25% of New York’s streets could be converted as squares and cycle paths

NYC 25x25 is a plan proposed by Transportation Alternatives, which acts to transform a quarter of the current urban space available to cars: an area equivalent to thirteen Central Parks to be taken away from traffic.

A plan by Transportation Alternatives, a non-profit organisation seeking to change the city’s transportation priorities, recently called for 25% of the city’s street space to be transformed into pedestrian plazas, bike lanes, bus lanes, and green spaces by 2025. Called NYC 25x25, the plan specifically calls for the creation of 500 miles of protected bike lanes, another 500 miles of dedicated bus lanes, new secure waste receptacles, and an area equivalent to 13 Central Parks removed from urban traffic.

Photo Robert Miller

The proposal, championed by Mayor Eric Adams himself and a coalition of local groups, not only takes into account the large chunk of carbon emissions caused by private transport, but also addresses the new growing New York trend of cyclists, who are currently forced to ride on the side of the road, often bypassing parked vehicles and piles of rubbish waiting to be picked up. Reusing street space is one such action that several international cities are taking to help residents get around without the negative impact of cars. Cities such as Paris are leading the initiative by banning cars in the city centre, an increasingly popular method for governments to create walkable, pedestrian-friendly cities and personal vehicles such as bicycles and scooters.

Opening image: New York. Photo Andrea Cau, via Unsplash

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