New York, NY - NYC Bike Safety Crackdown Aims At Preventing Bike Lane Obstructions
New York, NY - A five day effort to enforce bicycle safety began today in New York City, with 1,500 traffic cops from all five boroughs taking part in the initiative.
Bicycle Safe Passage is part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero program with police on the lookout for motorists who block specially designated bike lanes, idle in no standing zones, double park or fail to yield right of way to bikers. This week’s crackdown is a city wide initiative with the Department of Transportation estimating a 320 percent rise in the number of bikers taking to city streets from 1990 through 2014, according to CBS News.
“We believe in protecting everyone on our streets,” said de Blasio. “This targeted initiative will make sure New Yorkers on bikes have clear bike lanes and safe conditions as more and more people take to the streets.”
New York City now has 40 miles of protected bike lanes, with another 15 to be added this year. NY1 reported that over the past two years, 34 bicyclists died on city streets with another 8,400 injured. Four deaths and 352 injuries have been reported so far in 2016.
While violators may face both points on their licenses as well as significant fines, officials noted that bikers, too, must obey the rules of the road.
“Sometimes they’re almost knocking people over, running people over, sometimes they’re not even in the bike lines,” said Roger Adamson of Harlem.
Thomas Chan, chief of the NYPD’s Transportation Bureau noted that last year cyclists received almost 12,000 summonses.
“Bicyclists, motorists and our pedestrians are just as important,” said Chan. “They are all important to us.”
Bicyclists welcomes news of Bicycle Safety Passage, which runs through Friday.
“I’ve had way too many close with cars, but on the flip side, cyclists have to respect the law, too,” said one bike rider. “It’s not just a one way street.”
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