NYC DOT Releases Plan for Green Infrastructure Development

DOT Looking to Expand Transit Options and Efficiency

The NYC Department of Transportation has released Strategic Plan 2016, calling it a “Safe, Green, Smart, and Equitable” plan for the future. In order to adapt to the city’s continual rise in population and tourism, the DOT has described 105 different initiatives, which focus on three main concepts. First, there will be an expansion of transportation options by improving bike infrastructure and the bus system. Additionally, the DOT will develop some new rules to adapt to new traffic problems, and expand the NYPD’s authority to enforce them. There will also be increased monitoring and investment in maintaining high quality roads and bridges.

A highlight of the expanded transportation options is the construction of a protected bike lane along Delancey Street leading up to the Brooklyn Bridge in SoHo. With the 18 month shutdown of the L train between Brooklyn and Manhattan coming as early as 2019,  commuter congestion is expected to increase on the bike lanes. The DOT is also looking to expand Citi Bike to all five boroughs. Another major initiative is the improvement of public buses’ speeds and availability. With buses becoming slow and ridership declining, the DOT wants to create at least 20 Select Bus Service routes, particularly in areas underserved by the subway system. Other improvements will be implementing bus signaling priority and advocating for all-door boarding, making stops quicker.

Green infrastructure is also highlighted in the Strategic Plan, with a goal to test permeable pavement and concrete, which would reduce stormwater runoff into the sewer system. DOT plans to continue to work with the Department of Environmental Protection, siting new bioswales and green infrastructure designs in streets, sidewalks, plazas, and greenways.

The DOT is also looking to enforce new laws to adapt to evolving traffic problems. There’s been a dramatic increase in freight truck traffic, so the DOT is developing a 5-borough freight plan, and expanding the NYPD’s authority to regulate freight traffic with new technologies. Other tech developments will help with traffic problems: the city will enable drivers to pay for metered parking using their smartphones, and the NYPD will start using new sensors to prevent double-parking along curbs.

Polly Trottenberg, the DOT Commissioner, has also said the city will continue investing in the quality of its roads and bridges. Keeping New Yorkers’ infrastructure options broad and healthy is a major way the city looks to improve public health and cut greenhouse gas emissions.