MANHATTAN, N.Y. — Pedestrians are under siege by bicycle riders in New York City. According to an article citing statistics from the New York Department of Transportation, along with other sources, and appearing in the New York Post, 270 pedestrians were injured — some severely or even killed — by pedal cyclists in the City during 2019. There were 134 reported pedestrian crashes involving bicycles in Manhattan alone in 2019. As the Mayor’s office has pushed its agenda to reduce carbon emissions through bicycling and made the streets more accessible to bike riders, the Mayor has done nothing to combat the dangers to pedestrians bicycle riders pose to pedestrians, motorists, and themselves.
New York City added around 100 miles of bicycle-only lanes from 2011 to the present. During that same time frame, over 2,250 pedestrians have sustained injuries in collisions with bicycles. Seven pedestrians died in bike collisions over that span of time. Through June of 2019, the number of pedestrian injuries from bike crashes was twelve percent higher than the interval from January to June of 2018. In the first six months of 2019, 127 pedestrians were hurt, and two people have died. However, 113 people were injured in bike collisions in 2018.
The NYPD says that enforcement of bicycle laws has increased dramatically. Police issued nearly 20,000 violations to bicycle riders between January 1 and July 1 of 2019. During the same period in 2018, police gave out 18,000 citations, which is about ten percent fewer than in 2019. Despite increased enforcement efforts, bike riders are frequently observed running red lights, driving the wrong way on one-way streets, and weaving among cabs and pedestrians alike.
The City has installed bike lanes and added Citi Bike depots across the City. Critics say that some of the bike lanes are non-sensical. For example, a newly-installed bike lane near FDR Drive, between 33rd and 34th Streets, took up valuable space for pedestrians as well as travel lanes for ambulances trying to access Bellevue Hospital. Additionally, the bike lanes on Eighth Avenue create a logjam of bike riders, cars, and pedestrians.
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