Bicycle accidents in New York City have killed more people in 2016 than in previous years. A recent article in the NY Daily News looks back at some of the accidents that occurred this year and how they could have been prevented.
Many fatal accidents took place in areas that have been designated by Vision Zero programs to be re-engineered because they were too dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians. Unfortunately not every community board is pedestrian and bicyclist friendly. Some of the deadly bicycle accidents occurred in areas where community boards rejected Vision Zero projects to make streets safer.
When asked to comment about the steep increase of bicyclists dying in traffic accidents in the city, the Department of Transportation replied that the streets of New York City have never been as safe as Today. Statistically, compared to the estimated number of daily bike rides, the number of severe injuries or deaths related to bike accidents is at its lowest. According to DOT calculations cyclists were 72% safer in 2014 than in 2000. The DOT estimated that in 2014 420,000 people were riding a bike everyday in New York City. That is almost triple the amount of 2000.
The mayor has been pushing for a greener city and for people to use their bikes. City bike stations are popping up all over the city. Despite the increasing number of deaths, bicyclists advocates believe that the more people who ride their bikes the more streets will become safer for them. Motorists are getting more aware of bicyclists according to Ken Podziba, president of Bike New York. They are driving more safely than in the past.
However despite safety improvements in street engineering and safer motorists the real number of deaths still demonstrate that not enough is being done to protect the increasing number of New York bicyclists from dangerous accidents. If mayor de Blasio is pushing hard for people to use their bikes he should push as hard to fast-track zero vision projects to make some of the city’s most dangerous streets safer for cyclists.
Picture courtesy of Wikipedia