Bicycle Fatalities on the Rise in New York City

In July of 2019, Mayor Bill DiBlasio declared a transportation emergency in the city of New York. This declaration came after the deaths of 18 cyclists during the first half of 2019. At the current rate of fatalities, it is estimated that 30 cyclists will be killed by the end of the year. This is three times the number of fatalities in 2018.

Contributing Factors

Among the contributing factors to this increase in bicycle fatalities is the fact that bike ridership is on the rise. Records from Citi Bike show a 12% increase in usage. In addition, New York is lacking in safe bike lanes. Bike lanes currently cover only 20% of New York streets. This is a dismal number for a city of this size. Only 8% of the city is covered with protected bike lanes, which are the safest alternative for cyclists.

Even when confronted with bike lanes, drivers in the city and authorities simply don’t respect bicyclists. Drivers are frequently blocking bike lanes, and the NYPD does little to enforce laws put in place to protect cyclists. New Yorkers need to improve efforts to share the road.

Possible Solutions

In 2014, the mayor launched the Vision Zero initiative with the hopes of completely eliminating traffic fatalities in the city by 2024. It is clear that five years into the plan, safety hasn’t improved. The mayor has now announced a $58.4 million plan to make the streets safer for cyclists. The plan calls for the rapid installation of more protected bike lanes throughout the city. The plan also calls for redesigning intersections to make turning safer for cyclists. Additional transportation workers dedicated to bicycle safety will be hired.

In addition, police officers will be stepping up enforcement of traffic rules. The NYPD will specifically target trucks and will focus its efforts on the 100 most dangerous intersections in the city. They will focus on driver violations such as blocking bike lanes.  The hope is that stepped up efforts will prevent further violations.

Contact a New York City Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you should have an experienced accident attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured in bicycle accidents. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.