Our mission is to create a NYC that is truly safe for bikers. As NYC bureaucrats drag their feet in response to the worsening climate crisis, the next generation of New Yorkers are poised to inherit a city with a pollutive, inefficient transit infrastructure that doesn’t meet the needs of the growing cycling population. The solution? It's been right beneath our noses this whole time. New York, with its complex transit history, has many once-useful transit structures. We walk by these now dilapidated overpasses and railways unaware of their incredible potential. With a little work, these transit structures can be repurposed and connected to create a truly safe, sustainable, interboro bike highway: The NYC Tube
THE CURRENT STATE OF BIKING IN NYC
Over the past year and a half, New Yorkers have turned to cycling as a socially distant, freeing way to get out of the house amid Coronavirus lockdowns.
According to The New York Times, biking in NYC has been growing double the rate of other major cities.
Young New Yorkers especially appreciate cycling for its sustainability in the car-centric, increasingly polluted city.
Unfortunately, the city’s infrastructure is not equipped to handle this growth in biking, and the congestion of our city’s car-centric infrastructure is dangerous, even fatal to the amateur cyclist.
In 2019, the city witnessed the highest number of cycling deaths it had seen in over 6 years, largely due to the inadequacies of our bike lanes.
The city’s truly protected bike lanes (separated from vehicle traffic with a physical barrier, as opposed to just a painted white line) are scattered far from each other, forcing cyclists seeking a truly safe ride to dismount, or brave the congested streets until they reach the next protected lane.
When we consider that 90% of cyclist fatalities occur on streets without protected bike lanes, it becomes clear that NYC is in desperate need of bold, comprehensive changes regarding our bike lane infrastructure.
This is a 2020 map of protected bike lanes and greenways in NYC, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal. It is clear to see that these protected lanes are unevenly distributed, and too far apart for them to be an efficient, safe way of biking throughout the city. The majority of New Yorkers don't have easy access to these lanes, meaning they are more liable to get into an accident.
THE SOLUTION HAS BEEN RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES THE WHOLE TIME.
The solution has been right before our eyes the whole time. NYC, with its long industrial history, has a plethora of forgotten transit structures that could be utilized to make for the perfect bike highway. By connecting underutilized structures that exist in all 5 boroughs, a vast bike highway can be created that democratizes bike transit for all New Yorkers. The benefits of a bicycle highway in NYC are numerous -
Increasing bike trips in the US (with a corresponding decrease in car trips) by 1-3 miles on average could save 6-14 million tons of co2, and .7 to 1.6 billion gallons of fuel on a yearly basis.
Because 90 percent of NYC cyclist fatalities occur on streets without protected bike lanes, implementing The Tube’s protected bike lane network across the 5 boroughs would dramatically decrease cyclist deaths
Putting accessible, safe bike routes in lower-income areas with less transit access would increase neighborhood traffic, bringing in bikers from different areas to spend money at local establishments that would otherwise see less business. Currently, protected bike lanes are concentrated in higher income neighborhoods.
According to a study, bicycle projects create 11.4 jobs for every $1 million invested — 46% more than car-only road projects.
Data from many different countries show that cycling is inversely related to obesity rates, enhances cardiovascular health, controls cholesterol levels, and prevents elevated blood pressure.
The Tube would allow for traffic free, safe, recreational, and child-friendly biking. Many people are put off by the extremely dangerous state of biking currently and the implementation of The Tube would turn more people to bikes, reduce collisions, and make a positive impact on our environment.
Read the full proposal by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Laurie Garrett below.
There has never been a better time for New York City to start on this project.
The Tube is a bold proposal, but drastic action is needed to make our city more sustainable. As the city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, bike ridership continues to grow, and elections approach, it's time for us to take bold steps in investing in green infrastructure.
Biden's newly passed trillion dollar infrastructure bill has an emphasis on green transit, and allots $621 billion to improving transit.
The city is already becoming more pro-bike as Mayor Deblasio recently announced the creation of 30-plus miles of protected bike lanes in 2021 and the creation of new “Bike Boulevards” in every borough that slow vehicular speeds to create low-stress bike infrastructure in a pedestrian-friendly environment.
Best of all, Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams has the potential to be the most pro-bike Mayor NYC has ever seen.
Adams has outlined a plan to create a “bicycle superhighway” that uses underutilized spaces, similar to the tube. You can listen to him speak about this in his Bike New York forum, linked to the image above.
We are calling on all NYC bicyclists to come support Eric Adams’ bicycle superhighway proposal to ensure a green and democratized transit future for New Yorkers. The Tube NYC is organizing a rally in support of Adams’ vision to implement a bicycle highway in NYC, and we need your support. Scroll below to find out how you can support The Tube, and call on the next mayor to invest in infrastructure for the next generation.
JOIN US AT OUR RALLY ON OCTOBER 23RD AT 11 AM AT BOROUGH HALL
We need the support of bikers and bike lovers from all neighborhoods and backgrounds to show Eric Adams his constituents are passionate about this issue and will make their voices heard to ensure his vision is created.
Support our cause by attending THE TUBE NYC BIKE RALLY FOR GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE