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Mayor Unveils Bicycle Safety Plan Following Surge of Bike Deaths

July 25, 2019 Staff Report

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a $58.4 million plan to improve bike safety throughout the city, following a rash of cyclist deaths this year, including two in a 24-hour period just this week.

The wide-ranging plan includes a number of infrastructure, enforcement, policy and outreach measures. It plans to address the fact that cyclist fatalities have seen a sharp rise recently, with 17 so far in 2019, compared to 10 in all of 2018.

“With a dangerous surge in cyclist fatalities, we have to keep pushing the envelope and increasing our efforts. That’s what this plan is about,” de Blasio said in a statement.

On roads, the City plans to start installing 30 miles of protected bike lanes every year, as well as 2,000 new bike parking spaces on an annual basis.

This would accelerate the expansion of the City’s protected bike lane network—an average of 20 new miles were added annually in the past three years, and 25 miles will be added in 2019, according to de Blasio.

The Department of Transportation has also identified “Bike Priority Districts” in Brooklyn and Queens that have a disproportionate number of cyclist fatalities. These areas include Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, Ridgewood, Middle Village and Rego Park among others.

The DOT promised to build 75 miles of bike infrastructure in these districts by 2022.

Priority Districts include Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, Rego Park, Ridgewood (DOT)

Other infrastructure updates will include turn-lane traffic calming measures at 50 intersections as well as new protected intersection designs. A “Green Wave” pilot program will also use progressive signal timing to discourage speeding.

Along with those changes, the plan involves increased NYPD enforcement on the roads—specifically targeting speeding, failing to yield, blocking bike lanes and oversized or off-route trucks.

The NYPD has stepped up its enforcement of cars parked in bicycle lanes, issuing more than 8,600 summonses in the first three weeks of July.

The NYPD will also stop ticketing cyclists at the sites of fatal cyclist crashes.

Legislative priorities will include requiring a three-foot passing distance between cars and bikes.

Cyclist fatalities involving trucks constituted half of all recent cyclist fatalities, the DOT says. Therefore the “Green Wave” plan has a special focus on trucks, including putting loading zones in residential areas. The DOT will also create a Vision Zero Truck Safety Task Force and release educational materials for trucking companies.

“This bike safety plan is a good blueprint for the future; we must take immediate action to end the carnage on our streets. This is a state of emergency. We cannot wait for more lives to be lost and families shattered,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer in a statement.

For details of the plan, click here.

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38 Comments

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BikersGoodCarsBadboobooboo

Today, walking over Queens blvd from 46th to 50th St.

One cyclist going opposite direction on 47th, I was crossing the red light and this person drove his bike really close to me.

Another biker OVER the walkway between the Duane Reade/Sleepys.

5 minutes walk and 2 bikers passed by, oh yes! They did not kill me! And they did not injured me because I had to move for them.

Downvote as much as you want, bikers are not following the rules, they should get tickets as any driver.

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OMG, an anecdote!

Cars are responsible for 99% of pedestrian deaths.

But you have an entire anecdote!! Those stats must be wrong, huh?

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All wrong

1. Upgrade the MTA (subway and busses). Good and timely public services would reduce cars/bikes.
2. Forbid high capacity cars/big vans on the streets. Several trucks in a residential zone 24/7, it can not be like that. They need special routes and schedules.
3. Mixing cyclist with cars is wrong, not all streets can have bike lines as not all streets are to have high traffic.
4. Tickets for bikers, drivers and pedestrians. Whoever commits an infractions has to pay for it.

Point 4 should be point 1…

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Jesse

The surge in bicyclist fatalities are BECAUSE of the increase in BICYCLING and the greater proximity to cars and trucks. In many cases, bicyclists do not obey traffic rules, so I have no doubt they are at fault in a substantial amount instances. I have seen many of these happen before my own eyes.

So I’m bewildered and flabbergasted at the following statement: “The NYPD will also stop ticketing cyclists at the sites of fatal cyclist crashes.”

