastructure. Where did you learn how economics work, Alex Jones?
July 26, 9:57 am
Facts from NYS DMV says:
Additional taxes and fees drivers pay when registering or renew registration can be found here: https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/registration-fees-use-taxes-and-supplemental-fees-passenger-vehicles
July 26, 10:28 am
Facts from NYS DMV says:
NYers also pay about 43¢ per gallon in gas taxes.
July 26, 10:33 am
Frank from Furter says:
Electric cars electric scooters...don t worry. New taxes are coming. Right now its thise hated trucks that deliver your food who pay the most for the roads. I dint have a oribkem with electric bikes..if they are going the rightcwat and obeying traffic laws. The idea that bikes should have no rules will lead to many more deaths and insurance increases. Soon all cars will be registered in Penn. Btw you really think most bike riders pat no taxes?
July 26, 10:48 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Hey Frank, did you have a stroke while typing that? Call 911, post haste!
July 26, 11:15 am
Kieran from Fort Greene says:
Sure everyone pays taxes. Buy a bag of chips, you pay tax. The point is, bikers pay no road taxes. They don't pay to use the streets, are exempt from congestion pricing when it comes, don't have to psy to have their vehicles inspected, don't get their bikes impounded for being in bad repair, don't pay to park wherever they want.
July 26, 11:20 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Kieran's point remains dumb because drivers don't pay enough road taxes to pay for the roads. Drivers make all the congestion and should be taxed to reduce it. And that last sentence. Wow. When drivers quit storing their private property in public spaces FOR FREE, this city will be far better off. But the massive giveaway to car-owners to let them store their stuff in the streets for free should be the end of this conversation. There should not be a single free on-street parking space in this city and as long as their is, drivers should shut up and hope regular New Yorkers don't catch on to what a scam they are running.
July 26, 11:26 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Maybe Kieran should stop complaining and get a bike, which can be impounded. Perhaps research before posting opinions as facts.
July 26, 11:33 am
Frank from Furter says:
It what happens when you type on the cell phone.. corrected version I don't have a problem with electric bikes..if they are going the right way and obeying traffic laws. The idea that bikes should have no rules will lead to many more deaths and insurance increases. Soon all cars will be registered in Penn. Btw you really think most bike riders pay no taxes?
July 26, 11:35 am
Ro from Park Slope says:
All the bikes and bike lanes are meaningless if safe cycling laws are not put into effect.
July 26, 11:38 am
Captain America from Flatbush says:
Many of the cycling fatalities this year (not all) are a direct result of cyclist not following the rules of the road and bike lanes would not have prevented them. Follow these tips for a safer ride: (1) Make yourself visible on the road and wear clothing that will easily contrast with the surroundings. (2) Plan routes that have less traffic and wider streets. (3) Assume that you cannot be seen and ride defensively. (4) Obey all signals and road signs. (5) Don't text and ride. (6) Yield to pedestrians. (7) Be Alert.
July 26, 11:41 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Many? The only fatality I recall that was a cyclist's fault is the one on Bushwick ave, where the cyclist collided with a cement mixer. A cement mixer that shouldn't have been on that street and was hauling ass through the intersection. I agree, cyclists should follow the rules and if you red a red, be courteous about it.
July 26, 11:48 am
Wilbur D. Horse from Camelot says:
The deceased Teen cyclist in SI ran a red light, braked too late, and fell into a tow truck. The tow had the green but couldn’t stop in time. (New York Post). This is studiously ignored by deBlasio. 2 weeks ago, the female cyclist was pedaling on the sidewalk, Boerum St, under a sidewalk SHED, completely invisible to the cement truck that SHE hit. Truck had the green. This was also studiously ignored by deBlasio. Cyclists know they will not be held responsible for their reckless operation...so why should they start to obey the rules of the road now? They will, if they are forced to take a 5 hour safety class, pass a written test and road test, get a license, put plates on their bikes, and purchase insurance. Only then will you see them stop at red lights, and stay off sidewalks. You DO want fewer bikers to die, right? Stop treating them like little babies, eternal victims.
July 26, 11:54 am
Everyone from Everywhere says:
Maybe Mike from Williamsburg should get a better job (if he has one) and stop being jealous of car and homeowners and also stop demanding the borough be covered with high rises so he can get a cheap government apartment.
July 26, 11:58 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
No, I want to keep it there for now. Maybe you can suck on it later. I had coffee and tacos for lunch.
July 26, 12:07 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Wilbur, driver's take a 5 hour course, pay registration, and must have car insurance. Yet they still kill so many pedestrians, cyclists, and themselves. Your logic is flawed.
July 26, 12:10 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
"Everyone" raises the good point that entitled car-owners want the government to give them away free space on the street to store their property just as entitled homeowners want the government to make it illegal to build enough housing for people to live in. These selfish wretches could never get what they want if they had to pay for it, so they make the government protect their privileges. It's the same demented entitlement that comes from, among other things, growing up eating too much lead paint.
July 26, 12:43 pm
Born and raised in brooklyn from Transplants have ——ed up the city. says:
Mike from Williamsburg but it's ok for private corporations to own public space, like zip cars, Citi bike racks. Bike lanes , bike racks where parking use to be in the street and restaurants seating space.
July 26, 1:52 pm
Nobody cares! says:
Oh, Born and raised in Brooklyn you say? We're so so proud of you! Good boy!
