NYC Op-Ed: Let’s Build Bus and Bike Infrastructure Together (War on Cars Watch)

As the Department of Transportation institutes dedicated bus lanes on various routes — witness the success of the 14th Street busway — safe-streets activists should push further: They should advocate that the department install protected bike lanes along many of the same routes — even (or especially!) if that means sacrificing a car lane or parking.

Bus and bike infrastructure built together can provide more efficient transportation — and more equity for riders — than buses or bicycles alone. The goal should be to erect bike-lane/bus-lane combinations like those of many European cities, for example, like these lanes in Holland.

For example, DOT is installing part-time dedicated bus lanes on Church Avenue in Brooklyn, on Broadway in the Bronx, and on Fresh Pond Road in Queens — in hopes of hastening service on some notoriously slow bus lines. Each of these projects has engendered ferocious pushback from the selfish, car-owning minority in those communities, and DOT and safe-streets advocates have countered with arguments for the lanes citing efficiency (many bus lines are barely faster than walking) and equity (bus commuters are, on average, poorer than even subway commuters).