A city mega-plan to curb the use of cars in the metro area has seriously veered off course, The Post has learned.
But development of the plan — an expected blueprint for approximately $1.7 billion in new bus lanes, bike paths, sidewalks and plazas — was delayed by COVID-19. And it’s unclear when it will get back on track.
The city Department of Transportation’s previous commitment to share draft recommendations on the plan with the public at workshops in September and October has already gone out the window. No such workshops have occurred.
Either way, as per the master plan signed into law by the council, the DOT must publish its final outline by Dec. 1. DOT spokesman Seth Stein declined to say whether the final plan would be complete by that date.
“We are currently reviewing the Streets Master Plan and will have more to say about its release soon,” Stein said in a statement.
Outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday crowed that the Biden administration’s just-passed infrastructure deal will help fund the city’s “street redesigns for bike lanes, for protected bike lanes, for busways and Select Bus Service.”
But Danny Pearlstein of the Riders Alliance advocacy group said first things first.
“The streets master plan is meant to be a roadmap to safer, more equitable public spaces in all five boroughs. Bus riders are anxious to see the speed and reliability improvements promised in the plan,” Pearlstein said.
“The current administration is responsible for delivering a plan for the next mayor to implement. The plan is due on December 1 no matter how many workshops have happened or who’s had the opportunity to weigh in.”
Cory Epstein of Transportation Alternatives, another group that pushed for the bill’s passage, added, “New York City faces a climate crisis, rising traffic deaths and growing inequality.
“The Streets Master Plan will help address this, and all New Yorkers should be concerned if Mayor de Blasio delays its release.”
Mayor-elect Eric Adams has embraced many of the same goals in the plan and pledged to build 300 new miles of protected bike lanes during his administration.
Johnson’s spokesman, Anthony Perez, said the speaker’s office is has not received a timeline for the plan’s release by the Transportation Department and is “concerned that DOT isn’t on track with implementation.
“We fully expect DOT to comply with the deadlines set out in local law,” Perez said in a statement. “Any delay is unacceptable – this groundbreaking legislation will revolutionize our streets and make New York City a much more livable and enjoyable place to call home for years to come.
“We are ready to review DOT’s draft plan as soon as it is released to make sure it addresses the urgent needs of all street users.”
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