The mayor’s change of heart comes as he is actively piecing together a bid for governor of New York State. The developer, the Vornado Realty Trust chief executive Steven Roth, is one of New York’s most prolific donors, though city records indicate he has not donated to Mr. de Blasio’s mayoral campaigns.
A spokesman for Mr. Roth declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the mayor, Danielle Filson, said, “This administration installed a record number of bike lanes, bus lanes, and busways last year — in a budget crisis and a pandemic-shortened installation season. We’re going to beat those records this year, and this busway will be part of that legacy.”
Mr. de Blasio’s ambivalence about the Fifth Avenue plan comes during the deadliest year for traffic fatalities during his eight years in office and as some of his other transportation priorities appear to have fallen by the wayside. The transportation department has been reconsidering plans to put a protected bike lane on a main thoroughfare in Sunset Park, Brooklynaccording to one of the two people familiar with the mayor’s decisions.
Though Mr. de Blasio does not oversee the buses, which are operated by the state-controlled Metropolitan Transportation Authority, he does control the city’s streets.
In June 2020, he announced he would turn over 20 miles of streets to buses, installing 3.5 miles of busways along five major thoroughfares and an additional 16.5 miles of dedicated bus lanes. Busways severely restrict local car traffic as a way to increase bus speeds and reliability.
More than 40 different bus routes serving all five boroughs run down Fifth Avenue, and congestion there can delay service citywide. Before the pandemic, 75,000 bus riders made daily trips on the avenue.
Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/26/nyregion/fifth-ave-bus-deblasio.html330