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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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36 Comments

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Anonymous

I drive and I’m in favor of protected bike lanes. Some of the roads are too dangerous for trucks, cars, and bikes to share and on those roads, particularly truck routes, bikes shouldn’t be allowed. Build a grid of protected bike lanes and relegate bikes to them and side streets (wide ones) and it will be better for both. As for traffic, it gets worse and worse regardless so you might as well build bike lanes, you sure can’t build more roads and if you did they’d fill up with cars just the same. I pay about 3k a year for fuel, parking, insurance and if there’s a repair forget it $$, all for the comfort of sitting in stop and go traffic. I don’t blame bikers for taking to roads, unfortunately we can’t all do it. I do however blame bikes for sometimes having a mob mentality on the issue. The driver isn’t always the sole cause of an accident , sometimes it’s the bikes, usually it’s a combination of factors that result in tragedy. Weeks back a mob of bikers went on a rampage after one of these tragedies damaging vehicles and impending traffic. Venting on innocent people who are just driving home and vandalizing their property makes as much sense as going on a bike tire slashing spree because a delivery guy almost hits you or sprinkling tacks along a bike path because you lost a parking spot. Motorists need to share the road, bikers need to respect cars and the fact they’re often hard to see, all need to compromise a bit to make it work.

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Gerald

An uber driver almost killed me yesterday crossing Queens Blvd. This is the third time this year an uber driver has gone thru a red light and almost hit me in the crosswalk. Any other pedestrians wary of walking across the street due to all the distracted drivers?

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Cg

Isn’t there enough going on on NYC roadways with cars, trucks, busses, deliveries, pick ups drop offs -now we have squeezed in “bike lanes” and have adults willy nilly riding bikes, scooters, rollerblades, skateboards (i drove past a circus unicyclist the other day that had to be ten feet off the ground) all driving around in the same space as 3-250,oo lb vehicles….. its insanity. I’m surprises more people aren’t killed. Bicycles are for children and riding them
On roads is not a right and is not safe period. We have loads of parks and places to ride bikes, children should ride bikes-but more importantly you have to know it is a dangerous endeavor and be careful
For god sake. You cant drive your bike like a nut and expect everyone to cede to you…. you have to give way, look out and use some sense. When i was a child and i rode on a roadway i faced the traffic and drove the very edge of the road. I wanted to see what was coming at me so i knew when to ditch off into the shoulder or the grass. I didnt want a truck coming op from behind and wiping me out. But i was really careful
And always respectful of the fact that the road was made for cars and trucks and that in a battle my little tin bike and my fleshy body would lose. It aint rocket science folks

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Morghan Richardson

You should never ride a bike against the direction of traffic. The force of an impact head-on is far worse, and as a bike is a moving vehicle, it must go with the flow of traffic. Everyone needs to learn the rules of the road so that cycling can be safe as an environmentally friendly alternative to driving and a more reliable method than the subway.

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Devra Freelander

Because as a trust fund baby when I’m riding my bicycle on a sidewalk and decide to run a red light I expect everyone else to stop and move out of my way. 🙂

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Trust fund baby?

She wasn’t, but that’s such an outdated insult to might as well if called her a hipster.

Good point though… Since you’re a Trump lover you have to move tragic deaths, because the person hurt your feelings.

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Devra Freelander

Hahaha hurt feelings? Only thing that hurt was when I went face first into the cement truck.

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Imagine bike lanes hurting your feelings so much

You seem to REALLY want attention. Quick, call her a hipster again! Sick burn there boomer.

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Patyb

Like it or not the city needs to change and modernize to accommodate the amount of people living here now and more cars is definitely not the answer but more bikes is. NYC is growing and for congestion and air quality purposes more bike lanes and bike protection is the only way. Face it, ny needs to become more European in its transportation efforts. Drivers can push back and deny it all they want and it will happen anyway.

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Makes sense

So in order to modernize a city, we’re going to resort to a third world country method of travel?

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PatyB

Haha Wow you must not travel much. Have you been to Europe? Scandinavia? The Netherlands? After you visit those countries maybe you can comment on bike transportation.

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Mac

Makes sense- The countries with the largest percentage of citizens riding bicycles are Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Japan. Not one of these countries is third world. Did Fox News mislead and dupe you again?

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Alex

Unfortunately, 17 Cyclists paid with their lives to make DiBlasio and Van Bramer start to make something with Safety plan for Cyclists.
Mayor DiBlasio and all his Councils DO NOT SEE anything that happens in the city from their blinded cars. Public transportation, Homeless situation, Crime, Drug addiction, Streets conditions, Pollution, Plastic bags Recycling also are some the big issues in our city never resolved. But over the weekend he travels for the campaign.
Let’s Newyorkers Remind well when we Vote!!! He’s losing our money doing Campaign to run for a President!!!!
DiBlasio and all your councils back to your homes please!!!!!

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Gardens Watcher

16 cyclists, Devra doesn’t count. She ran a red light and was going against traffic.

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Well now it's 18 cyclists, another was killed since you made that post

I guess we can pretend that the people you don’t like didn’t die?

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Gardens Watcher

Well now it’s 17 cyclists. Lumping someone like Devra who died doing something stupid is insulting to the other cyclists that died through no fault of their own.

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Good point, 18 cyclists were killed

I guess you think one of them doesn’t count or something.

Did the other 94% count? Oh…they did? So…are you actually saying anything?

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FromLICQueens

No safety plan will prevent a biker getting hurt or killed by going through a red light. The white biker bros, and their collaborating DoT and politicians, have successfully spun bikers being hurt or killed by their own reckless riding into the fault of cars and drivers. Masterful but FALSE!

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Patyb

Yikes! So aggressive, I can almost feel your road rage through the internet. Have a little sympathy people have died, peoples families have been damaged and hurt. Neither biker involved in recent accidents was breaking the law

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Gerald

And I see reckless driving every day, in Manhattan, Queens, all over. They’re angry drivers, distracted drivers, you name it. And there’s LOTS more cars than bikes on the road, so car drivers need to pipe down and make life better for all, not just themselves.

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Not sure what race has to do with it

Have you ever driven faster than the speed limit?

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Anonymous

Because the black guys touching women on trains and beating people for accidentally stepping on their bags are so much better 🙂

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Douglas Landkammer

How about enforcing the law because the bicyclists break the laws all day long how about teaching bicycle safety putting license plates and insurance on them they share the road they need to be held to the same laws as the cars how many must die before the city of New York does the right thing

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FOH

So a nine year-old would need to pass a driving test, an eye exam, a written test, apply for a license, and pay insurance?

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HOF

According to NYC’s bike laws kids under 12 are allowed to ride their bikes on the sidewalks.

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Cleanair

Are you saying your going to make a 10 year old have an insurance policy to ride their bike?

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They are held to the same laws

Cars have killed massively more pedestrians and regularly break the law. That hurts your feelings too, right?

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your_neighbor

And maybe pedestrians should be licensed too so they learn that jaywalking and crossing the street mid block are illegal.
Bike riders have much more in common with pedestrians than they do with automobile drivers. Most of the problems that I see involve the commercial e-bikers who love to go at high speed down sidewalks and the wrong way down one way and even in the wrong lane of two way streets.
Good luck to us all when high speed electric citibikes are put into the hands of everybody with a couple bucks for a subscription.

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