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Mayor de Blasio Signs Safe Streets Bill Into Law

November 19, 2019

New legislation commits City to build 250 miles of protected bike lanes and 150 miles of dedicated bus lanes over five years, submit new street design master plans regularly

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed new safe streets legislation into law, the latest step in the Administration’s progress implementing Vison Zero to make New York City’s streets safer. The legislation was introduced by Speaker Corey Johnson.

“I’m proud to sign this new safe streets legislation that will further the ambitious commitments we’ve begun under Vision Zero,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We thank Speaker Johnson for his leadership and look forward to continuing our work with elected officials and communities on creating new bus lanes and protected bike lanes in their districts even before this new plan takes effect. Over the next two years, we will continue to lay the critical groundwork that will allow this plan to be put into motion on Day One, and we are confident that this new plan firmly cements New York City’s reputation as the nation’s leader on street safety.”

“Today we take a giant leap closer to reclaiming our streets and making them safer for our residents,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “The Streets Master Plan, now signed into law, will revolutionize the way New Yorkers use our streets, creating more bus and bike lanes, more pedestrian space and safer street infrastructure. This law helps us make alternative transportation options more viable, which is necessary in our fight against climate change. Today would not have been possible without the hard work of transportation and street safety advocates, including families who lost love ones on our dangerous streets. Their persistence and passion led to a plan that will ultimately make New York City a more enjoyable place to live, work and play. New Yorkers for generations to come will be safer because of them.”

The new law requires DOT to implement a master plan for street design every five years, and contains specific targets for protected bike lanes, accessible pedestrian signals, transit signal priority and stop upgrades for buses, and new pedestrian public space. As part of the first master plan, the City will build 50 miles of protected bus lanes and 30 miles of protected bike lanes annually. In the first two years, one million square feet of pedestrian space will also be constructed. With today's announcement, the City also committed to ramping up the process to be ready to meet master plan commitments, both for DOT and for other city agencies, including DSNY, NYPD, FDNY, DPR, DDC and DEP. 

Intro 1557-A was passed last month by the New York City Council under the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson and City Council Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. The law will go into effect immediately, with the first master plan due from DOT no later than December 1, 2021.

Since 2014, DOT has made unprecedented improvements in street design, including building nearly three times as many miles of on-street protected bike lanes as every other mayor combined. In the Mayor’s Green Wave plan announced this summer, DOT committed to install over 80 miles of new protected bike lanes by the end of 2021, with a focus on high-fatality areas and neighborhoods with high ridership that lack adequate bike infrastructure. The City has committed $58.4 million in funding over the next five years for the Green Wave plan.

“No other American City has ever changed its streets at the pace that DOT has undertaken in the Vision Zero era, and so I offer DOT’s congratulations to Speaker Johnson and the Council for a new law that further enhances the rate that these major safety improvements will arrive on our streets,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “The Master Plan sets key benchmarks, but DOT’s work has already begun: prior to drafting the first plan and as part of Green Wave and Better Buses efforts, we will be busy getting ourselves ready for a dramatic surge in our work.“

“I am proud to have worked alongside my colleague Speaker Johnson on a number of bills that have increased protections for all cyclists and pedestrians. This Master Plan represents an ambitious and fundamentally different approach to our City’s streets, prioritizing people over cars, and safety over parking,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. “Since being elected and appointed chair of the Transportation Committee I have made it a top priority to ensure we keep pedestrians and cyclists safe through redesigning streets, building protected bike lanes, and working on congestion pricing. I will continue working with Speaker Corey Johnson, colleagues, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, and advocates to ensure we continue expanding road protections across the 5 boroughs.”

“For too long, our City has taken a piecemeal approach to street safety—making individual improvements on a case by case basis,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “Speaker Johnson’s legislation is a break from the past, and will finally offer a first of its kind comprehensive plan for how to make our City’s streets safer for pedestrian and cyclists while improving traffic flow for our City’s buses. I look forward to the benefits that this will bring to all road users. I applaud Speaker Johnson for his bold, swift action and thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for supporting efforts to make our streets safer and more equitable.”

“Creating a safe and reliable 21st century transportation network for everyone who shares our streets takes innovative thinking and bold leadership. I’m proud to support Intro 1557-A, which will help build critical bike, bus and pedestrian infrastructure to re-imagine how New Yorkers get around and better meet our City’s street safety needs. I thank Speaker Johnson and Mayor De Blasio for their partnership to see this legislation through, and all the advocates who share our commitment to enhancing street safety and access to public transportation,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin.

