Coalition Calls On NYC Leaders To Kick Cars Off 25 Percent Of City Streets


A various coalition of greater than 80 advocacy teams and nonprofit organizations is asking the subsequent technology of metropolis leaders to think about what it will take to put in 500 extra miles of motorcycle lanes, 1,000 miles of year-round open streets, and one block of car-free streets in entrance of each public faculty in New York Metropolis.

On Monday, the group Transportation Alternate options issued a problem it calls “NYC 25×25.” The advocacy group is asking the subsequent mayor, metropolis council and borough presidents to decide to changing 25% of streets at present utilized by autos into different functions, by 2025.

“It is a watershed second for New York Metropolis,” Danny Harris, govt director of Transportation Alternate options, instructed Gothamist/WNYC. “We have to have a look at this intersection of COVID, of racial injustice, financial inequities, and ask some critical questions on the way forward for our metropolis and our funds and we want a brand new crop of leaders who’re keen to take a look at streets as an asset, as a substitute of a legal responsibility.”

The proposals come at a time when the variety of candidates working for mayor stays sprawling, and few have distinguished themselves on transportation points. The controversy over easy methods to use avenue house has intensified through the pandemic after what many take into account a profitable run of open streets through the pandemic and a increase in biking, but in addition a latest uptick in visitors deaths.

Different solutions from the coalition embody including 19.4 million sq. ft of motorcycle parking, designated places on each block lengthy sufficient for taxis to drop off passengers and for vans to make deliveries with out blocking streets or bike lanes.

The most recent proposals have the backing of disparate teams within the metropolis from the tech trade nonprofit Tech:NYC, to the New York Constructing Congress, and the Institute for Public Structure.

“Lack of high quality transportation choices makes it troublesome for lots of the folks within the low-income communities of coloration we serve to entry assets, comparable to employment, schooling, good meals, and well being care, which are wanted to be wholesome and financially secure,” Tracey Capers, govt vice chairman and chief program officer on the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Company, wrote in a press release. Her group works with Citibike to get extra bike shares into Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

“Likewise, we help the re-allocation of our public areas, together with the creation of extra car-free bus lanes and guarded bike lanes, to higher serve nearly all of our residents, who don’t personal vehicles,” Capers added.

The 127-year previous advocacy group the Municipal Arts Society is one other group that backs the enlargement of streets for public use. Tara Kelly, the society’s vice chairman of coverage and packages, instructed Gothamist/ WNYC that her group got here up with the concept of pedestrian islands within the early 1900s, calling them “isles of security.” She mentioned that is simply the subsequent technology of sensible interested by easy methods to use metropolis streets.

“This previous 12 months specifically has demonstrated that significance, our entry to public house for recreation, for protests, for transportation, for getting a little bit of sunshine, stepping out of our residences,” Kelly mentioned.

The mayoral candidates could have the primary alternative to answer the NYC 25×25 solutions on Monday night time at a discussion board hosted by Bike New York.

Hearken to reporter Stephen Nessen’s radio story for WNYC: