Bicycle Safety Improves on East Side


Bike Safety Education, Equipment & Enforcement Program Led by Council Members Kallos and Garodnick Gets Results

New York, NY - Following an increase in education, safety equipment, and enforcement, bike safety from 30th to 97th streets on Manhattan’s East Side has improved as a result of a program led by Council Member’s Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick.  Compared to last year, there have been fewer pedestrians and cyclists injured in collisions and a reduction in the number of collisions involving cyclists.

The NYPD 19th and 17th precinct report Year to Date (YTD) through July and September, respectively:

  • 1,865 summonses issued to bicycles, with many issued over 10 initiatives this summer, a nine-fold increase over 200 summonses issued by the 19th precinct in 2015;
  • 17,615 moving violations issued to vehicles, with 6,123 violations for improper turns, 3,003 violations for disobeying a traffic control device, and 1,450 violations for not giving right of way to pedestrians, among other violations;
  • 70 seizures of “e-bikes” with 36 Environmental Control Board (ECB) summonses;
  • 15 motorcycles seized; and
  • 2.2% of collisions involving bicycles (131 out of 5,948).

“Pedestrians complain about ‘near misses’ and injuries from cyclists who run red lights, go the wrong way, ride on sidewalks or fail to yield to pedestrians. Both pedestrians and cyclists complain about ‘near misses,’ injuries and even deaths from vehicles. Everyone must know the rules of the road in order to share it safely,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Thank you to the NYPD, Department of Transportation, Bike New York, Citi Bike, and Transportation Alternatives for their partnership in making our streets safer.”

"The numbers speak for themselves," said Council Member Dan Garodnick. "There are more kids with bike helmets, more restaurant delivery workers with reflective vests, and fewer collisions between bikes and pedestrians on the Upper East Side. Our bike safety program is working, and I look forward to furthering Vision Zero goals and safe streets for all in our community."

Since the summer of 2015, the bike safety program spearheaded by Council Member Ben Kallos and Council Member Dan Garodnick has succeeded in its goal of helping pedestrians and cyclists safely enjoy city streets, as covered by CBS, NBCOur Town and amNY. Following last year’s Bike Safety program in August, the NYPD’s 19th Precinct reported a year-to-date 15% decrease in bike and pedestrian collisions.

The continuing bike safety program sponsored by Council Members Kallos and Garodnick includes:

Department of Transportation

  • Free vests, lights and bells for commercial owners and riders who participate in trainings offered in English, Spanish and Chinese with 200 trained in 2016.
  • Free lights and bells with educational materials for recreational and commuting cyclists in bike lanes including 4,830 bells and 2,492 lights distributed citywide with 580 bells and 300 lights distributed on the East Side in 2016.
  • Free helmet giveaway with youth cyclist education with 165,000 distributed since 2006 and over 400 distributed on the East Side in 2016.
  • Protected bike lanes, which began with First Avenue and will expand to Second Avenue in 2016, have reduced in all vehicle, bike, and pedestrian collisions by as much as 43% at Ninth Avenue between 16th and 33rd Streets.
  • Enforcement against restaurants that deliver by bike with inspections for safety equipment such as vests, lights and bells with issuance of warnings or summonses in response to 311 complaints.

New York Police Department (NYPD) 17th and 19th Precincts

  • Bike Lane Patrol by NYPD officers on bikes purchased by Council Members Kallos and Garodnick to improve enforcement of traffic regulations in bike lanes.
  • Traffic calming and education by auxiliary officers who are trained to engage cyclists and motorists on safer streets.
  • Increased enforcement on bike safety and respecting bike lanes by 17th and 19th precincts with support from Traffic Task Force. So far in 2016, 17,615 moving violations issued to vehicles with 1,865 summonses issued to bicycles and 10 initiatives this summer, a nine-fold increase over 200 summonses issued by the 19th precinct in 2015.

Bike New York

  • Free learn to bike ride safely classes for children and adults in gymnasiums and public parks.
  • Free bike safety classes to educate children and adults at schools, government offices, and local bike shops. Bike New York has educated 17,000 people in New York in 2015 alone and held classes on the East Side for 1,324 people in 2015 and 496 in 2016.
  • Free Citi Bike for Youth pilot for 69 children at the Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center Beacon Program with free training and an annual Citi Bike membership for free.
  • Free Citi Bike Street Skills classes to educate adults who are Citi Bike members or thinking about joining on how to bike safely, comfortably and legally on city streets.

Citi Bike operated by Motivate

  • Free day pass or month on annual membership from Citi Bike following participation in monthly free bike safety training.

The program was designed with advice and support from Transportation Alternatives.

An analysis of NYPD Motor Vehicle Collision data from July 2012 to September 2016 for zip codes covering the East Side from 26th Street to 96th Street (10016, 10017, 10021, 10022, 10028, 10065, 10075, 10128) found:


Pedestrians Injured in Collisions with Motor Vehicles


Pedestrians Killed in Collisions with Motor Vehicles


Pedestrians Injured in Collisions with a Bicycle


Pedestrians Killed in Collisions with a Bicycle



Cyclists Collisions with Motor Vehicle


Cyclists Injured in Collision with Motor Vehicle


Cyclist Killed in Collision with Motor Vehicle


The same analysis also found a drop in the number of motorists and pedestrians injured in collisions:

Additionally, the analysis found that the number of collisions involving cyclists has also gone down from 373 in 2015 to only 263 so far in 2016.

"I commend Councilmembers Kallos and Garodnick for their efforts to make the Upper East Side a safer place for cyclists,” said Acting Department of Transportation Manhattan Borough Commissioner Luis Sanchez. “DOT is happy to provide free helmets, lights, bells and vests to ensure cyclists are visible and safe as they travel around the city.”

“Safety is fundamental to the success of Citi Bike and we commend Councilmember Kallos and his partners on this effort,” said Jay Walder, President and CEO of Motivate, operators of the Citi Bike program. “In addition to repeated safety messages to each of our Annual Members, we put the four cardinal rules of biking front and center on the handlebars of each bike. We’re also proud to be generating over 60,000 bike trips per day on a regular basis. More people riding creates a safety in numbers effect that’s been proven around the globe.”

“Confident, predictable, respectful riding is the cornerstone of our free bike education program, and we’re thrilled to see our lessons having such a positive impact on the UES,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. “We salute the efforts of Council Members Kallos and Garodnick to make New York City a safer place for all street users, whether they’re pedaling, walking or driving. When responsible behavior is taught and enforced, and continued improvements to street infrastructure are made, everyone benefits.”

“New Yorkers of all ages benefit from better bike safety. We commend Councilmembers Kallos and Garodnick for their investment in education and enforcement, and support their efforts and that of the NYPD, NYC DOT, Bike New York, and Citi Bike to provide opportunities for the low-income families we serve to ride safely and comfortably,” said Greg Morris, Executive Director of Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center.