Incredible myopia from the city, courtesy of the king of myopia, the Mayor of NY.

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VelvetKnight

Ok, I’ll bite. Please show the data you used to determine the number of cyclist deaths and the number of cyclists total change at the same rate.

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Jesse

Show me your data that disproves it. And at the same time, your theory about why the number of bicyclist deaths have surged. I’ll suggest another possible reason: warmer weather = more people riding bikes.

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VelvetKnight

Wow, that’s a neat trick. Pull a claim out of your backside as if it’s an actual fact, and then demand that other people do the work of disproving it. In this case Numbers Guy below already took care of it for me, so now it’s your turn.

As for my theory, if I use your method of debate I can literally say anything with no need to back it up. So here goes:

The surge in bicycle deaths is caused by brain wave guns invented by lizard people from Jupiter who took over the island of Fernando Poo as part of a rather complicated conspiracy to sell the most burritos. Now show me your data that disproves it!

(That’s how it’s done, right?)

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VelvetKnight

Seriously, why can’t they be more like those nice Furbys from Neptune?

Numbers guy

The OP will have difficulty showing any data because the exact opposite is true. The “safety in numbers” principle has been borne out in multiple studies showing mortality rates and serious injury rates stay stable or even decrease as more pedestrians and cyclists use the road.
https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/injuryprev/9/3/205.full.pdf

A quick look at the numbers confirms that since 2000 the level of cycling risk in New York City has indeed decreased by approximately 75% with injury rates remaining stable and/or decreasing while bike trips have increased.
https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nyc-cycling-risk.pdf

With a 300% rise in cycling trips, a relatively stable injury level, and plummeting risk level, it seems clear that cyclists themselves are not the problem, but that certain dangerous parts of the road network are. Having safe, well-placed cycling facilities in problematic corridors is the approach our current administration has taken, including on Queens Boulevard and 43rd/Skillman Avenues locally.

Large data sets and trends can be difficult to understand, counter-intuitive even, which is why leaving such analyses to experts and policy makers is the right approach (as opposed to community boards and/or vocal NIMBY groups).

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VelvetKnight

The number of people who downvote the existence of actual numbers never fails to crack me up. 😀

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Queens Streets for LOL

Meanwhile over at our local anti-safety headquarters the “moderator” of the Queens Streets Facebook group asks how we can do better for cyclists. Pretty ironic for a group literally formed in protest of the city’s best efforts to stem the blood tide. Of course the comments were a chorus of ill informed folks in dire need of anger management therapy.

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VelvetKnight

I saw that too. Cracked me up. A year of fighting the biggest thing we can do to help because of “our parking spots” and stirring up irrational hate against bikers making things even worse, and now they pretend to care?

It’s a bit late to make a pretense of putting the toothpaste back in the tube while acting like someone else squeezed it. Until the anonymous moderator makes a public statement of apology I won’t buy a word of it.

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They are beyond saving

Yes, they have about as much credibility on street safety as the person who shouted FIRE in the movie theater or the boy who cried WOLF at a town hall about keeping fire and wolves out of “Small Town” movie theaters. There is no defending the indefensible, no gain from promoting and attempting to defend untruths. These actions speak to the character of the organizers whose hate-troll presence is well documented in public comments online.

Credibility lost is not likely to be regained while that hateful Facebook group exists. The biggest question is why they would have chosen to burn every bridge they built over a few dozen parking spaces (of thousands in the area). It will never ever make sense.

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BikersAreAssToo

Bikers ride whenever they want, as they want, both sides, out of their lanes…
As a pedestrian the risk of being hit by a biker is higher than being hit by a car.

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VelvetKnight

Bikers count for less than 1% of pedestrian deaths on the road. Why not consider focusing on the other 99% for a bit?

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IceCreamCarving

*** Out of topic * but I know you can help ***

Have you seen any mr softee truck around Sunnyside? Where? What time?

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VelvetKnight

It’s a start, but it doesn’t address the main problem which is the number of cars and trucks, and how most of New York is accustomed to treating them as a privileged class.

