Friday, July 26, 2019

Report: Mayor unleashes the 'Green Wave Bicycle Plan' to address increase in cycling fatalities, make streets safer

To address the rising death toll of cyclists on city streets this year (17 so far vs. 10 all of last year), Mayor de Blasio yesterday released details on a five-year, $58.4 million plan that aims to combine design, enforcement, legislation, policy and education to make the city safer for all street users.

Here's Gothamist with the key details:

Dubbed the "Green Wave Bicycle Plan," the 24-page blueprint calls for the addition of 30 miles of new protected bike lanes each year, up from the current rate of about 20. The Department of Transportation will also begin implementing traffic calming treatments at 50 of the city's most dangerous intersections, while the NYPD's three-week campaign targeting dangerous drivers will be extended indefinitely.

The plan includes expanded NYPD enforcement:

• Under the plan, the NYPD will ramp up enforcement at the 100 most crash-prone intersections and target enforcement on highest risk activities: speeding, failing to yield, blocking bike lanes, oversized trucks/trucks off route.
• Maintain continuous citywide implementation of “Operation Bicycle Safe Passage” initiative – extending elevated enforcement of blocked bike lanes and hazardous driving violations. Since implementation of Operation Bicycle Safe Passage, NYPD has doubled enforcement of cars parked in bicycle lanes and issued more than 8,600 summons in the first three weeks of July.
• Specialized units and precincts will increase enforcement against oversized and off-route trucks.
• The NYPD also announced that supervisors would respond to collision sites to determine if the right-of-way laws should be applied — and that it would also discontinue its practice of ticketing cyclists at the site of fatal cyclist crashes.
• NYPD supports new and emerging technology for automated enforcement.

The plan doesn't mention if they'll be an educational component to curb the NYPD's tradition of blaming the victim for his or her own death on the streets, as we saw in the case of Kelly Hurley on First Avenue at Ninth Street in 2017. A detective came to the conclusion that she didn't stop in time and "slipped" under a truck — a truck failing to yield and making an illegal left turn across four lanes of traffic.

You can find plenty more reaction and analysis of "Green Wave" over at Streetsblog — here and here, for starters.


Anonymous said...

What ever happened to all those white memorial bikes? Did the city remove them all - out of sight, out of mind? I thought they were very effective in at least making people stop and think of the danger posed to cyclists at every point in this city.

Anonymous said...

"NYPD supports new and emerging technology for automated enforcement."

The City put all those surveillance pods up and down the avenues without protest, they can't resist using them.

Anonymous said...

Why is this costing $58 million dollars???? All we need is for the NYPD to enforce --not give them triple time sitting in their SUVs with the AC on.

DoT already has done their part -- what more does the $58 mil add to the infrastructure already in place?

LES (east of First Avenue, Houston to 14) was one of the first communities to impose a 20 mph speed limit. Most of the recent killings have taken place elsewhere (the two in our neighborhood, a while ago, were on First Avenue, which is not covered by the 20 mph speed limit, due to negligent drivers making wild and speeding left turns). Maybe the city should propose each neighborhood decide on 20 mph speed limits.

Along First and Second avenues vehicles should be required to stop fully before making a turn that crosses the green protected (really it is not, which gives a false sense of security, and really makes the city complicit in these deaths), either with a stop or yield sign or a yellow steady. That should not cost $58 million.

That this is costing so much tells us that little remediation, especially if it at all inconveniences drivers, will get done.

Biker who totally thinks bikers are dangerous said...

:grabs popcorn:

Anonymous said...

This is a big PR nothing. First of all, he should have started this, building on the momentum of Bloomberg back 4 years ago. And 50 something million from a DOT budget of billions, over a 3 year period...this isn't a shift or a change to protected lanes--it isn't going to stop people from getting killed in our streets by virtue of bad design choices and refusal to impliment real fixes.

Scott said...

Interesting to come into work and read this article after nearly being rundown by bikes twice this morning after they blew through the light with little regard for pedestrians.