“With today's signing, Mayor de Blasio sends a message to all New Yorkers that our streets belong to people, not traffic,” said Danny Harris, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “Thanks to this transformational legislation, we're on the verge of a new era where all residents can have safe streets and dignified transportation options. We are grateful to Mayor de Blasio, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and the bill's co-sponsors for making the master plan a reality and unlocking countless opportunity for 8.5 million New Yorkers.”

“For years, we have been fighting to win safe streets, often one block at a time. But it has become clear that the urgency of the epidemic on our streets demands a more comprehensive solution,” said Mary Beth Kelly, a founding member of Families for Safe Streets. “The master plan will help us create a truly livable city, and most importantly, it is going to save lives. We send our gratitude to Mayor de Blasio for approving this historic legislation, and to Council Speaker Johnson for leading the way.”

"Today is a great day for the more than two million New Yorkers who depend on buses each and every day,” said Danny Pearlstein, Policy and Communications Director at Riders Alliance. “City bus riders are overwhelmingly low-income New Yorkers of color. By putting bus riders first on busy city streets, the Streets Master Plan is a powerful force for equity in New York City. Thanks to the great work of our friends at Transportation Alternatives, Speaker Johnson, and Mayor de Blasio, the most affordable way to get around New York will now become a much more effective transportation solution as well."

“We’re grateful to Speaker Johnson, his staff, and the City Council for moving the Streets Master Plan from idea to fully fleshed-out legislation as quickly as they did, and to Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Transportation for their willingness to work out the details necessary to advance it,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. “The Mayor’s signature today will put into motion an enormous step forward in making city streets safer and more humane for all New Yorkers.”

“Today marks a tremendous victory for New York City's two million daily bus riders who for years have been subjected to the slowest bus service in the nation,” said Jaqi Cohen, Campaign Director for the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign. “By doubling the existing number of bus lane miles citywide, overhauling existing conditions at bus stops, and accelerating the installation of transit-signal priority at intersections, the City's Streets Master Plan demonstrates to riders that better bus service is finally within reach. We applaud Speaker Johnson and Mayor de Blasio on the enactment of this monumental plan, and look forward to a safer, more equitable, and more accessible future for the City of New York.”

“Congratulations to Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on the Streets Master Plan bill,” said Kate Slevin, Senior Vice President, State Programs and Advocacy at Regional Plan Association. “Regional Plan Association is a proud supporter of this bill because it will bring safer, less polluting, and more affordable transportation to our growing city. This critical piece of legislation mandates construction of 250 miles of protected cycling lanes and 150 miles of protected bus lanes, along with many other necessary street safety improvements, on New York City streets over the next five years. We look forward to working with the NYC Department of Transportation and City Council as implementation proceeds.”

“The Street Master Plan legislation gives city leaders a new framework for working with communities to implement safe, accessible streets for everyone, across the city,” said Jon Orcutt, spokesperson for Bike New York. “Bike New York applauds Speaker Johnson, Mayor de Blasio and the City Council for this major step toward safety, sustainability and livability for all New Yorkers.”

"This unprecedented approach to ensure 21st century street design for all city residents is cause for celebration,” said Angela Azzolino, Executive Director of Get Women Cycling. “We have witnessed the rapid changes in city commuting and commerce over the past 10 years and can see the shift toward sustainable mobility benefits everyone. A street designed for those of us who walk, ride a bus, or a bike is not only needed but also necessary for communities to thrive. A street designed for an 8 year old, an 80 years old and all those in between is what we need in a city whose population continues to grow year after year. We are especially enthusiastic about the educational component included in the Streets Master Plan since we know it is absolutely vital to its success and its ultimate goal to ensure reliable safe street mobility for all New Yorkers.”

“The American Heart Association applauds the collective effort by the Mayor, the Speaker, the Council, and DOT to make New York City a safer place for walking, bicycling, running, and rolling,” said Greg Mihailovich, NYC Community Advocacy Director of the American Heart Association. “Transforming our streets to create a connected bike network with more protected bike lanes, improve pedestrian safety, and increase ADA accessibility will provide more opportunities for daily physical activity and result in better health outcomes for all New Yorkers.”

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