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Mayor Unveils Bicycle Safety Plan Following Surge of Bike Deaths

The crash scene where Robert Spencer, 53, was killed while riding his bicycle in Long Island City on March 14 (Photo: @licwalkers)

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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7 Comments

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justin

we should protest for our safe as a driver from the bikes that break the law, why can they brake the law n we are at fault.. if i have green like n bike goes threw a red light thats not my fault… Jimmy Van need to stop worrying about how much he can make on bike lanes and worry about everyone safety

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Was that English?

It’s amazing you managed to misspell “break” as “brake,” but you used both! lmao. It’s probably because you’re so intelligent.

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Pat Macnamara

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. Such hyperbole coming from a limousine liberal who needs to be chauffeured around town. Never takes public transportation. Plenty of construction in his district that contributes to traffic issues. When you jam pack this many people onto a sliver of land, it is a miracle more people are killed throughout the day.

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Ellen M

Ms. Macnamara: Feel free to provide an idea or two instead of always whining and crying. You constantly have your skirt in a ruffle spinning your wheels screaming and yelling but never offering a solution.

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Pat Macnamaracist you hate politicians in limousines right?

You didn’t vote for the east-coast billionaire playboy talk show host living with his fashion model third wife in a golden tower with his name in all-caps story-tall letters on the front when he’s not golfing at his privately-owned members-only resort in Palm Beach, the largest mansion in Florida, did you?

Otherwise you’d have no integrity at all!

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Boone

Almost 60 million…that’s all? How about bicyclists obey the rules of the road? NYPD should ticket those that don’t follow the rules also in addition to drivers. I lost count how many times I’ve seen bicyclists on the sidewalks while walking with my kids, bicyclists running red lights and stop signs and give the driver’s the stank eye. People want more bike lanes, how about charging a minimal fee every year to register bicycles to offset this enormous cost of bike lanes and losing paid and non-paid parking spots.

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Devra

That’s asking way too much. If I want to ride my bike on sidewalks, against traffic, and ignore the lights I should be allowed to.

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