Good luck to all the bike riders out there. I would never ride a bike in the city because I would surely get hit. And I've definitely been guilty of standing in the bike lane waiting for the light to change. But please watch out for pedestrians as well. We do much less damage to you than you do to us.


This vision, or lack thereof, of a bicycle friendly NYC has been a mess from its inception to this costly series of patches and reconfigurations the City keeps rolling out and nobody wins. Not the cyclists, not the cars, and certainly not the pedestrians like myself who'd just like to cross a street without being nearly hit by swarms of traffic light immune cyclists on any given day. It's great to provide the option of riding bicycle somewhere, especially with the MTA being another example of a shit show the City can't fix, but favoring bicycles by removing even more road space for cars in a time when Uber and Lyft have congested the streets is not the answer to the congestion problem. The UPS, FedEx, and other delivery service trucks are bombed with tickets because there's no place for them to do their jobs without getting tickets and to take another 30 MILES of streets away from the public to favor CitiBike, which is what this is really about, is absolutely ridiculous.

sixth street said...

notorious.. are you under the impression that bikers are not the public but private delivery companies are? or that 30 miles is a lot?

how many lane-miles are there of parking and private car space in the city? 000s? 0000s?

Anonymous said...

All this heightened support for the safety of bikers will end up nowhere until bikers start following the rules they say they want. Down here in the wild west of the EV, bikers are by far the biggest danger this old walker faces each day.

cmarrtyy said...

Bicyclists will always be in danger until they stop running reds and/or try sneaking past a turning car. Cars take too long to stop. Money means nothing.

Giovanni said...

Now imagine how much more congested and dangerous the East Village bike lanes will be when they shut down East River Park for up to four years. The human carnage is just beginning.

Between the explosion in bicycle delivery guys and Citibike riders, plus electric scooters, skateboards and those insane little Uniwheels everywhere, this death toll and general mayhem were entirely predictable, but the city never adequately prepared for this. drawing more lines on the pavement and paining lanes green wont stop all of the fatal collisions.

The only real solutions are to either radically reduce car traffic, or build completely protected bike lanes. Maybe we should go back to the old days of elevated platforms, but only allow cyclists and pedestrians to use them.

Remember when the original owners of Citibike were bragging they had zero fatalities? Now they have had at least, not to mention the many serious accidents which go unreported. Perhaps now that Lyft is investing $100 million in Citibike, they will help the city to do what it has failed to do; protect us all from each other.

From the East Village said...

This is plan idiocy. Is see no accountability for bad behavior from cyclists. The city is just saying to the bad actors of this group, that you can do no wrong, whatever bad behavior present with you, we will ignore and allow you to get away with even more.
The city needs to hold all actors accountable for recklessness: motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
FYI, I am a bicyclist.



I didn't use the word "public" once in my comment nor am I taking sides in the pro bike / anti bike feud. Vilifying cyclists, tax paying citizens who own cars, taxi drivers, delivery trucks, etc. is divisive and helps nobody. Also not helping is your lack of reading comprehension and not knowing the difference between responding vs reacting.

Anonymous said...

Cyclists AND pedestrians alike will continue to be in danger until the city reins in the private trash haulers. I watched one on Avenue A yesterday veer over into the other lane, abruptly stopping and throwing it in reverse to back into 6th Street. Amazing that no one was killed. These trash trucks are a daily menace.


@Giovanni As usually, you hit the nail right on the head.

"Perhaps now that Lyft is investing $100 million in Citibike, they will help the city to do what it has failed to do; protect us all from each other."

THIS is the problem. Corporate interest.

Anonymous said...

I dont undstand the hostility toward cyclists here. The ones doing the killing at the motor vehicles.

Anonymous said...

The real problem is a lack of civility and respect. I'm on a bike and it's me against everyone. I drive a car and it's me against everyone. I walk down the street and it's me against everyone. That's the mentality. You can throw all the money you want at it but until we, all of us, have more regard for the people around us, nothing will change.

From the East Village said...

I'm glad Deblasio has no chance of winning the nomination. If this plan were an example of how he would run this country, we'd be in deep "sheet". Chaos would reign, as it does now on the streets of NYC.

