Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety for East Siders
Continues Downward Trend for Fourth Year in a Row
Network of Safe Streets with Bike Lanes and Pedestrian Features Expands
New “Bike Safety Officer” to Patrol Upper East Side Bike Lanes
New York, NY — Following an expansion of the Upper East Side’s safe streets network, coupled with an increase in education, safety equipment, and enforcement, bike safety from 30th to 97th streets on Manhattan’s East Side continues to improve as a result of a program led by Council Members Ben Kallos and Keith Powers. Since the program’s launch by Council Member Kallos in 2014 there has been a trend toward fewer injuries for pedestrians, cyclists and motorist injured in collisions. The trend also shows fewer collisions involving cyclists.
This year, the program included a new bike safety officer and the expansion of protected bike lanes.
In October of this year, the 19th Precinct lead by Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Kathleen Walsh and Executive Officer Captain William Gallagher established a “Bike Safety Officer” assigning Officer Tuohey to patrol Upper East Side bike lanes and street, ensuring safe passage for pedestrians and cyclists alike.
Infrastructure improvements include:
- Improving the bike lane on Second Avenue between 68th and 59th streets from shared to partially parking protected planned for 2019.
- Providing a pedestrian and bike crossing for the 59th Street Queensboro Bridge planned for 2019.
- Doubling bike lanes from just First Avenue and the 90th & 91st Street pair to include Second Avenue, 70th & 71st Street and 77th & 78th Streets in 2017.
- Leading pedestrian intervals along York Avenue to give pedestrians a chance to cross before vehicles get the green light in 2016.
- “Safety neckdowns” have extended the curb and islands have been added at dangerous intersections throughout the Upper East Side, so pedestrians have less distance to cross.
“Our first priority is to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe from cars, and we’ve made great strides doing so on the Upper East Side,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Particularly older residents are also afraid of getting hurt in a collision with bikes that disobey the rules. Whether it is ‘near misses’ from a failure to yield to pedestrians, or reports of cyclists who run red lights, go the wrong way, or ride on sidewalks, everyone must know the rules of the road in order to share it safely. Thank you to the NYPD, Department of Transportation, Bike New York, Citi Bike, and Transportation Alternatives for their partnership in making our streets safer.”