Something Has to Be Done About Bike Deaths in NYC
I was listening to a local radio station, the one I produce for in New York City today and heard the most disturbing stat. 17 bike deaths already in 2019 in NYC, up from 10 in 2018.
In two separate instances , a biker was killed by a vehicle on the same day. As a rollerblader with one leg in NYC, I feel more worried about this then Mueller in Washington which is out of our control.
Moreso then worried, I feel obligated to share this thought to the bikers and the cars in NYC, because I see how the two attempt to co-exist whenever I roll! I say attempt because sometimes the biker-car situation ends up in a shouting match (a match I’ve seen twice!) Maybe you have seen it too.
While the Mayor is tasked with fixing this problem, ultimately it is down to us the biker/rollerblader working to ACTUALLY co-exist with those driving around the Big Apple.
My first thought is don’t speed and wear headphones at the same time. Headphones arguably puts us in a state Of always wanting to move fast, while losing site of the road ahead! Second thought is, acting entitled on the bike lane actually will cause more harm then good. I’ve seen cyclists not give a flying F about who else is on the lane and their surroundings on the streets adjacent to the green bike lanes.
Also, let’s not lose fact that there is intersections in which cars do have the right of way as well!
At the same time, I don’t believe it is all the biker/rollerblader fault for these fatal accidents. I find when I roll, some drivers just don’t care you have the right to cross a NYC street and will continue their turn, no matter if people are in shoes, on a bike, or rolling on a skate! Our drivers CAN and should be better.
I applaud City Council and our State Legislation for the ‘blocking the box’ bill that has saved the headache of cars Willy-nilly stopping on a red light across an entire intersection that could fill the space used by the Beatles to cross Abbey Road!
In addition to discipline, legislation is also what is needed here to curb the 17 deaths from climbing higher In 2019. On Pix 11, Mayor de Blasio has defended his Vision Zero program but added that he’s “directed the NYPD to aggressively clear out bike lanes.” The DOT has also created a Cycling Safety Plan according to Andrea Grymes is CBS 2, which has gone into effect.
Stats don’t lie however, and for the 3% of cyclists that get a ticket , WE IN THE ROLLING COMMUNITY CAN DO BETTER!
It’s time to take responsibility for the way we roll, and not always put the blame on the cars or the Mayor, as it’s US putting pedal to the medal on the multitude of bike lanes across NYC !