New York City is heading toward a car-free future, according to the vision of its commissioner, Ydanis Rodriguez

Members of the DOT. Photo: Thao Nguyen for the BK Reader.
Members of the DOT. Photo: Thao Nguyen for the BK Reader.

On Nov. 17, at a media roundtable with BK Reader and other outlets, the NYC Department of Transportation commissioner highlighted efforts made to promote safe and sustainable transportation around the city.

“My goal is to continue making NYC not only the one that has the largest transportation system in the whole nation, but also to be the one that is the safest for the 8.6 million New Yorkers and for the 48 million visitors that have already come to the city by this time,” Rodriguez said.

By November, Rodriguez and his team had reached 1,500 miles of bicycle lanes, making NYC the largest urban bicycle network in the country. The number includes the recent Schermerhorn Street redesign with 1.2 miles of protected bike lane.

Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez (middle) giving updates on DOT's projects and campaigns. Photo: Thao Nguyen for the BK Reader.
Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez (middle) giving updates on DOT’s projects and campaigns. Photo: Thao Nguyen for the BK Reader.

“We feel that building more greenways, building more bike lanes, making Citibikes more affordable will continue to educate our people on the importance of using a bike,” he said.

“Getting a bike is not a luxury. We aim to build a healthy city and change the car ownership culture at the same time.”

Rodriguez added, the agency is working with Bike New York, Citibank and the NYC Council to make bikes affordable city-wide. 

Rodriguez also urged New Yorkers to think twice before getting a car or driving.

“People believe, ‘I have a car, the street belongs to me,’” he said. “You don’t pay for the street. The street is public access, and we have to share the street. New York City is only 350 square miles, so before anyone decides to buy a car, they should know that this is not a place that has a lot of land.”

Graphs and projections at the media roundtable on Nov. 17, organized by the DOT. Photo: Thao Nguyen for the BK Reader.
Graphs and projections at the media roundtable on Nov. 17, organized by the DOT. Photo: Thao Nguyen for the BK Reader.

This echoed the NYC DOT’s current proposed plan to redesign Grand Army Plaza to promote pedestrianization and cycling while reducing car traffic. 

In response to the growing number of cyclists breaking traffic laws, the commissioner reported that the DOT is working with the New York City Police Department for enforcement, educating the public on legality and building more infrastructures such as signage.

Additionally, to make NYC streets safer, DOT equipped 1,200 priority intersections, where 55% of pedestrian fatalities and 79% of pedestrian injuries happen, with safety toolkits. 

“New York City is a model for Vision Zero cities across the country, and these efforts show this administration is committed to that,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said he and Mayor Eric Adams aim to improve 200 more intersections by the end of the year.

Other efforts included open street hours for Halloween on 34 Avenue; a push for a permanent Open Restaurants program; acceleration of the critical Brooklyn Queens Expressway Central project; completion of a 3.4-mile stretch along 21st Street in Queens; restoration of national medallions along Avenue of the Americas and a reminder for drivers to be responsible when driving at night as the day gets darker earlier.

The NYC DOT media roundtable was an attempt for Rodriguez, the first-ever Latino commissioner, to reach different communities that make up the city, he said.

“This city is the only place where 35% of New Yorkers are recent immigrants born and raised in a different country,” Rodriguez said.

“We need to inform those communities about what we’re doing. It’s important to build that relationship between city agencies and the people.”

Join the Conversation

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  1. This guy can barely speak English and beyond that, he is a complete amateur. How the hell os he in this seat???

  2. And what if you’re disabled? And what if you are heading to a NYC hospital for chemo, surgery, giving birth? Vision zero? Really? With subways that are totally inaccessible under the ADA? Your remarks are so self absorbed it’s sickening. Yes, definitely people will want to ride the subway after a chemo treatment or after surgery. Get real.

  3. When crime has crept up to 1980’s era, I doubt there is any guarantee of passenger safety. When there are no laws to protect the mentally ill by creating laws that mandate treatment for those who pose a threat and do not take meds, we passengers are not safe. When we do not have facilities to house (Pilgrim State) and reintroduce into society the mentally ill, they roam the street becoming unwitting predators. I do not know how to ride a bike and never will. Do not force drivers to fight over parking spaces. This initiative sounds like banned books legislated mandates: quite authoritarian to me. The will of the people over 40 is not bike riding but getting quickly and safely to their various destinations on a given day: driving to work; driving to little league, soccer, softball all three kids; shopping in the mall to the supermarket to the doctor’s office, to Home Depot before arriving home for the night. I could go on. I thank Mayor Bloomberg for his deep-seated hatred for his high school teacher and for the driver’s test he probably failed for initiating bike lanes and Citibikes.

    1. But this is a lie. NYC murders in 2021 less than 500. In 1990, 2200. Similar across the stats. The numbers are easily refutable and the fox-points reflect a rejection of the truth.

  4. There should not be a “bike lane” We cause more pollution by having them! We creat more traffic and more back ups ! Bikes should be treated just like any other vehicle on the road! On top of that THEY DO NOT OBEY TRAFFIC LAWS! None do! NY rethink this!

  5. When people stop putting Democrats in charge things will improve.
    Democrats love the mess, traffic, and especially the crime

    1. Then take Public transit. There’s a plan to address bike violations and bad car /parking habits. And no, we will not rethink this. This is the way. Check the particulate count. NYC doesn’t even crack top 10. Mwahahaahahaha! Not today satan.

  6. Hahaha what a moron libtard. They cant even fix what issues they always have with transit authority now, where is all the money going ???! This city needs a meteorite to fix it once and for all

  7. How dare you force people to use that horrible public transportation in NYC, you will say anything to get people to accept and adapt your ideas.

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