NYPD, DOT, Kallos, Advocates Present to Community on Progress of Summer Bike Safety Program

New York, NY— City officials and advocacy groups presented an update on Council Member Ben Kallos' Bike Safety Program to members of the Upper East Side community at an open forum Thursday, August 20. Results from the program, which started in June, included presentations from the NYPD, Department of Transportation, Bike New York, Citi Bike, and Transportation Alternatives.

The NYPD presented new statistics from the summer initiative, including a 52% increase in enforcement year-to-date and an 18% decrease in bike and vehicle collisions year-to-date, with bike and pedestrian collisions down 15% YTD. They've also increased distribution of education safety materials, including 8,000 in August. The Department of Transportation noted they have given away 10,500 bells and 10,100 lights since the program started in 2008.

“We are taking on street safety and minimizing collisions between cyclists and pedestrians through public/private partnership,” Council Member Ben Kallos said. "Pedestrians and cyclists got a report on the results from our program to make our streets safer. Thank you to the NYPD, Department of Transportation, Bike New York, Citi Bike, and Transportation Alternatives for their partnership.” 

Council Member Kallos' Bike Safety program includes:

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 of the program on June 8, 2015. Bike and vehicle collisions are down 18% YTD in 2015, with bike and pedestrian collisions down 15% YTD.

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.

CitiBike (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.

Bike New York

  • Street skills classes offered in bike stores and the Council Member's office to educate children and adults on safe cycling and city laws.
  • Bicycling basics classes for children and adults to learn how to ride safely and obey traffic laws.
  • 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.

Transportation Alternatives

  • 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.

"We're thrilled to have found in Council Member Kallos an advocate as dedicated to bike education and bike safety as we are at Bike New York. We're pleased to be able to offer an array of free bike classes in Council Member Kallos' district as a part of his Bike Safety Initiative, and we look forward to working with him, DOT and NYPD to further ensure that our shared goal of Vision Zero is achieved,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York.
"Transportation Alternatives is working to improve safety for all road users by advocating for street designs proven to save lives and prevent injuries, educating people commuting and delivery workers on the rules of the road, and fighting for laws that protect people walking and biking in New York City," said Ollie Oliver, Field Organizing Coordinator, Transportation Alternatives.

In 2014, Council Member Kallos surveyed 60,000 families to contribute information to a "Livable Streets" report on dangerous intersections and 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. This was followed by the launch of Commercial Bike Safety program to educate and provide commercial cyclists with free safety vests, lights and bells. The program also empowers residents to call 311 if they see commercial bikes, biking dangerously, or without vests, lights, bells, or identification numbers.