800,000 cyclists with nowhere to bike
This proposal seeks to implement NYC Council Intro 1933-2020 with a network of “linear parks.”
If realized, it could result in hundreds of miles of recreational routes for NYC’s 800,000 cyclists who have few options that aren’t overcrowded with pedestrians and runners.
The proposal can be implemented quickly and cheaply by posting the gps data. As routes gain acceptance, they can be enhanced with on-street signage and safety improvements.
The examples cited in this proposal:
• Span Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island. Some loop out of Manhattan.
• Range from eight to 50 miles.
• Aggregate on-road bike lanes, separated bike paths, low-intensity residential streets and industrial areas that get little traffic on weekends.
• Avoid crowded paths like Hudson Greenway and Prospect/Central Park Drives.
• Facilitate take-out from local restaurants and al fresco dining.
• Skirt past city parks at regular intervals to ensure frequent rest stops.
• Do not require street closure, loss of on-street parking nor NYPD involvement.
• Underserved Constituencies – Creates new opportunities for exercise and recreation NYC’s 800,000 cyclists while reducing potential for conflict (crashes) between classes of users on existing facilities.
• Develop Local Economies – Will funnel area residents towards neighborhood shops and restaurants, capitalizing on the global trend towards staycations.
• Invest in Resilience – Bikeways supplement existing bus-subway capacity. Bridges “transportation deserts.” Increases multi-modal trips. Enhances resilience to widespread transport outage and service reductions. Creates a value proposition, and a literal road map, for bike share providers to extend their networks to the outer boroughs.
• Positive Effect on Climate Change – Creating safe, accessible bike infrastructure reduces vehicle miles traveled, traffic congestion and CO2 emissions from transportation.
• Preserve Access to Green Space – Given that seven times as many bike for recreation than transportation, a network that emphasizes recreation and connecting public parks will do more to expand the constituency than a purely utilitarian network.
The following examples comprise a map (red is outbound, blue is inbound), a GPS file (requires free account) and a “cue sheet” (turn-by-turn printout).
• London to transform streets to prepare for a 10-fold increase in cycling and walking, Smart Cities World, 5/7/20
• How Paris became a cycling success—and built a roadmap for others, Curbed, 1/31/20
• Deaths Expose Chaos of Central Park Loop, NY Times, 9/28/14
Neile Weissman heads up Complete George—250 organizations and communities calling for wider bikeways across the George Washington Bridge. He is Public Relations Director and a Past-President of New York Cycle Club and leads fifty rides per year across the tri-state region.