“Two New Yorkers were struck and killed while biking on New York City streets today. Seventeen people have been killed while biking on New York City streets to date this year, compared to 10 in all of 2018, seven of whom were killed since June 1 when Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets declared Vision Zero in a state of emergency. The continued carnage on our streets demands an immediate response from the Mayor.
A tow truck driver killed a 17-year-old cyclist this afternoon on Staten Island, a borough with almost no protected bike lanes, on a section of Clove Road with only sharrows. Less than four hours later, a driver killed a cyclist on McGuinness Boulevard, a multi-lane arterial that resembles a highway, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. These crashes are tragic examples of what happens in a city that purports to welcome cyclists but fails to dedicate protected space for bikes on the vast majority of its streets.
If we are going to reach Vision Zero, we simply cannot be using sharrows as a substitute for bike lanes. If we’re going to eliminate traffic deaths, we must not tolerate broad thoroughfares like McGuinness Boulevard that cater solely to cars and trucks.
The City’s forthcoming Bicycle Safety Plan must be dauntlessly bold and swiftly implemented. It must include a comprehensive blueprint and commitment to expand the protected bike lane network by at least 100 miles in the next two years, systematically protect all intersections along bike routes, create a rapid response program that leads to the redesign of any street where a serious crash occurs, create a bike corridor pilot, overhaul and improve the Department of Transportation’s community engagement process and bolster key City Council legislation like the Reckless Driver Accountability Act and Speaker Corey Johnson’s Streets Master Plan.
Lastly, we call on Mayor de Blasio to join us on a bike ride so he can experience firsthand the reality New York City cyclists face every day.”