Council Member Ben Kallos launched a Bike Safety initiative with a partnership between the Department of Transportation, the New York Police Department (NYPD), Citi Bike (Motivate), Transportation Alternatives and Bike New York on June 16. The program kicked off in the warm weather months when more New Yorkers tend to cycle.
In 2013, 4,269 cyclists were injured and 13 were killed in collisions with motor vehicles and 359 cyclists were injured and 1 killed in collisions on bicycles alone. That year, 316 pedestrians were injured and one was killed in collisions with cyclists, according to DOT data.
On Tuesday, June 9, a 67-year-old woman named Mary Grace Belfi was struck by a cyclist who then fled the scene at 86th and First Avenue in the protected bicycle lane. She was severely injured.
Results of the initiative were presented in a public Bike Safety Forum on August 20, with all members of the partnership presenting. You can watch the entire forum online if you were unable to attend.
Kallos' emphasis on safety led the 19th Precinct to increase enforcement by 52% year-to-date from 2014.
Department of Transportation
• Recreational cyclist education giving free lights with educational materials in bike lanes;
• Youth cyclist education coupled with free helmet giveaways; and
• Commercial cyclist education with vest, light and bell giveaways for commercial owners and riders who participate in training. DOT has given away 10,500 bells and 10,100 lights since 2008. The city has fitted and given away 150,000 helmets since its program started in 1997.
• Since the implementation of parking protected bike lanes — which began in 2007 with 9th Avenue and has been spread to 1st, 2nd, 8th, Broadway, and Columbus Avenue —injuries have been reduced in all vehicle, bike, and pedestrian collisions from 6% at 1st Ave and 33rd Street to as much as 43% at 9th Ave in the section between 16th and 33rd Streets.
New York Police Department (NYPD)
• Auxiliary officers training and deployment to engage in traffic calming and free education on regulations for cyclists and motorists. Officers have handed out over 8,000 fliers in August 2015;
• NYPD Bicycles purchased by Council Member Kallos for NYPD officers to improve enforcement of traffic regulations in bike lanes; and
• Increased enforcement on cycling safety and respecting bike lanes by local precincts with support from Traffic Task Force. Enforcement is up 52% year-to-date from 2014 with 94 summonses handed out in three hours on the first day (6/8/2015) of the initiative. Bike and vehicle collisions are down 18% YTD in 2015, with bike and pedestrian collisions down 15% YTD.
Citi Bike (Motivate)
• Free day membership for Citi Bike through Motivate and Bike New York for riders who participate in training on safe use of bike share;
• Citi Bike opened 332 stations in 2013 and they will be up to over 700 by 2017, including 38 stations on the Upper East Side starting September 2015.
• If you are not already a member of Citi Bike, new signups can use the link CitiBikeNYC.com/Kallos to get a $25 discount off an annual membership.
• Education and traffic calming in bike lanes by staff and member volunteers;
• TA study shows 81% reduction in sidewalk riding with addition of parking protected bike lane on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn.
Bike New York
• Street skills classes to educate children and adults on safe cycling and city laws.
• Bicycling basics classes for children and adults to learn how to ride safely;
• Bike New York educated 16,000 people in New York in 2014 through a series of classes. They now have 14 separate classes for different ages, languages, and experience levels. Bike New York has held classes for 1,100 people on the Upper East Side in 2015 so far.
In 2014, Council Member Kallos surveyed 60,000 families to contribute information to a "Livable Streets" report on dangerous intersections and necessary street improvements. Because of the report, the Department of Transportation agreed to do Pedestrian Interval Studies at dangerous intersections, install a bus shelter and bike rack, and beautify streets.
Following the report, the DOT and NYPD also released a Vision Zero Borough Pedestrian Safety Plan for Manhattan, including priority corridors on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Ave as well as intersections from the report: Lexington Avenue and East 86th Street, 2nd Avenue and East 79th Street, East 75th Street and 1st Avenue, East 62nd Street and 1st Avenue, 3rd Avenue and 57th Street, and 2nd Avenue and East 53rd Street.
“The Bike Safe program will help all New Yorkers get where they are going safely—whether they are on a bike, on foot or in a car,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Thank you to all of my partners in promoting safe practices for East Siders as part of a larger Vision Zero effort.”
“DOT is proud to take part in such an important initiative with our partners at the NYPD, Bike NY and at Transportation Alternatives,” said NYC Department of Transportation Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione. “This initiative will not only help keep the increasing amount of cyclists that traverse this area of Manhattan safe but would also make streets safer for pedestrians and is in line with Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan.”
"The 19th Precinct supports Councilman Kallos' bicycle initiative and looks forward to participating by conducting enforcement, traffic calming, and outreach," said Captain Ted Federoff, Executive Officer, 19th Precinct.