Cyclists in New York City are getting a little more room to ride
New York City was not quite designed to be a bike-friendly city. Considered a car-dominated city, NYC is vowing to make changes. Mayor Bill de Blasio has made street safety one of his initiatives, which is to eliminate traffic deaths by 2024.
Under a 2019 law, New York City must add 250 miles of protected bike lanes and 150 miles of bus lanes over five years as part of a new $1.7 billion master plan. The plan will also add more pedestrian space to the city. Bike advocates are hoping this project will decrease the car traffic and increase safety for bikers, bus riders, and pedestrians.
The “streets master plan” is designed to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians as deaths continue to climb. Twenty-five cyclists have died this year, which is the highest number in 20 years, and the combined total of pedestrian and cyclist deaths are up 24 percent.
“The way we plan our streets now makes no sense, and New Yorkers pay the price every day, stuck on slow buses or risking their own safety cycling without protected bike lanes,” said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, according to The Guardian. “I want to completely revolutionize how we share our street space, and that’s what this bill does.”
Cycling numbers are up in New York by 26 percent from 2012-2017.
The city’s master plan has money earmarked for other transportation areas.
A physical barrier or camera will protect about 150 miles of bus lanes. Then 250 miles of bike lanes physically separated from traffic will be built, along with other areas.
Unfortunately, Congress stripped cycling from being eligible for commuter benefits in 2017. A new bill has been introduced in Congress to make bicycle commuters eligible to receive $53 per month in commuter benefits. That’s a significant increase in benefits if approved as old legislation only allowed for $20.
Overall, less than 1 percent of commuters bike to work.
Edenred can help
While commuter benefits are not available for cyclists right now, you can still get them for people who take public transit or rideshares or park in qualified parking lots. Micromobility is also becoming a popular transportation method and you have the option to add it to your commuter benefits program. Your employees will have access to bike sharing, bike shops, e-scooters, e-mopeds, and corporate shuttles.
If you are interested in learning more, schedule a meeting with us so we can discuss the best options for you and your employees.