New York City’s bike lanes are about to get a little safer. According to a recent announcement, the city’s Department of Transportation is launching a pilot program to protect bike lanes with materials other than jerseys. As the announcement explains, the program falls under the city’s broader two-year initiative to harden half of its bike lanes “using sturdier materials that can keep lanes clear for cyclists.”
The pilot program, known as Better Barriers, officially began with the installation of new barriers on Union Square East on June 11th. It will involve the testing of “hardened rubber, plastic, and concrete barrier types along four bike lanes across the city,” extending through the winter months, when colder weather will allow transportation officials to assess the strength and resilience of the new materials. The city will specifically add new barriers to bike lanes on Avenue C in Manhattan, Quay Street in Brooklyn, 34th Avenue in Queens, and Northern Boulevard in Queens, in addition to the Union Square East lanes.
In a statement about the Better Barriers program, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “Everything is on the table when it comes to keeping New Yorkers safe on our streets. My administration is going to be creative in finding and testing tools that can help us protect cyclists, and we will find the solutions that work for our communities to give New Yorkers the safe streets they deserve.”
“This summer, we are showing New Yorkers that bike lanes are protected for a reason: to keep our cyclists safe,” Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said in a separate statement. “The Better Barriers pilot is an example of the innovative ways we are addressing traffic safety and improving our cycling network. As we harden barriers along even more bike lanes this year, we are excited to begin this pilot—and will closely monitor its progress. I thank the DOT crews who have been working day and night to get this critical work done.”
More information about the Better Barriers program to install hardened bike lanes and test new barrier materials is available via New York City and a report by Streetsblog.
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