On Tuesday, the DOT announced that by the end of 2017, it will have added 25 miles of new protected bike lanes in the city. That’s a 38 percent jump over last year, when 18 miles of lanes were added citywide. In all, the total number of bike lanes added (including ones that aren’t protected) is 65—just shy of the 75 that the DOT was hoping to add.
The announcement was made at the Williamsburg Bridge, the Brooklyn entrance to which has also gotten a bevy of cycling-friendly improvements in anticipation of the L train shutdown. The city’s mitigation plan, released last week, estimates that an influx of commuters will turn to biking over the bridge—which already has more than 7,000 bike commuters every day—as an alternative when the L train isn’t running.
The city has been working to increase the city’s stock of protected bike lanes and last year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to increase bike lanes by 75 miles (though critics argued it wasn’t enough).
In August, the DOT unveiled plans to increase protected bike lanes by 10 miles and said that it would add 50 miles of regular bike lanes annually thereafter. The city’s bike network is currently about 1,190 miles.
“Twenty years ago, the city took a big step forward with its first plan to build a bike lane network, and cycling is now growing by orders of magnitude, faster than any other mode of transportation in the city,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “[T]hese terrific improvements around the Williamsburg Bridge will do a lot to address the even greater surge of cycling we expect to see [during the L train shutdown].”