NYC Agencies Take Home EPA’s Top Honors For Smart Growth

Photo: Kyle Gradinger/Bike Coalition

Innovative street designs including the Ninth Avenue bike lane helped NYC claim the EPA's award for overall excellence in smart growth. Photo: Kyle Gradinger/Bike Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden were down in D.C. yesterday to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual “Overall Excellence in Smart Growth” award. The EPA highlighted four PlaNYC-related initiatives for recognition: NYC DOT’s Street Design Manual, the city’s Active Design Guidelines, City Planning’s Food Retail Expansion to Support Health (FRESH) program, and the zoning amendment that passed in 2009 requiring new apartments and offices to include bike parking.

At a time when some local elected officials are raring to tear out pedestrian safety improvements and erase bike lanes, New York’s new street designs are receiving honors as nationally significant innovations. In the award announcement, the EPA singled out the city’s construction of more than 20 miles of protected bike lanes as an example of “implementing world-class street designs that support multi-modal transportation and help achieve environmental and other community goals.”

The EPA has given out smart growth awards in several categories since 2002. Stay tuned for more on yesterday’s winners from Tanya Snyder at Streetsblog Capitol Hill.