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Sunnyside4NY

And how does the increase in deaths/injuries correlate with the increase in bike lanes? Bikers are reckless. Maybe the new school crossing cameras will now catch all the bikers running red lights.

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Fan of Dough Boy Park

You can have 1000 policies, but if cyclists ignore rules and laws, they have themselves to blame( blah blah blah cars are dangerous), Devra Freelander was a fatality in Brooklyn because she blew a red light . It’s on camera. But no one wants to hear personal responsibility. Had she stopped at red light, she would be here today. A bicyclist was clipped today by my job at 48th and 8th Avenue. No serious injury, but were was the cyclist, in the middle lane of traffic, what’s 2 lanes over? A bicycle lane. What did he have on his head, no helmet, but he had his ipods earpieces in. Personal responsibility.

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Agreed, motorists don't break the law

Have you ever driven faster than the speed limit? Or do you just pretend to care about it when it’s not about you?

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Fan of Dough boy park

Once again, Carbie, you try to move the goalposts. “ pretend to care when it’s not about you”. All people in this city are affected by the detrimental driving of cars and riding of bicyclists. But if I drive through a red light , and cause an accident , I don’t sit there and say “ we need more car lanes”. The problem is the refusal by many on the bicyclist lobby to call out their own for their flaunting of the laws.

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Fan of Dough Boy Park

That’s your more intelligent post ever! Good job, I knew you had it in you!

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I agree, Fan of Dough boy park regularly breaks the law

But if other people do what he does it’s wrong, lmao

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Wowwwwww

So we are going to spend 54 Million on bike lanes really??? I have no words for this….

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None of this will change unless biker behavior changes first

At what point will cyclists be held responsible for their own reckless behavior on the roads? They want to stop giving them tickets?? Diblasio is a total moron. Some of these recent deaths would have been avoided had they obeyed the rules of the road. Rule #1, stop at all red lights. It’s a very simple concept. “But bikes don’t kill people….” don’t give me that BS, sure they do, AND they injure many more. Do some physics, 150lb guy, 25lb bike, 20mph hitting a pedestrian might not kill them, true, but that’s heavy damage, and what insurance is covering deeds of the miscreant on 2 wheels? Just today in Manhattan I watched a biker go thru a red light, scratch up a guys car and keep going. Too many irresponsible bikers. Nothing changes until the 2 wheeled daredevils start doing the right thing.

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Carbie Barbie

Cyclists can be a-holes, sure.

But I’ve never seen anybody act like such an a-hole as when they’re behind the wheel of a car/truck/etc.

I’ve been endangered by motorists far, far more often than bikes.

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you're not even polling 1%, give it up

what about the cops getting abused the past few days?

welcome back to NYC, you’re not going to run this city from Ohio

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Anonymous

Stop riding in truck’s blind spot and stop passing cars and especially trucks on the right side. You may have the right of way, but it makes a lousy epitaph. They can’t see you, and will rarely feel you. Keep safe, as frustrating as it might be, assume the car your riding next to doesn’t know that you are there. Ride defensively, it’s not about right or wrong, but self preservation.

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No bike for Me

Didnt anyone forsee this happen that its extremely dangerous to ride a bike in NYC. Shame on all of you .
No one really thought that the volume of truck,buses , & cars would be a problem for biker riders . But bikers
think they have right of way . The rules dont apply to them. I guess no one told them .

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VelvetKnight

As of July 8th, there had been 106 pedestrians killed by cars in 2019 (a 14% increase from last year at the same time). Don’t know how many it’s been since then, but seems only fair to apply your view to that as well. So here goes:

——–

Didnt anyone forsee this happen that its extremely dangerous to walk in NYC. Shame on all of you .
No one really thought that the volume of truck,buses , & bikes would be a problem for pedestrians . But pedestrians
think they have right of way . The rules dont apply to them. I guess no one told them .

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Wait, you think you need to put a space before a period?

Probably because you’re so intelligent.

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