The city is experimenting with new types of bike lane barriers to separate cyclists from traffic ahead of what’s typically a busy summer biking season.
It plans to install the materials in five locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. It will also put up a new type of barrier in the Bronx to protect a bus lane there.
If the new rubber and concrete barriers prove effective over the course of the year, the city Department of Transportation could include them as part of its goal to strengthen 20 miles of bike lanes over the next two years.
“Our growing bike riding population deserves well designed protection, and the Adams Administration is committed to bringing creative infrastructure to our streets,” Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi wrote in a statement. “Through testing new forms of bike barriers, our City can grow more efficiently and aesthetically and support our bike network.”
When queried by Gothamist, the agency said it was on target to reach its “bike hardening” goals and add an additional 30 miles of bike lanes by the end of the year.
The city began installing Jersey barriers along bike lanes to protect riders, which Jon Orcutt, advocacy director of the non-profit Bike New York told Gothamist is a good start, but vehicles are still able to block those bike lanes. He said if the new barriers are easy for vehicles to drive over then they won’t be effective either.
“The thing that’s still missing to me is any sense of how we really car-proof the lanes,” Orcutt told Gothamist. “If the quality stinks, we don’t need more mileage of bike lanes full of trucks.”
The first new bike lanes barriers will be installed in Union Square this weekend along East 15th to 17th Street.
Other locations include:
Avenue C, East 3rd Street to East 13th Street (Manhattan)Quay Street, Franklin Street to West Street (Brooklyn)34th Avenue, multiple blocks along Open Street (Queens)Northern Boulevard, 41st Avenue to 36th Street (Queens)
There will also be a protected bus lane pilot lane as well at Edward L. Grant Highway, Plimpton Avenue to West 169th Street in the Bronx.
Adams hopes to spend $900 million over the next five years on bike lanes and improving the busways across the city.
As a candidate, Mayor Eric Adams pledged to make cycling part of his routine.
“If elected, you’re going to see me on my bike all the time riding to and from City Hall in a real way,” Adams said last October. While there are multiple images in the mayoral Flickr feed of him commuting by subway and bus, there’s just one set of images of the mayor riding a bike to a Citibike-related press event.
Mayoral spokesperson Fabien Levy wouldn’t say how many times the mayor bikes to or from City Hall, but wrote, “I think he just rides a bike when he feels like in the mood to do so. There is no timetable I would assign to it.”