New York City Department of Transportation

06/04/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/04/2024 12:20

NYC DOT Begins Redesign of Manhattan’s Second Avenue With Wider Bike Lane and Upgraded Bus Lane

Press Releases

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2024
Contact: (212) 839-4850, [email protected]

NYC DOT Begins Redesign of Manhattan's Second Avenue With Wider Bike Lane and Upgraded Bus Lane

Construction has begun to redesign 59 blocks of Second Avenue-spanning 2.9 miles-from 59 Street to Houston Street with wider bike lane, upgraded bus lane, and pedestrian safety features

With 57,000 daily bus riders and 6,000 daily cyclists, Second Avenue has some of New York City's busiest bike and bus lanes

NEW YORK - New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced today the start of construction for a redesign of Manhattan's Second Avenue with dramatically improved bike and bus lanes and pedestrian safety. The new design, expected to be completed later this year, will bring a wider bike lane, an enhanced bus lane, and additional pedestrian space for 59 blocks of Second Avenue, stretching 2.9 miles, from East 59 Street to Houston Street, improving commutes for 57,000 daily bus riders and 6,000 daily cyclists. The redesign is one of dozens of projects highlighted in the city's Connecting to the Core action plan to complement the launch of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's forthcoming congestion pricing program.

"This revamped Second Avenue will make commutes faster and more reliable for 57,000 daily bus riders, better protect the increasing number of cyclists, and improve safety for all road users," said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "We are putting people first on Manhattan's avenues by improving bike, pedestrian, and bus infrastructure, helping the vast majority of commuters on these corridors get where they're going quicker and safer."

"Improved bus lanes along Second Avenue mean shorter wait times and faster service for thousands of customers in Manhattan," said New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Buses Frank Annicaro. "We look forward to continuing our work with DOT to speed up buses for customers who depend on them to get to school, work and anything the city has to offer."

BETTER BUSES

Second Avenue serves the M15 local and SBS route-the city's busiest bus route with 57,000 daily riders. To improve bus service, NYC DOT will be moving the existing curbside bus lane on Second Avenue one lane over-known as an offset bus lane. This redesign will keep the bus lane clear while better accommodating deliveries on the corridor.

The offset bus lane design will allow NYC DOT to upgrade bus lane operations to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing consistent, reliable, and dedicated space for buses to move quicker while reducing bus lane blocking. (The current operations of the curbside bus lane are weekdays from 7-10 a.m. and 2-7 p.m., originally put in place to accommodate commercial loading and overnight parking.)

Upgrading curbside bus lanes to offset lanes has shown to improve safety for vulnerable road users in addition to improving bus service. Similar, recent redesigns to bus lanes on First Avenue, in Manhattan, and Livingston Street, in Brooklyn have reduced pedestrian and cyclist injuries by between 25 and 30 percent.

IMPROVED CYCLING EXPERIENCE

Second Avenue also features one of the busiest bike lanes in the country, serving nearly 6,000 southbound cyclists and micromobility users each day, and cycling rates across the city are at a record high, with 610,000 daily trips. On Second Avenue alone, according to DOT data, cycling has increased by 54 percent since 2019, when roughly 3,855 cyclists were recorded on the corridor.

NYC DOT will widen the existing 6-foot, parking protected bike lane along Second Avenue to between 8 feet and 10 feet along most of the corridor. The work follows the installation of wider bike lanes on Third, Ninth, and Tenth avenues in Manhattan. The agency is also exploring installing wider bike lanes to fill existing gaps in both Sixth and Seventh avenue bike lanes in Manhattan, and along other busy lanes across the city, as part of the Adams administration's Charge Safe, Ride Safe action plan to better accommodate legal e-mobility options.

Wider protected bike lanes have been shown to foster the continued growth in cycling across the city, as they create a more comfortable, social, and welcoming experience for riders of all abilities. These wider bike lanes better accommodate the rising number of cyclists as well as legal e-mobility riders, who may be traveling at different speeds than pedal cyclists-especially along uphill sections of Second Avenue.

The redesign will come with the installation of additional bike parking and new layover spaces for delivery cyclists, helping keep sidewalks clear for pedestrians.

NYC DOT will also install a wider, parking-protected bike lane between East 35 and 52 streets, where the existing 6-foot bike lane is adjacent to a rush hour travel lane. This upgrade will include safer intersection designs and dedicated traffic light phases for cyclists and turning drivers.

This work builds upon NYC DOT installing a record 32 miles of protected bike lane miles last year, more than every other major city in America combined.

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY UPGRADES

Pedestrian islands help improve safety by shortening crossing distances and improving visibility of all street users. Along Second Avenue, NYC DOT will upgrade select existing painted pedestrian islands on the east side of the avenue to concrete islands, while also installing new painted pedestrian islands and curb extensions on the west side of the corridor. Pedestrian islands have shown to reduce deaths and serious injuries among all road suers by 35.5 percent.

The agency will also build on recent safety upgrades between East 30th and 33rd streets in Kips Bay by adding new and upgraded painted and concrete sidewalks on the eastern side of the avenue.

In addition to street safety improvements to better protect pedestrians and all road users, over the past two years NYC DOT pedestrianized over one million square feet of space, a record high.

"The development and expansion of bike and bus lanes represent crucial steps towards creating safer, more sustainable, and inclusive transportation options for our communities," said State Senator Kristen Gonzalez. "By investing in these initiatives, we are not only reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions but also ensuring that everyone, regardless of their mode of transportation, can navigate our cities with ease and efficiency."

"I am very pleased to see DOT implementing the changes they have proposed for 2nd Avenue," said State Senator Liz Krueger. "Speeding up bus travel, and making biking and walking safer will improve the lives of thousands of New Yorkers, commuters, and tourists every single day."

"Less car congestion, better transit reliability, and safer streets for all - I am very happy to see the implementation of upgraded bus and bike lanes as part of a comprehensive redesign for Second Avenue which will enhance quality of life and public safety," said Councilmember Carlina Rivera. "Traffic data and stories from neighbors demonstrate that this critical corridor is unsafe and this significant investment will address community concerns including bus speeds, double parking, and pedestrian and cyclist safety."

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