To sustain the City’s growth and expand mobility, New York City, the MTA, and other agencies must work together to increase the capacity and efficiency of our transportation system. For DOT, that means allocating more street space to the most efficient modes of travel on our streets: walking, biking, and buses. These affordable travel options move the greatest number of people while using the least amount of space, as well as generate the least amount of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. DOT must also take advantage of new technologies to better manage our streets and prepare for disruptive innovations, like autonomous vehicles and the shift towards shared-use mobility.
DOT will continue its efforts to expand and enhance our 1,000-mile bike network, to increase bike parking opportunities, and to bring bike share to all five boroughs. The agency will also continue to improve the pedestrian environment through Vision Zero (as detailed in Chapter 2: Safety) and by making our streets more inviting (as detailed in Chapter 6: The Public Realm). In terms of transit, DOT will continue its SBS partnership with the MTA to improve bus travel times and reliability. We will also integrate bus priority treatments for local routes into our street redesign projects and continue to rollout transit signal priority. Together these efforts will also help ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of income, have access to affordable and convenient transportation choices.
Looking to the future, DOT will explore new technologies and approaches that may help us better accomplish our mission. The agency will explore new sensor and camera technology, curb regulations, and pricing strategies to better manage our streets and curb space, so trucks can make deliveries and customers can reach their destinations.
Finally, DOT will adapt proactively to shared-use mobility services and autonomous vehicles. The world of shared-use mobility services, which includes ride-hailing, ridesharing, carsharing, and bike share are changing the ways that New Yorkers get around. Autonomous vehicles, once considered the stuff of science fiction, are closer to becoming a reality. These services and technologies present both opportunities and challenges. DOT, with the TLC and others, will explore how these services could help the City improve street safety, mobility, quality of life, and the environment. For example, DOT will explore how rideshare services might improve “last mile” connections to transit in neighborhoods underserved by the subway system.*
*In this document, the term rideshare is defined as traditional carpooling and van pooling, as well as TLC-licensed app-based car services that enable a single vehicle to carry multiple riders making separate trips.
Secure Bike Parking Stations
© Harrie van Veen
Across the world, cities are encouraging bike use by providing secure bike parking to cyclists at transit hubs and major destinations. In Chicago’s Millennium Park, the McDonalds Cycle Center offers 300 bike parking spaces with showers, lockers, and towel service. Visitors to Chicago can also purchase bike rentals and tours at the center. In California, six BART rail stations feature adjacent bike stations to facilitate bike-to-rail commutes. The stations offer 24-hour controlled access parking and free daily valet service.
European cities have taken bike stations to the next level. Malmö, Sweden, for example, has an underground facility with 1,500 secure bike parking spaces located below its rail station. Utrecht in the Netherlands recently completed a 4,200-bike facility. These bike parking stations fill a gap in bike infrastructure by providing amenities that make it convenient to bike to work or transit, or to use a bike to get from a transit station to a nearby school or activity center. Cyclists do not need to worry about finding an open secure rack near their destination or having their bikes stolen or vandalized.
The Benefits of Shared-Use Mobility
In the past decade, shared-use mobility services, like bike share and carsharing, have emerged as mobility options in a number of cities. Carshare programs, in particular, have multiplied in New York City and across the country. Researchers have begun to analyze the impact of these services: a 2010 review of several studies found that 23 to 32 percent of carshare members had given up a vehicle since joining a carshare service. Similar results have been found in studies of Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Recognizing these benefits, cities are adopting policies to encourage carsharing. Seattle offers one-way carshare organizations permits that allow members to park vehicles in metered spaces and within residential parking permit areas. San Francisco has created an on-street permit program for round-trip carshare organizations. For a fee, carshare organizations can purchase an annual permit for an on-street space. In return, San Francisco requires the company to maintain the parking space and to station vehicles in all neighborhoods to ensure equal access.