Mayor Bill de Blasio will be giving his final “State of the City” speech this evening, and in it he will announce plans to make dedicated bikes lanes on two prominent NYC bridges.
The plan will be called “Bridges for the People,” the New York Times first reported, and will include the Brooklyn Bridge and the Queensboro/Ed Koch Bridge.
For the Brooklyn Bridge, the city will convert the inner car lane of the Manhattan-bound side of the bridge into a dedicated bike lane, and also will make the current walkway only available for pedestrians (no bicyclists). If you’ve been either the walker or a biker on that pathway, you know it can be deadly.
Here's an image from the mayor's office showing what the new Brooklyn Bridge protected bike lane will look like. It is expected to be finished by the end of this year. pic.twitter.com/PJjmC64K3f
— Emma G. Fitzsimmons (@emmagf) January 28, 2021
For the Queensboro Bridge, which runs into Long Island City from 59th St. in Manhattan: the city will make the northern outer roadway into a two-way bike lane, and have the southern outer roadway function as a pedestrian lane.
Brooklyn & Queens elected officials have already expressed approval and excitement for the plan:
This change will not only save lives but also create a cleaner, greener, and healthier NYC for all of us.
Make no mistake, this is a win for us the people and it is exactly why I am running for Queens Borough President. We need a leader taking on these fights for a new Queens. https://t.co/PiYHo0PmYH pic.twitter.com/SVVPsk8haX
— Jimmy Van Bramer (@JimmyVanBramer) January 28, 2021
Thank you @NYCMayor for your commitment to combat climate change and for responding to our calls to give cyclist, pedestrians, & strollers #MoreSpaceQBB! This necessary step will go a long way to keep our people safe & reverse car culture.https://t.co/EyD6PdGYUa
— Jessica Ramos (@jessicaramos) January 28, 2021
Though cars have always dominated the bridges, leaving even more congestion and safety hazards for bikers and pedestrians, it comes at an even more opportune time, with the number of city bike riders increasing by 55% during the pandemic.
Construction on the Brooklyn Bridge bike lane will be completed by the end of this year, and the Queensboro Bridge bike lane will start this year, but will not be finished until 2022, according to the Times.
featured image source: Shutterstock