Mayor Adams’ pledge to build bike and bus lanes fails
Just nine months after being sworn in, Mayor Eric Adams’ campaign has pledged to be the “bike mayor” that installs 300 miles of protected bike lanes and 150 miles from bus lanes in four years is already insufficient.
The Adams administration isn’t close to hitting average annual milestones for those goals, according to the Mayor’s management report released last week, which provides an update on the work of all city agencies.
Adams is only halfway to building 75 miles of protected bike paths this year. This pace would lead him to his campaign commitment at the end of his term.
Adams only installed 2 miles of dedicated bus lanes, according to transit advocates who follow the city’s work. He would need to put in 37.5 miles a year to hit his campaign goal.
Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation under Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez appears to be struggling to update statistics and routine documents that allow people to identify dangerous intersections and track the city’s progress on safety. improved street safety.
Jon Orcutt, a Bike New York lawyer who worked at the DOT under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said recent DOT difficulties are deterring potential applicants to the agency.
“It pushes away people who are the motivated, interested and talented cohort that the city really needs,” Orcutt said. “This is an agency that needed to renew its technical assets and regain its mojo, and it’s going the other way now.”
It’s not just routine paperwork that gets overlooked.
Eric McClure, executive director of StreetsPac, a political action committee that advocates for safe streets, said the agency was behind on a plan to replace 20 miles of plastic barriers used in some bike lanes. with concrete barriers. Defenders had welcomed the project as a big step to protect cyclists.
“It’s not a quick and easy process, and will likely fall short of what they promised,” McClure said.
The Adams Administration originally said the strongest barriers would be in place within the first 100 days. So pushed this dates back to the end of 2023. The DOT told Gothamist that it expects 10 miles of protective barriers to be completed by the end of this year.
Orcutt credits the agency with one win this year: protected cycle path in both directions announced in May on Schermerhorn Street in downtown Brooklyn was open to bikers this week, with more improvements to come Later this year. He hopes it will be a model for other streets. But he said the biggest challenge would be keeping vehicles out of bike lanes, and he thinks the city still lacks a good model for a bike lane that consistently does that.
“It’s a real melee in the streets and the mayor hasn’t responded to it at all,” Orcutt said, referring to vehicles that regularly park and block entrances to protected bike lanes.
Bus goal congestion
The mayor’s management report shows 12.9 miles of bus lanes were installed in fiscal year 2022, which ended June 30. But supporters note that nearly 11 of those miles were installed during former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenure, not in 2022.
“Unfortunately, Mayor Adams is doing nothing for bus riders,” said Tabitha Decker, deputy general manager of the TransitCenter. “Bus lanes are one of the most effective tools the city has to speed up buses, which are the slowest in the country.”