NEW YORK – New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez joined Mayor Eric Adams and his administration last week to make several major public safety and infrastructure announcements across the city, including long-term planning for both the BQE Corridor and the Bronx waterfront, as well as quick-build pedestrian and cycling upgrades in Manhattan.
“This week is just a snapshot of some of the amazing work our team is doing to promote Vision Zero and sustainable infrastructure—all through our commitment to equity and righting historic planning wrongs across the city,” said DOT Commissioner Rodriguez. “We thank Mayor Adams, our sister agencies, and the advocates for their collaboration on all these great projects.”
On Friday, March 17, Commissioner joined Deputy Mayor Phillip Banksat City Hall to update New Yorkers on the latest traffic safety trends, including continued, steady declines in speeding violations since the launch of 24-hour operations of school zone speed cameras. Since speed cameras began operating around the clock in August of 2022, there has been a 40% reduction in violations, with declines in violations issued each month.
DOT crews installed permanent signage around Times Square beginning on Saturday, March 18, reminding residents and visitors that the area is a gun-free zone and that licensed gun carriers and others may not enter with a firearm unless otherwise specially authorized by law.
The agency returned to City Hall on Monday, March 20, where the Commissioner joined the Mayor, Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, and others from the administration to announce “Charge Safe, Ride Safe,” the City’s Electric Micromobility Action Plan to promote the safe charging and use of emerging legal micromobility options.
DOT joined the Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday, March 21, to celebrate the completion of a major water main project along Ninth Avenue in Manhattan. DOT collaborated with the agencies to ensure that when the street was reconstructed, it came with a new design featuring dramatically expanded pedestrian space – a design dubbed “Super Sidewalks” – and upgraded New York City’s first on-street protected bike lane.
Later that evening, Commissioner Rodriguez announced a new “design toolkit” with three transformative approaches to improve street safety, mobility, and public space along BQE North and South—based on community feedback and 2,600 survey responses. Tuesday’s announcement came in conjunction with the kickoff of a second round of community workshops that evening, where DOT officials met with community members and continued crafting a vision for the BQE Corridor that centers equity and reconnects communities that are disproportionately lower-income neighborhoods of color.
On Wednesday, Commissioner Rodriguez joined Mayor Adams and his staff for a brief bike ride onto the High Bridge, where the Mayor announced the City is developing plans for a 7-mile greenway along the Harlem River in the Bronx, creating a continuous path from Van Cortlandt Park to Randall’s Island Park. The greenway would reconnect Bronxites to their waterfront while also creating a safe transportation corridor for cyclists and pedestrians. The DOT will be working with sister agencies to conduct public outreach and release an implementation plan in 2024, with public workshops beginning along the corridor starting in April for short- and longer-term projects.
On Friday, DOT announced a significant step in the planning process to reconnect communities along the Cross Bronx Expressway, from the Harlem River to the Hutchinson River Parkway. The administration is kicking off public engagement efforts this month, with five events scheduled between now and April 10th. With federal funds newly available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Adams Administration is taking advantage of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fund this much-needed work on the Cross Bronx Expressway. This spring, NYCDOT will also host two rounds of issue identification workshops.
Commissioner Rodriguez on Friday joined leadership at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on the Upper East Side to advocate for the State to allow the expanded use of automated bus enforcement cameras. Automated enforcement is currently limited to bus routes with bus lanes. Through authority granted by the State Legislature, the City and MTA could expand automated enforcement beyond bus lanes to include bus routes without bus lanes. That expansion could also allow for the City and MTA to use stationary and bus-mounted cameras to enforce a broader array of illegal behavior, including bus stop blocking, double parking, and the blocking of bike lanes.
Banner Image: From Left: Council Member Erik Bottcher, DOT Commissioner Rodriguez, DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley, DEP Commissioner Rohit Aggarwala, and advocates cut a ribbon to celebrate the completion of water supply and pedestrian upgrades along Ninth Avenue in Manhattan on Tuesday, March, 21, 2023. Image Credit – NYC DOT