NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez, Council Members, and transportation, accessibility, environmental, and safe streets advocates rallied in advance of the City Council passing Speaker Johnson’s historic streets master plan legislation. The legislation will be voted on in committee on Tuesday and then go to the full Council for a vote on Wednesday, October 30th.
The legislation will require the Department of Transportation to issue and implement a transportation master plan every five years. The plan’s goals would be to prioritize the safety of all street users, the use of mass transit, the reduction of vehicle emissions, and access for individuals with disabilities.
“The piecemeal way we plan our streets has made no sense for far too long, and New Yorkers have paid the price every day stuck on slow buses or as pedestrians or cyclists on dangerous streets. We need faster buses, safe streets infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, and more pedestrian space. We need to do everything we can to encourage sustainable modes of transportation, especially with the realities of climate change growing more dire every day. This plan will make New York City a much more livable and enjoyable place to call home,” said NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
The first plan would be due in December 2021 and would include:
- 150 miles of physically or camera-protected bus lanes over five years
- Transit signal priority at 750 intersections during the first year and 1,000 intersections during each subsequent year
- 250 miles of protected bike lanes over five years, with at least 30 miles in the first year and 50 miles in each subsequent year
- Bus stop upgrades like benches, shelters, and real-time passenger information (RTPI) at 500 bus stops each year
- Redesigning at least 2,000 signalized intersections over five years, with at least 400 redesigns each year
- Accessible pedestrian signals at no fewer than 2,500 intersections, with at least 500 installations each year
- Assessing and amending commercial loading zones and truck routes.
- Developing parking policies to promote the master plan’s goals of safety, mass transit use, reduced vehicle emissions, and access for individuals with disabilities; and
- Within the first two years, create and maintain one million square feet of pedestrian space
The following master plan, due in 2026, would include the completion of a connected bike lane network, installation of physically or camera-protected bus lanes on all routes where they can be installed, installation of accessible pedestrian signals at no fewer than 2,500 intersections over five years, installation of bus stop upgrades at all bus stops, redesign at least 2,000 intersections over five years, and installation of pedestrian ramps at no fewer than 3,000 intersections.
“Since I was a member and then Chair of the Transportation Committee, I have made it a top priority to address all issues related to cyclist and pedestrians from redesigning streets, building protected bike lanes, and working on congested pricing. I have had the honor to work alongside Speaker Corey Johnson to ensure that we put New Yorkers safety first,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee. “Speaker Johnson’s Master Plan bill will ensure that we increase cyclist and pedestrian protections across the five boroughs. I will continue working with my colleagues at the Council, Speaker Corey Johnson and advocates to make certain that we see no more cyclists or pedestrians lives lost.”
“As the representative of Lower Manhattan, I have advocated for years for a comprehensive plan that prioritizes pedestrian and cyclist safety on our City’s streets,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “Throughout my district, I have seen firsthand the safety and quality of life impacts of heavily congested streets. I am proud to co-sponsor Speaker Johnson’s transformative Streets Master Plan legislation. This legislation puts the safety of our cyclists and pedestrians first, promotes accessibility and use of our mass transit system and will reduce vehicle emissions.”
“Re-imagining our streets and how we all navigate them will help to create safer spaces and protect New Yorkers,” said Council Member Keith Powers. “I am proud to support significant and bold legislation from Speaker Johnson that will create smarter and safer streets for all New Yorkers.”
“We need to rethink how we use public space here in New York City, and that starts with our streets which should be shared equitably by all users,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “New York City streets are becoming increasingly congested and this year’s spate of cyclist fatalities makes apparent that our roads are dangerous for those who aren’t behind the wheel of a vehicle. Speaker Corey Johnson has been a staunch advocate of safe, equitable streets. Passage of his Streets Master Plan would be a huge victory for all New Yorkers.”
“The passage of the Streets Master Plan sends a clear message that New York City is committed to protecting cyclists, pedestrians and straphangers over cars,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, chair of the Committee on Public Safety. “We have lost too many New Yorkers on bikes this year and our buses have been slowed to a crawl, which is why we need to take a strong stance to provide the necessary infrastructure to save lives and get our residents moving faster. Incentivizing alternative modes of transportation is the future of New York City and I am thankful to Speaker Johnson, Council Member Rodriguez, Families for Safe Streets, Transportation Alternatives, Riders Alliance, StreetsPAC and all of the advocates who have been pushing for their improvements for so long.”
“Speaker Johnson’s plan to ‘break the car culture’ will take on new meaning tomorrow when we vote on our Streets Master Plan bill. As a daily bike rider, I know that if we can revolutionize the future of our streets, we will be able to address everything from congestion, to climate change, to pedestrian safety, and more. I’m proud to sponsor this legislation and want to thank all of the advocates and supporters who made this day a reality,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.