Gojira said...

Anon. 1:19 - If you cannot understand the hostility towards cyclists displayed on this and other, similar threads, then you have never witnessed firsthand the hostility so many cyclists display towards pedestrians. When we have the right of way in a crosswalk and are almost plowed into by a two-wheeling Evel Knievel (as happens far too often), our protests are more often than not met with a curt "Fuck you!" or some variant on that statement. Why should we NOT be hostile towards such thuggery that, oh yeah, also puts us at risk of physical harm?

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear how feared I am out there. My person weighs a scrawny 170 lbs and my bike weighs 20 lbs. Most people can lift 20 lbs with only their pinkie finger. Yes, I run red lights often. I don't ever cut off a pedestrian who has right of way. To be fair I do purposely close shave those pedestrians who are crossing without right of way and/or looking down at their phone. You see though, I've been riding for most of my 43 years and I have never once even come close to colliding with a pedestrian. Vast majority of cyclists can say the same. Vast majority of cyclists threaten nobody's safety, ever. It takes two oblivious morons to produce a cyclist-pedestrian collision, so I figure if as long as a pedestrian holds up their end of the deal, they won't have to live with the threat of being knocked over by a stupid bicyclist. Yes this requires of you a bit more vigilance, and being inconvenienced always sucks, but come on, tough titties. Society, civilization, urban living, these things don't just magically happen, they require effort, sacrifice and compromise from everyone. Times are changing, more people are biking in the city now. What can you do.

Anonymous said...

@1:19 people see auto-related deaths as inevitable. But every couple years some idiot cyclist kills a pedestrian, so people will see that as sufficient proof to confirm their bias, that not only are bicyclists a genuine threat to pedestrian safety, they are a totally pointless and unnecessary threat. Our society worships the car. The average common person is so deeply indoctrinated they have no hope of ever realizing what's actually happening, which agendas have shaped their thinking etc.

noble neolani said...

Mom told me to look both ways before crossing.

Giovanni said...

@Notoriois True. The whole cycling boom has become another big corporate enterprise. I should have also said that Lyft’s nine figure CitiBike investment could also lead to many more problems from having too many cyclists on the streets. I doubt that the CitiBike death toll will end at two once they roll out thousands of additional bikes.

As anyone who cycles regularly will tell you, the biggest obstacles out there are either the texting CitiBikers
going too slow, too fast, the wrong way or blowing through red lights and throngs of pedestrians, or the delivery app guys speeding in all directions on electric bikes.

The majority of the problems related to cyclists are can be directly from corporations like Citibank for branding, or Grubhub, Seamless, Door Dash, Caviar for food delivery , Now Amazon and local grocery chains are using giant tricycles to carry multiple crates of goods to their destinations. How will this all end? Badly.


@2:16 Are you suggesting a 170 pound person on a 20 pound bike traveling at even a reasonable speed wouldn't hurt someone, the cyclist included?

Anonymous said...

Why shouldn't non-cyclists not be hostile to cyclists? I can't ride a bike, but I walk, and drive, and take the bus. Why should an entire lane of a public street be dedicated to cyclists going too fast, and have no other purpose unless the whole street is closed? Even parking spots are more public and accessible... nothing stopping you from setting up a ping pong table or whatever, like those guys on 10th btwn 1st and A were doing for a while.

Anonymous said...

Well, we can either all die on an overheated planet, in a city choked by noisy, dirty deadly car/trucks that may well kill us first when they hit us...OR we can start using modes of transport that don't destroy the planet and turn our city into one giant parking lot, that demonstrably improve our mental and physical health, that take up so much less overall room on the island that there would be room for green space and pedestrian walks (like in European cities)...

Well, which version do YOU want to live?

Anonymous said...

Americans* walk, bike and drive around like you are all entitled to your personal space AT ALL TIMES. Casual four person conversations blocking whole sidewalks. Moms on cellphones angling their parked stroller to impede the maximum amount of foot traffic for no reason. Bicyclist who just have to teach every car and pedestrian a lesson if they dare encroach a bike lane. Drivers, surrounded by a ton of powered steel and oblivious to everything except their fellow cars and the tightly regulated rules of the road, livid because their miles and miles of free parking might be slightly compromised.

