NYC wants to take 25% of streets from cars, give to pedestrians & bikes

When COVID-19 struck New York City and overturned New York City’s transportation needs, a significant portion of the road space was diverted to non-car applications. From bicycle lanes to public seats and city parks, previously congested roads turned into public spaces almost instantly, benefiting more residents.

After being forced to realize the benefits of such a street diversion, the city is now asking, “Why shouldn’t it be left alone?”

It’s all part of a new plan known as NYC 25 × 25Supported by New York Mayor Eric Adams.

The proposal calls for 25% of New York’s street space to be converted into walkable pedestrian squares, bike lanes, green spaces and bus lanes by 2025.

The logic is that the majority of New York’s streets are occupied by cars, which does not benefit most city dwellers, and in fact does not benefit cars. In Midtown Manhattan, congested streets travel at an average speed of 8 km / h, so New York City’s private car transportation accounts for the majority of New York City’s carbon emissions, air pollution, and city pollution. I am.

Pedestrians and cyclists, on the other hand, are forced to move along the edges of crowded roads, often interweaving around parked vehicles and piles of garbage waiting for pickup.

And that’s all, even before considering the astonishing number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths caused by cars in the city.

Diversion of street space helps to clean the city and provide better service to the inhabitants.

Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, the group behind the 25×25 proposal, explained: the Guardian “Pulling a car out of space is equal to quality of life.”

NYC currently has about 3 million free parking lots on the street, which exceeds the number of registered cars in the city.

And given that most New Yorkers don’t own a car and use other means of transportation such as buses, subways, bicycles, and walks, it makes no sense to allocate a lot of space to the car. there is not.

As Harris continued:

“If you buy a car and live in a place where spending $ 10,000 a year on car-related payments is your only workaround, your leader has made you and your children fail. You can’t optimize that space just by moving and storing your car on the street. We have an eye on the automotive industry and this belief that all garages need to be equipped with SUVs. I’m dizzy.

We currently offer most of New York to cars, but imagine if the sidewalks are bigger, if you can ride a bike or get on a bus quickly, or if you don’t have a huge pile of garbage on all the roads. As New Yorkers, we consider ourselves tough. But that doesn’t mean we have to live a dirty life, nor does it mean we should be afraid of death or injury every time we cross the street. “

NYC’s Transportation Alternatives plan includes 500 miles (800 km) of private bus lanes, an additional 500 miles of protected bicycle lanes, new safe garbage containers to prevent piles of garbage from accumulating on sidewalks, and a wide range of vehicles. Expected to be used by the community. -Free road.

Eventually, the public space equivalent to 13 Central Parks will be recovered from the car.

This plan was approved by my New York City Mayor Eric Adams. He said last month, “These are our cities, about horseback riding, skateboarding and walking. As you know, here you can come shopping, sit down, spend time and just enjoy the outdoors. It’s a good place. “

The trend is Part of the bigger move It aims to change cities around the world from car-centric to human-centric and create more bike-friendly areas that help move residents without the negative effects of cars.

Cities like Paris are in control The ban on cars in the city center is an increasingly popular way for governments to create navigable cities that are friendly to pedestrians and private cars such as bicycles and scooters.

Many countries also offer tax incentives For citizens who choose to ride a bicycle instead of driving a car.America is flirting Original electric bicycle purchase tax incentives It seems like it’s stuck in Congress U.S. cities like Denver do it alone Tax refund program for electric bicycles.

Should NYC shift control of that street from cars to people? Should your own city do the same? Listen to your thoughts in the comments section below.

Image credit: Zichuan Han, Miles Rothoerl, Dylan Spangler

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