This is how New York plans to end its car culture

new york 2019_

(Luca Bravo, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Douglas Broom, Senior Writer, Formative Content


Walking or cycling in Manhattan should soon be a lot safer following a vote by New York City councillors to build about 400 km of protected bike lanes and redesign 2,000 road junctions to make them safer for pedestrians.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson proposed the changes to “break the car culture” in New York and encourage more people to cycle, walk and use public transport. A quarter of adult New Yorkers own a bike and half of bike owners ride the city’s streets regularly.

The number of adults in New York who ride a bicycle.
Image: City of New York

Each day almost half a million journeys are made by bike and the number of cycle commuters is growing despite an increase in fatal accidents involving cyclists. As of November 2019, 26 people have been killed riding a bicycle in New York, compared to 10 deaths in 2018.

After reaching a record low of 200 in 2018, the total number of road deaths in New York was up 25% by the end of August this year compared to the same time last year, with 70 pedestrians killed by cars and trucks.

“We have lost too many New Yorkers on bikes this year and our buses have been slowed to a crawl, which is why we need to take a strong stance to provide the necessary infrastructure to save lives and get our residents moving faster,” said Donovan Richards, chair of New York’s public safety committee.

A growing number of New Yorkers commute to work by bicycle.
Image: City of New York

Cycling to work has grown nearly twice as fast in New York as it has in other major US cities. The number of journeys made using New York’s Citi Bike cycle-hire scheme grew by 8% last year with 17.6 million trips.

The new cycling lanes will be protected by physical barriers to keep cars at bay. So far, less than half of the existing almost 2000 km of cycling lanes in New York City are protected. Work on the 10-year $1.7 billion road safety programme is due to start in 2021.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about the future of cities?

Cities represent humanity’s greatest achievements – and greatest challenges. From inequality to air pollution, poorly designed cities are feeling the strain as 68% of humanity is predicted to live in urban areas by 2050.

The World Economic Forum supports a number of projects designed to make cities cleaner, greener and more inclusive.

These include hosting the Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization, which gathers bright ideas from around the world to inspire city leaders, and running the Future of Urban Development and Services initiative. The latter focuses on how themes such as the circular economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution can be harnessed to create better cities. To shed light on the housing crisis, the Forum has produced the report Making Affordable Housing a Reality in Cities.

Take the bus

To encourage more people to use buses, the council voted to create around 240 km of bus lanes and to give buses priority at 750 road junctions in the city, with the goal of cutting journey times. Bus stops will be upgraded with shelters, seating and real-time information displays, as well.

Traffic lights at 2,000 road junctions will be redesigned to make them safer for pedestrians and accessible pedestrian signals will be installed at 2,500 intersections. The plan also calls for the creation of 9.3 hectares of new pedestrian space across the city.

There will be new parking controls aimed at preventing vehicles from obstructing cycling lanes and there will be fewer on-street parking places in order to discourage car use.

The American Lung Association’s 2019 State of the Air Survey warned New Yorkers that the air they are breathing “may put your health at risk.” The city was ranked 10 out of 228 metropolitan areas with the highest levels of harmful ozone and 30 out of 203 cities for particulate pollution.

New York is a member of the new G20 Global Cities Alliance hosted by the World Economic Forum. The Alliance will produce a set of core guiding principles for the implementation of smart city technologies to improve life in conurbations worldwide.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The power of trust and values in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

COVID-19: Mental balance in pandemic times

This is why coral reefs are so vital for the planet

EU-Singapore trade agreement enters into force

Bigotry makes politicians ‘complicit in the violence that follows’ : UN independent experts

Study: Trade supports over 36 million jobs across the EU

Who can unlock the stalled Brexit negotiations? UK Premier sticks to her proposal

The financial future of Eurozone on the agenda of Friday’s ECOFIN council

Could play be a game-changer for the world’s forests?

What wealth managers can learn from family dynamics

Coronavirus: European Commission calls for action in protecting seasonal workers

5 ways to integrate Syrian refugees into the workforce

How to build a model for human security in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of DSME by HHIH

The impossible end of the war in Syria

Here’s how drone delivery will change the face of global logistics

European Accessibility Act: Parliament and Council negotiators strike a deal

Trade in digital services is booming. Here’s how we can unleash its full potential

UNICEF delivers medical supplies to Gaza in wake of deadly protests

A European student just sets the question of the day: What kind of education policies are missing in Europe?

Gaza investigators call on Israel to review ‘rules of engagement’ as Gaza protest anniversary looms

False promises to Small and Medium Enterprises

Car emissions: MEPs set end on gap between lab and real driving emission tests

‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ clean-up project launches trial run: UN Environment

UN, African Union make significant joint commitment to global health

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

EU budget 2021: An annual budget focused on European recovery

Artificial intelligence: Commission takes forward its work on ethics guidelines

How regenerative agroforestry could solve the climate crisis

Talent is worldwide. Opportunity is not. How can we redistribute it?

Aviation Strategy for Europe: Commission signs landmark aviation agreements with China

Business uncertainty rises as US grants only temporary exception to EU for steel and aluminium tariffs

External action: more funds for human rights, development and climate change

These countries have the most nuclear reactors

Sanity in times of COVID-19

Decent working conditions for the young health workforce: what are the challenges and can we find solutions?

Sweden’s forests have doubled in size over the last 100 years

Migration crisis: how big a security threat it is?

US life expectancy is falling – here’s why

EU steps up its strategy for connecting Europe and Asia

Trade marks: Commission decides to refer Romania to the Court of Justice for not transposing the Trade Mark Directive

How interoperability establishes blockchain’s utility and effectiveness for trade finance

Confronting neo-mercantilism: why regulation is critical to global trade

When connectivity is not enough: the key to meaningful digital inclusion

What’s everyone talking about at Davos 2020?

Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

Multiprofessional action against the indiscriminate use of antibiotics

Security Council hails ‘historic and significant’ joint peace declaration by Ethiopia and Eritrea

The future of energy is being shaped in Asia

Trump beats Clinton but Americans will learn the hard way that the US can’t change with an election

4 things ISPs can do to reduce the impact of cybercrime

Using the quarantine to your advantage

UNICEF backpacks used as a haunting symbol to call for greater protection of children living in conflict

EU Commission – US hasten talks to avoid NGO reactions on free trade agreement

China will be the world’s top tourist destination by 2030

Future-proofing the European banking market – removing the obstacles to exit

‘Our concern now is the southern hemisphere’ – COVID Action Platform convenes leaders on the challenges ahead

Energy Union: Commission calls on Member States to step up ambition in plans to implement Paris agreement

What are we actually working for?

Visiting North Korea, UN relief chief spotlights funding shortfall to meet humanitarian needs

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s