A majority of New Yorkers want more bike and bus lanes — and in many cases would give up parking spots to build them — says a survey released Tuesday by Siena College Research Institute.
The survey queried 805 randomly selected registered city voters and found 56% supported sacrificing some parking spots to put in new bus lanes.
Just over two-thirds of respondents wanted new protected bike lanes in their neighborhood, and nearly half said they’d still support infrastructure for cyclists even if that meant losing parking.
Even 61% of car owners supported new bike lanes in their neighborhoods, the survey shows. Still, 37% of those motorists said they would no longer support new bike lanes if they negatively impacted traffic or car parking.
The poll was commissioned by street safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives — and the group says the data should give elected officials more confidence to push ahead with new transportation projects that receive pushback from locals.
“While the majority of our city’s streets are devoted to moving and parking vehicles, the clear majority of New Yorkers want streets that prioritize people.” said Danny Harris, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “With this latest polling, it’s clear that candidates running with bold plans to reimagine New York City’s streetscape will have public opinion on their side.”
Harris and other transportation advocates have for months criticized Mayor de Blasio’s response to the pandemic, alleging his administration of doing to little to reimagine the city’s streets for a post-COVID world.
Hizzoner in May formed a transportation advisory panel that included Harris, and directed the group to come up with bold recommendations for city streets during the pandemic.
The group recommended quicker installation of bike lanes and more traffic restrictions to give more space to pedestrians — but in September half of the panel’s 24 members wrote a letter slamming de Blasio for ignoring their proposals.
Harris and other advocates believe the new polling data will prompt candidates in this year’s mayoral race to be more bullish on street redesigns.
“Safer and more inclusive streets aren’t just good policy, they’re good politics,” said Eric McClure, executive director of the lobbying group StreetsPac. “Candidates who want to come out on top in this year’s elections would be wise to join the growing majority of New York City voters who embrace a vision of a city that isn’t dominated by cars and traffic.”