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Jackson Heights, Corona Are Priority Areas in Mayor’s Bike Safety Plan

The crash scene where Robert Spencer, 53, was killed while riding his bicycle in Long Island City on March 14 (Photo: @licwalkers)

July 25, 2019 Staff Report

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a $58.4 million plan to improve bike safety throughout the city, following a rash of cyclist deaths this year, including two in a 24-hour period just this week.

The wide-ranging plan includes a number of infrastructure, enforcement, policy and outreach measures. It plans to address the fact that cyclist fatalities have seen a sharp rise recently, with 17 so far in 2019, compared to 10 in all of 2018.

“With a dangerous surge in cyclist fatalities, we have to keep pushing the envelope and increasing our efforts. That’s what this plan is about,” de Blasio said in a statement.

On roads, the City plans to start installing 30 miles of protected bike lanes every year, as well as 2,000 new bike parking spaces on an annual basis.

This would accelerate the expansion of the City’s protected bike lane network—an average of 20 new miles were added annually in the past three years, and 25 miles will be added in 2019, according to de Blasio.

The Department of Transportation has also identified “Bike Priority Districts” in Brooklyn and Queens that have a disproportionate number of cyclist fatalities. These areas include Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, Ridgewood, Middle Village and Rego Park among others.

The DOT promised to build 75 miles of bike infrastructure in these districts by 2022.

Priority Districts include Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, Rego Park, Ridgewood (DOT)

Other infrastructure updates will include turn-lane traffic calming measures at 50 intersections as well as new protected intersection designs. A “Green Wave” pilot program will also use progressive signal timing to discourage speeding.

Along with those changes, the plan involves increased NYPD enforcement on the roads—specifically targeting speeding, failing to yield, blocking bike lanes and oversized or off-route trucks.

The NYPD has stepped up its enforcement of cars parked in bicycle lanes, issuing more than 8,600 summonses in the first three weeks of July.

The NYPD will also stop ticketing cyclists at the sites of fatal cyclist crashes.

Legislative priorities will include requiring a three-foot passing distance between cars and bikes.

Cyclist fatalities involving trucks constituted half of all recent cyclist fatalities, the DOT says. Therefore the “Green Wave” plan has a special focus on trucks, including putting loading zones in residential areas. The DOT will also create a Vision Zero Truck Safety Task Force and release educational materials for trucking companies.

“This bike safety plan is a good blueprint for the future; we must take immediate action to end the carnage on our streets. This is a state of emergency. We cannot wait for more lives to be lost and families shattered,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer in a statement.

For details of the plan, click here.

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8 Comments

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Jim

Bikers are a problem to drivers and need to be enforced. Cars run on the streets not bikes. Parking spots are gone and people search hours for parking due to this. Additionally drivers are taxed in gas, registration and licenses. Bikers want to use the roads but not pay for it, unacceptable. The city needs to focus on drivers not bikers.

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Alexis

Cars are responsible for 200+ traffic deaths per year in NYC, and you think bikes are the problem? Bikes have been around longer than cars and bike organizations are the ones that advocated for paved roads, so cars might not have happened if it wasnt for bikes.

EVERYONE pays for roads, even those that dont drive.
https://frontiergroup.org/reports/fg/who-pays-roads

The city have been focused on motor vehicles and that is why we have so many pedestrian and cyclist deaths. more people are walking, biking, taking transit, and the city need to use the street efficiently, and using the roadway as a public parking lot for someone’s private property isnt efficient us of the road.

You’re not entitled to the road space you use because you pay for taxes on gas and license and registration, you pay that because youre operating a 4000+ pound killing machine).

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Kevin

Agree with Jim, bikers are a cause of the chaos on the roads. They don’t signal, run red lights ride against the traffic and worst of all their city bike stands take parking

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Alexis

Oh yeah, because motorists don’t break the law…
When a cyclist breaks the law, 99% of the time, they are only endangering themselves. When a motorist breaks the law, 99% of the time they are endangering EVERYONE ELSE around them.

Not everyone has the luxury of owning a car or using a car to get to work. The MTA Subway and Buses arent getting much better either. Bikes have become a viable mode of transport and to use 2-3 car spaces to serve dozens of bike commuters is an efficient use of the public road space.

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TTKAN

I understand the need for separate bike lanes — but quite honestly I’ve narrowly avoided being hit by bikes in the past two months no less than 5 times — 5 times — did the rider stop – of course not — these riders must take responsibility for their haphazard riding — they should not be allowed to cross over lanes w/o signaling – turn down one way street in the wrong direction and I personally think that a tag of some sort and/or license should have to be applied for — something that will identify them and is able to be transferred from one bike to another.

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I agree, motorists never break the law

Thank god you’ve never driven faster than the speed limit, or you’d be a giant hypocrite!

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Jim

Bikers actually break most to every law on the road which is why there are so many accidents.

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