“In just six days it will be 10-years since our only child—our handsome, kind, generous, loving, creative, talented, and funny 22-year-old son Seth was run over and killed. Every two hours, someone is killed or seriously injured in a traffic crash in NYC. Our lives are forever changed because of the epidemic of traffic violence. The current piecemeal approach to fixing our streets is not good enough. The Master Plan provides the systemic change we need. As a founding member of Families for Safe Streets, I stand with fellow FSS members to proudly support Speaker Corey Johnson’s Master Plan Bill,” said Harold Kahn, Families for Safe Streets.
“For decades, New York has prioritized the movement and storage of vehicles over the safety and possibility of its residents. The streets master plan will usher in a new era of opportunity for New Yorkers by building equitable, safe, and livable streets for walking, biking and public transit. We are grateful for the leadership of Speaker Johnson and his Council colleagues in advancing this historic legislation, and we look forward to working with the Council and Mayor to make this a reality for 8.5 million New Yorkers,” said Danny Harris, Executive Director, Transportation Alternatives.
“New York’s more than two million daily bus riders demand priority on our City’s busy streets. Our buses slog through some of the slowest traffic in the nation. New York riders are overwhelmingly low-income and people of color. A fair city, a progressive city hears that call and stands up for its riders, affording them an engine of opportunity and access to work, education, and all the city has to offer. By accelerating the pace of bus lane installation, the streets master plan bill that the Council will vote on tomorrow ups the ante, putting riders first, on more City streets, faster than ever before. The Riders Alliance is proud to work with Speaker Johnson, Transportation Alternatives, and other allies both to keep winning better service for today’s riders and to ensure city buses are worth riding tomorrow and in the future,” said Danny Pearlstein, Riders Alliance Policy and Communications Director.
“Today the extent of protected bike lanes in the city is more a political map than a transportation network. But it’s not fair or functional for neighborhoods with more activists to have safer streets or more community assets. The Streets Master Plan will give city leaders a new framework for working with communities and implementing streets that work for everyone, across the city. Bike New York couldn’t be more appreciative of the leadership on this issue shown by Speaker Johnson and the City Council,” said Jon Orcutt, spokesperson for Bike New York.
“The Streets Master Plan is a giant step towards a more equitable and sustainable transportation system. It sets clear priorities on making street safer and building an infrastructure for walking, cycling and mass transit,” said Christine Berthet, Co-Founder of CHEKPEDS.
“Though it may not be obvious, reimagining street space goes hand-in-hand with combating the climate crisis. We must provide alternatives to cars to fight climate change, part of which means prioritizing the use of bicycles and buses. A comprehensive citywide master plan for our streets, one that emphasizes both efficiency and safety, will make it easier for New Yorkers to use sustainable modes of transportation, improve mobility, reduce dependency on cars, decrease pollution, improve air quality, and combat climate change. That’s why we support Intro 1557, the Streets Master Plan bill. NYLCV thanks Speaker Johnson for his outspoken leadership on smart transportation and sustainability,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters.
“Complete streets can make our city safer for New Yorkers of all ages,” said AARP New York Associate State Director Chris Widelo. “Whether you have a stroller or a wheelchair, ride a bike or take the bus, upgrading our streets improves the quality of life in New York City. We applaud Speaker Johnson and his cosponsors for supporting this important legislation to make New York a more livable and age-friendly city.”
“The Speaker and Council Sponsors have given us a plan to improve the streets for everyone, including people with disabilities. The plan emphasizes accessibility and public accountability, which is very exciting. Since the federal court decision in our case on bringing City curb cuts into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this is a terrific boost for our community,” said Susan Dooha, Executive Director Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY.
“Speaker Johnson’s Streets Master Plan bill has the potential to truly transform our streets and transit system. By prioritizing the safety of people on foot and bike, by bringing the bus system into the 21st century, and by remaking the curbside to prioritize active uses rather than private car storage, this legislation can revolutionize transportation in New York City. We’re thrilled to see it poised to pass in the Council, and we urge Mayor de Blasio to sign it into law at his earliest opportunity,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC.
“The Streets Master Plan is a giant step towards a more equitable and sustainable transportation system. It sets clear priorities on making street safer and building an infrastructure for walking, cycling and mass transit,” said Christine Berthet, Co-Founder of CHECKPEDS.
“The American Heart Association applauds Speaker Johnson for his leadership in fighting for a New York City that embraces active transportation” said Greg Mihailovich, NYC Community Advocacy Director of the American Heart Association. “Adopting a master plan for our streets that creates a connected bike network with more protected bike lanes, improves pedestrian safety, and increases ADA accessibility will provide opportunities for daily physical activity and result in better health outcomes for all New Yorkers.”
“As worsening traffic, declining bus ridership, and cyclist fatalities have forced us to reexamine how our streets work, this legislation is a step toward reimagining how New York’s streets function and rebalancing who has priority on them. With this legislation the City is moving toward a coherent surface transport policy vision that nurtures the most efficient, greenest, and humane modes of transportation,” said Dr. Eric Goldwyn, Research Scholar at NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management.