December 8, 2021

Transportation Alternatives and Via release new street design concepts to reclaim car space in New York City for people and public transit

The report, Shovel-Ready NYC 25x25 Streets, demonstrates how collaborative planning can transform space for cars into space for people and showcases five novel community- and planner-led street designs

 

New York, New York (December 8, 2021) -- Transportation Alternatives (TA), the New York City-based advocacy organization with a mission to reclaim New York City’s streets from cars, and Via, the global leader in TransitTech, today released the new Shovel-Ready NYC 25x25 Streets, a report demonstrating how space for cars can be quickly turned into space for people in New York City.

This first-of-its-kind report showcasing five redesigned New York City streets was built by TA using Via’s Remix platform, a collaborative mapping solution for transportation planning and decision-making. The report builds upon NYC 25x25, a vision launched by TA in early 2021 challenging New York City leaders to convert 25 percent of space currently for cars into space for people by 2025.

“For too long, city streets have been designed with drivers top of mind, instead of prioritizing the majority of New Yorkers who walk, bike, and use transit to get around. We are thrilled to be using the Remix platform and elevating community voices to present a vision for safe, healthy, and equitable streets. Seventy-five percent of New York City’s streetspace is dedicated to the movement and storage of vehicles. It is time to imagine a better use of our streets that puts people, not cars, first,” said Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives.

With Shovel-Ready NYC 25x25 Streets, TA and Via present a set of real-world designs, one in each borough, that reflect the expertise of urban city planners, advocates, and community members, and articulate specific and actionable plans to reclaim space in New York City. This unique collaboration showcases the power of community input in creating streets for people and a new way to accelerate the work of reclaiming space from cars.

The selected corridors and their proposed redesigns include:

  1. Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
  2. Jerome Avenue at 167th Street, the Bronx
  3. 125th Street, Manhattan
  4. Northern Boulevard at Union Street, Queens
  5. Midland Fields, Staten Island

Each site was selected by TA based on input from its members and by looking at a variety of data across the boroughs including data on crashes, injuries, fatalities, air pollution, tree cover, asthma rates, and bus speeds. TA developed implementation-focused, tactical, site-specific redesigns of the corridors using feedback from local residents captured in Remix Streets, Via’s street design and mapping software that enables a modern, faster and more responsive and collaborative design process. TA staff and volunteers also visited site locations in-person to gather on-the-ground feedback from community members on their visions for each corridor.

“Remix Streets from Via’s planning suite of tools can help design the streets of tomorrow, and help cities, designers, engineers, and communities collaborate with the technology to see this through. We are proud to team up with Transportation Alternatives as the first non-profit to utilize Remix as a part of a citywide vision. Right now, the challenges facing our streets are urgent, and we believe new ways of working, such as with Remix, will help supercharge plans to make streets better serve all,” said Tiffany Chu, SVP at Via and former co-founder of Remix.

NYC 25x25 has been supported by Mayor-elect Eric Adams along with a coalition of more than 200 disability rights, economic, educational, environmental, labor, and public health organizations across New York City. By giving a fraction of the street back to people, the City of New York can save lives, improve air quality, build climate resilience into every roadbed, and set the tone for the future of New York as a vibrant city with accessible, efficient transportation and a robust, thriving street life. This partnership between TA and Via demonstrates a new way to redesign streets by creating technical, actionable plans that incorporate globally-recognized best practices for street design and reflect specific input from the community. The report should also serve as a library of resources for advocates, planners, and engineers around the globe looking to bring a NYC 25x25 vision to their most problematic streets.

The report is accessible at Shovel-Ready NYC 25x25 Streets and images and videos of the corridor redesigns are available here.

About Transportation Alternatives

Transportation Alternatives’ mission is to reclaim New York City’s streets from the automobile and to advocate for better walking, biking and public transit for all New Yorkers. For nearly 50 years, TA has led the movement for safe, equitable streets in New York City. TA uses a combination of neighborhood-level grassroots organizing and city-wide advocacy to push for changes in public policy, street design, enforcement, and resource allocation that transform our city’s streets for the better. TA has successfully pushed for the construction of over 1,000 miles of bike lanes and over 70 public plazas on New York City streets. TA brought the first public bike share system, the first protected bike lanes, the world’s largest automated speed safety camera system, and the nation’s first Vision Zero initiative to New York City. TA believes in the power of the grassroots to make meaningful change to New York City’s streets, and is constantly building a coalition of engaged activists and partners, now 30,000 strong.

About Via

Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the TransitTech category by using new technologies to develop public mobility systems — optimizing networks of buses, shuttles, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles around the globe. Building the world’s most efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation network for all riders — including those with limited mobility, those without smartphones, and unbanked populations — Via works with its partners to lower the costs of public transit while providing transportation options that rival the convenience of a personal car while reducing the environmental impact. At the intersection of transportation and technology, Via is a visionary market leader that combines software innovation with sophisticated service design and operational expertise to fundamentally improve the way the world moves, with 500 partnerships in more than 35 countries and counting.

 

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