Vision Zero: Mayor de Blasio Announces Arrival of City Hall Protected Bike Lane

September 15, 2017

New traffic configuration on Park Row removes conflicts, improving safety of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists; new two-way bicycle lane creates a more seamless connection to the Brooklyn Bridge from Lower Manhattan

NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a new traffic configuration on Park Row next to City Hall, including a two-way protected bike lane, a new crosswalk and a network of lanes of more than two miles around lower Manhattan and the Financial District, increasing safety for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists trying to reach the Brooklyn Bridge from the Financial District. DOT crews expect to complete final elements of the project in the next week.

“We are committed to making cycling in New York City safe, and that includes making changes right on the doorstep of City Hall. For thousands of cyclist who cross the Brooklyn Bridge each day, this means a much safer ride,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Two weeks ago, we announced our plans to next year bring pedestrian and bicycle access to Park Row north of City Hall going to Chinatown.  Today, on a different stretch of Park Row, we have already created the new City Hall two-way bike path that will also make a big difference.  In Lower Manhattan, where every inch of real estate is in incredible demand, credit goes to DOT engineers and planners who found the way to make these streets safer for everyone -- all while relocating vehicle parking and traffic with minimal disruption.”

The new City Hall bike lane is less than 400 feet long but is in an area of high pedestrian and cycling demand, where the previous one-way southbound bike lane often led to unsafe interactions.  For example, according to DOT counts, on a single weekday in 2015, more than 500 of 1647 total cyclists cycled the wrong way (north) on Park Row -- riding against traffic on the street’s west side, often on the sidewalk. 

Between 2009 and 2014, these few blocks of Park Row saw four cyclist injuries, including one severe injury.  The project’s major pedestrian improvements include a new crosswalk across Park Row at Spruce Street, where in a peak hour, DOT counted 55 pedestrians making the previously unprotected crossing on the north side of Spruce Street.  As part of the project, other pedestrian crossings across Park Row were also shortened with widened curbs and the expansion of center medians.  As part of the redesign, authorized parking that had been previously located on the west side of Park Row was relocated to the expanded center median area.

“Under Mayor de Blasio and Vision Zero, we have added hundreds of miles of bicycle lanes and improved countless intersections and crosswalks around New York City, but this relatively small Park Row project proves that sometimes it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.  “In one of Lower Manhattan’s busiest areas, a few hundred feet of bike lanes and a single new crosswalk will make a real and consequential difference to the safety and convenience of thousands of daily users.”

As part of its continued commitment to expanding New York City’s bike network, which now has over 1,130 miles, DOT also announced that it expect to this fall complete a new two-mile network of bicycle lanes around lower Manhattan that connect the Brooklyn Bridge to Battery Park.  The network, including the new City Hall bike lane, adds bike lanes and shared lanes onto streets in the Financial District. This project is among several designed to improve bike access and connectivity to bridges, including at both sides of the Brooklyn Bridge this past year, with plans for the Williamsburg Bridge in the next year.

"We have miles of bike lanes in Manhattan, but we need even more -- especially in certain key locations like the City Hall area, where workers, tourists, and cyclists all share crowded streets," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Two-way protected bike lanes here will ensure safety, ease of travel, and a better overall street environment for everyone."

“Our roads are shared by everyone, which is why it’s critical that we work to keep them safe and accessible,” said Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou. “Lower Manhattan’s streetscape is in dire need of renovation, and the City Hall and Park Row bike lanes are a step in the right direction towards improving mobility in our neighborhoods. I commend DOT for their work, and I look forward to partnering with the community to improve our roads here in lower Manhattan.”  

"It's always a new day when we can cut the ribbon on a new protected bike lane in our city," said Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. "It's an even better day when it is right in the shadow of City Hall. The number one way to protect cyclists in our city is through fully protected lanes and the expansion of this network remains a critical goal in our larger Vision Zero efforts. This new lane also creates a new connection for cyclists heading over the Brooklyn Bridge toward the financial district, and hopefully will encourage fewer drivers to enter the area. I commend Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg on this accomplishment and look forward to many more announcements of completed protected lanes."

“With a two-way bike path, crosswalk, and re-designed pedestrian crossings, the Mayor’s new City Hall traffic configuration will make a huge impact to enhance safety for the New Yorkers traveling through one of the most bustling areas in Lower Manhattan,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for all your efforts to see this through. I look forward to working with you and our Lower Manhattan community to continue to expand and improve safety, access and connectivity along City Hall and Park Row.”

For more information about the de Blasio Administration’s Vision Zero initiative, please see www.nyc.gov/visionzero 


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