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DOT Builds Nearly 30 Miles of Protected Bicycle Lanes in 2020; Nearly 10 Miles in Queens

The protected bicycle lane on 43rd Avenue that was constructed in 2018. The city adjusted the timing of the traffic lights along this strip in 2020 to reflect the speed of bicycles as opposed to cars (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Dec. 29, 2020 By Christian Murray

The Department of Transportation constructed 28.6 miles of protected bicycle lanes across the city in 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.

The mayor said 2020 was a record year in terms of mileage, outdoing 2017 when 24.9 miles of protected bicycle lanes were built.

The borough of Queens saw 9.5 miles of on-street protected bicycle lanes go up in 2020, more than any other borough. In Brooklyn 9.1 miles of protected bike lanes were constructed; Manhattan 5.0 miles; the Bronx 3.2 miles; and Staten Island 1.8 miles.

The mayor said that 2020 was a year when the city’s roadways underwent significant change. He said that there were 35.2 miles of conventional bike lanes built across the five boroughs; 83 miles of car-free open streets; and that there was space designated for more than 10,800 Open Restaurants on city streets and sidewalks.

Additionally, he said, more than 16 miles of new bus lanes were constructed.

“Our city has reimagined our streets as we’ve fought back the COVID-19 crisis,” de Blasio said. “That means more space for restaurants and businesses, faster options for bus riders, and more ways than ever to accommodate the cycling boom with new protected bike lanes.”

The city has constructed nearly 170 miles of on-street protected bicycle lanes since 2007, with 133 miles during the de Blasio administration.

The protected bike lanes that were constructed in Queens in 2020 went up in four areas: on Crescent Street from Queens Plaza North to Hoyt Avenue North; Laurel Hill Boulevard from 51st Avenue to 55th Road; Cross Bay Boulevard from Van Brunt Road to West 20th Road; and Cross Bay Boulevard from the Addabbo Bridge to East 6th Road.

“In a year where we have seen cycling boom throughout this city, DOT has done a remarkable job in building the critical infrastructure to keep New Yorkers safe and moving throughout this city,” said Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin in a statement.

The city also installed more than 1,200 speed camera across the five boroughs in 2020; added 50 neighborhood loading zones, bringing the total to 112 zones; and launched the Eastern Queens Greenway

The DOT also adjusted the timing of traffic lights to reflect the speed of bicycles as opposed to cars– in what is called “green wave signal timing”- across 13 corridors in 2020, including 43rd Avenue in Sunnyside.

“In a trying year, we should be proud of making real progress towards our goal of making our city’s streetscape more livable, safe, and enjoyable for all New Yorkers,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“We have much work left to do, but the Council is proud of our efforts to get the most out of our streets this year and will continue to push for more as we recover from the pandemic next year and beyond,” Johnson added.

Open Streets on 39th Avenue in Sunnyside/Woodside (Photo: Asha MacKay)

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22 Comments

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John J. Lynch

When the bike lanes were first installed, I was against them as well. Covid hit and all I’m doing is riding into the city, and I appreciate the added sense of security when riding. I find my biggest safety issue with the lanes is not cars, but other bikes, scooters, etc…just because your mode of transport can do 40 in a 15 doesn’t mean you should.

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Not well thought out

Bikes do not belong on queens Boulevard. 39ave is ok, the laurel hill Boulevard is good but queens Boulevard is just plain stupid and its inevitable someone will get hurt on such a busy street.

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A Normal Person

Not equal at all. A car is much more deadly than a bike. That is strait up SILLY.

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Crescent is amazing!

If you haven’t had the chance to bike it, Crescent Avenue is to Astoria what Skillman and 43rd are to Sunnyside. You can really see the influence of the Sunnyside road diets, calming traffic by reducing to one vehicle lane. It’s another fantastic redesign! Great job, DOT, looking forward to 2021!

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Inbred nyc

Bikes cause nothing but accidents ,take up valuable parking 🅿️, and not 🚫 one of these people on their bikes respect traffic 🚦 rules. I say registration, license, inspection,and insurance should be mandatory for all bikes. This is nyc, not europe 🌍, not asia. It may look it but it’s 🚫 not!!!

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Edd

Here we go again wasting tax dollars to paint some lines on the street for some bicycles. I am not a fan never will be a fan and have seen these individuals zoom past cars especially the ones with a motor on them. Those shouldn’t even be consider bikes i don’t care if you agree with me or not. I can’t wait till someone spray paint the beautiful slogan of F*** The Bike Lanes again.

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Yana

The city needs to get rid of all those illegal sidewalk vendors. People are walking through the bike lanes to practice social distance and stay 6 feet apart.

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Lenny Frutz

Just wondering where they’re are illegal sidewalk vendors on sidewalks in Sunnyside? I’ve only seen them under the 7 train.

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Jackie

After defund the police the city can save more money and reduce crime by putting more cops on bikes.

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Ryan

Looking forward to riding my bike in the spring. Hopefully street dining will not be permitted near bike lanes.

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Sue

This will help so many get to places. It will especially help people get to covid 19 vaccination sites in queens and throughout NYC.

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Guest

“Let’s ignore public transportation inefficiencies and keep painting lines on the roads and stop people from driving and make the roads narrow and more dangerous.”

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Tiger's Blood

Hashtag Winning
You would need Charley Sheen levels of cocaine to want to ride these bike lanes.

I have been hit by a car cycling, thrown out into on-coming traffic, and surprised I didnt die in the process. And I would much rather continue riding the streets vs these stupid bike lines.

These things insulate riders from cars and cars from riders. Now, neither are accustomed to the other, which leads to hostility. It needs to be integrated, not further segregated.

Not to mention, riders are closer to cars and cant see cars approaching intersections. As a good rider, you obey traffic laws and read cars as both a driver and a rider, just as when you are a pedestrian in non-traffic friendly cities, you learn to cross busy intersections at the appropriate time because of basic learning.

So, as with anything, you learn to anticipate and predict. We determine our own outcome most of the time. That is how you flow into traffic as a cyclist, and that is how drivers learn to cope with cyclists. You dont pass more laws that create stupid physical barriers that prolong the problem and pass it on to somebody else.

I grew up cycling, and i would NEVER ride a bike on these things. Its a death trap. I would rather the homophobes heckle me for wearing bicycle jerseys and tight shorts on my road bike down south or risking death on steep, rocky trails that ride on these stupid things.

Thanks but no thanks. We humans dont need parents(x) in the form of government. We need legislation that erases previous legislation to create the least amount of legislation to have an effective government that doesnt act like an over-protective nanny and/or parent.

Thank you.

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Winston Wolf

If some idiot is texting and driving, a bit of paint on the road won’t protect you when he or she starts swerving around like mad.

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Anonymous

And if some idiot smokes marijuana then rides his bike through the streets no amount of vigilance on the part of the driver will prevent an accident. Inattentive drivers and careless bikers are both equally problematic but adding in the intoxication factor makes it so much worse and the amount of bikers I see getting high in the park is a lot.

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