Out of the 8o cyclists injured in New York City last week, 38 were injured while riding their bicycle in Brooklyn. That is almost half of the injuries recorded.
Last October in Brooklyn, while inaugurating 1000 miles of protected bike lanes in NYC, Mayor de Blasio said “Vision Zero means making sure people on bikes in every neighborhood feel safe—whether they’re in Boerum Hill, Bath Beach or Bushwick,”.
Sadly the reality is much different. A quick look at the maps on the left is enough to show that protected bike lanes are dramatically missing in the south part of Brooklyn where 22 of the 80 bicycle accidents occurred. How could Bath Beach cyclists feel safe on their bike while running errands in their neighborhood when the only existing bike lane is the one by the water next to the Belt Parkway?
Many of the bicycle accident injuries occurred in South Brooklyn neighborhoods where except for the Ocean Parkway bike path that was created in 1894 and was the first bike path in the US, there are no other protected bike lanes. Flatbush, Midwood Flatlands, Sheepshead Bay, Bensonhurst, Gravesend have been totally ignored in Mayor de Blasio’s Green Wave plan. It is not surprising then that the majority of bicycle accident injuries recorded last week occurred in these locations. Gowanus, area Borum Hill and Prospect Heights remain dangerous neighborhoods for bicyclists as well but at least there are some plans to improve them. Williamsburg and Bushwick where many people use their bike to commute also need more protected bike lanes. 7 people were injured in theses neighborhoods last week.
On the map to the left, the green line shows the existing bike lanes, the green on light green indicate what was accomplished last year. The dotted pink are the 10 additional miles that will be completed this year and the yellow lines are the ones that might be completed in 2021. Comparing this map to the blue dots where the bicycle accident injuries occurred last week show that there are no future plans to install protected bike lanes where most accidents occurred.