July 26, 2:39 pm
Seth from Park Slope says:
The mayor is being honest when he says he'll roll right over any community board that objects to his master bike plan. He has no more respect for the community boards than he does for the police and the voters, which is no respect at all. Give him credit for this rare honest statement.
July 26, 2:39 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-letter-july-26-20190726-tujafqg6vragxoz64k4ajmylqe-story.html Bossy bikers Holliswood: Re “Linking Death To Bike Battle” (July 21): It appears that Joe Cutrufo of Transportation Alternatives and Jon Orcutt do not believe the community should have a say about the installation of protected bike lanes. What is the purpose of having community boards if you’re just going to ram your proposals through? Shouldn’t the community, the very community who will be impacted and have to deal with the unintended consequences of these street redesigns, have a say? Sounds like they don’t believe in democracy, but autocracy. Gregory W. Chupa
July 26, 2:46 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-letter-july-26-20190726-tujafqg6vragxoz64k4ajmylqe-story.html Bossy bikers Holliswood: Re “Linking Death To Bike Battle” (July 21): It appears that Joe Cutrufo of Transportation Alternatives and Jon Orcutt do not believe the community should have a say about the installation of protected bike lanes. What is the purpose of having community boards if you’re just going to ram your proposals through? Shouldn’t the community, the very community who will be impacted and have to deal with the unintended consequences of these street redesigns, have a say? Sounds like they don’t believe in democracy, but autocracy. Gregory W. Chupa
July 26, 2:46 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-letter-july-24-20190724-2p3x66wov5f3tdxyuyc57ohike-story.html Silly bikers, streets are for cars Brooklyn: It really is a shame that New Yorkers are killed by drivers. But, on a daily basis, I have to dodge careless bikers dotting in and out of traffic. Robert Sibert Bikes in Berlin New Rochelle, N.Y.: New York City should take a look at bicycle lanes in other countries. In Berlin, they are part of the sidewalk and part of the streets. Most of the heavily traffic streets have them. If cars park on the streets, they cannot get on the bicycle lanes because they are above street level. Pedestrians know better than to walk on them if they do not want to get hit by a bike. But bicycle riders must adhere to the traffic rules. If not, they get fined. Smaller streets with less traffic may not have any bicycle lanes. Bicyclists will be on the streets but in the right lane only, going with the traffic, and, again, obeying all traffic rules. This would be safer for all: pedestrians, drivers and naturally bicycle riders. Maria Schwaiger
July 26, 2:48 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ban all personal vehicles. also, I can't stop farting.
July 26, 2:57 pm
Henrietta Fordyce says:
Please BP don’t ever remove these posts they are simply too much fun to read!
July 26, 3:30 pm
Watson Walker II from Olde Mille Basin says:
AS all of DeBlasio's projects, this too will fail. The bikesters will reap what they sow and us pedestrians no longer care what ever happens to them. Good riddance to some very foul mouthed pedal pushers.
July 26, 4:37 pm
MAI DAI from Homecrest says:
Mayor DeBlasio and Henry Ford of Bay Ridge are as alike as 2 Peas in a Pot.
July 26, 4:40 pm
Edith from Brooklyn says:
Mayor Nitwit and his anti-Midas touch. This guy is a plague on nyc. Counting down the months until he is unemployed.
July 26, 5:49 pm
JT from Harlem formerly Park Slope says:
@Kieran Roads are paid for largely out of general taxation. So driving is actually subsidized.
July 26, 6:18 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Get on the bus if it ever comes comrade. It’s Agenda 21.
July 26, 9:49 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The solution for making it safer for bicycles isn't giving them more bike lanes, it should be having them actually following the traffic laws with better enforcement that includes even them abiding to it.
July 27, 1:44 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The solution for making it safer for bicycles isn't giving them more bike lanes, it should be having them actually following the traffic laws with better enforcement that includes even them abiding to it.
July 27, 1:44 pm
Ronny from Bensonhurst says:
You can fix this by giving a written test, rode test and given a bike license and now carry insurance. Done !
July 28, 8:43 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-letter-july-29-20190729-vlrz2otskvae5afc27c6mvjd2e-story.html Former bike activist Manhattan: In their July 25 op-ed, “Cyclists in the city are terrified,” the authors grieve the recent deaths of cyclists struck by cars and trucks and offer a list of proposals to make riding safer. They fail to address the responsibilities of the riders. They offer the very low bar of justification that “when bicyclists break the rules, they don’t kill people.” One might add “yet.” I ended my membership with Transportation Alternatives several years ago after two requests for their ideas or plans to get riders to ride safely and obey the law went unanswered. Still waiting. Rev. John F. Backe
July 29, 2:41 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-letter-july-29-20190729-vlrz2otskvae5afc27c6mvjd2e-story.html Former bike activist Manhattan: In their July 25 op-ed, “Cyclists in the city are terrified,” the authors grieve the recent deaths of cyclists struck by cars and trucks and offer a list of proposals to make riding safer. They fail to address the responsibilities of the riders. They offer the very low bar of justification that “when bicyclists break the rules, they don’t kill people.” One might add “yet.” I ended my membership with Transportation Alternatives several years ago after two requests for their ideas or plans to get riders to ride safely and obey the law went unanswered. Still waiting. Rev. John F. Backe
July 29, 2:41 pm
David from Park slope says:
Tal Barzilai wouldn't make sense for people who ride a bikes in the street to educate themselves in how to ride with cars and trucks. Why would you have a driver have a license and insurance but the bike has no rules with many riders don't follow them.
July 31, 5:48 am

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