The problem right now is there are so many more bikes on the road. When it was only serious old school riders and messengers and there were no bike lanes it was far more dangerous for the bikers. Pedestrian - auto interactions are codified in law note it's legal to run someone over and kill them as long as you're not drunk and don't leave the scene.

More bikes and scooters is the future and far better than Rudy's people corals for foot traffic and a city where the car was king. Unfortunately Americans haven't learned to cooperate so there will be many punch ups adjusting to this new, improved reality.

Let the fist fighting begin.

* I write "Americans" because it's not like this in the other crowded international cities and in the rest of America cars are a religion, walking is to and from parking and bikes are a tiny afterthought.

Anonymous said...

@3:27 OK should I bike out 40 miles to suburban NJ to visit family? How does that work? I'd still need to use a gas/diesel vehicle, be it car, train, or bus.

Who lives and drives around Manhattan? Do anti-car people think that car owners use them to drive to the supermarket, like the suburbs? Most people with cars in Manhattan live a normal walking-heavy life just like the non-drivers; they just happen to acknowledge that there is a world away from this bubble-enclosed island, that doesn't have good public transportation options.

What I don't understand is what you need a bike for in a place that is so great for walking... I live and work in Manhattan and walk or use public transit all the time, I barely need cabs/ubers, and I don't even understand what a bike would accomplish. Cut my 15 minute commute to 7? If I had a longer commute than that, I'd be on public transportation anyway. Why does anyone think that bikes can replace cars? If anything, bikes take away riders from public transportation.

DrGecko said...

Perhaps NOTORIOUS can help me with my reading comprehension.

... to take another 30 MILES of streets away from the public to favor CitiBike, which is what this is really about, is absolutely ridiculous.

NOTORIOUS 2 hours later:
I didn't use the word "public" once in my comment.... Also not helping is your lack of reading comprehension and not knowing the difference between responding vs reacting.

People, strangely, criticize geckos for being ill-tempered. Projection, mostly, I guess.

sophocles said...

"What I don't understand is what you need a bike for in a place that is so great for walking... I live and work in Manhattan and walk or use public transit all the time, I barely need cabs/ubers, and I don't even understand what a bike would accomplish."

Bikes are great for midrange distances in the city, say 1 to 3 miles. A one-mile walk will take 15 to 20 minutes and about one-third the time on a bike. They are cheaper, quicker, and better than the subway in those distances, if not further. Bikes are also the best way to explore a new city.


@DrGecko Did I write public? I meant pubic. The pubic space shouldn’t be turned over to corporate interests. Also, I wasn’t aware you were two people. Apologies.

Anonymous said...

It is true that there are reckless bikers out there, and it’s frustrating but I’ve personally known 2 cyclists to die being hit by vehicles in the city. Both were in the bike lane. Both wearing helmets. Both times a vehicle turned without looking.
How many pedestrians die by cyclists every year??

sixth street said...

NOTORIOUS, please do not flame or troll on this website. I believe the good Dr. Gecko was just jumping in while I was enjoying my weekend.

Apology accepted.

Anonymous said...

@sophocles, 7/27 @11:30am:

Are bikes REALLY "cheaper, quicker, better" than the subway at that distance? I can get from 14th St. to 42nd St. on the #4 & 5 trains in about 4 minutes - and I don't have to park/dock a bike when I get there.

Therefore, IMO, a bike would NOT be quicker. It would not necessarily be cheaper if you have to pay for Citibike usage - single ride $3, subway fare $2.75. And it would not be "better" if you want to arrive without being sweaty & covered in grit. Plus having to carry your helmet around.

Anonymous said...

^ ok now do going crosstown on 23rd street.

what a cherry-picked example. do you also not have to wait for the train at all? or walk anywhere outside of gct?

Anonymous said...

@4:48pm: I'm not "cherry-picking" any more than those who say bikes are always faster are "cherry-picking" - and you are "cherry-picking" crosstown on 23rd St.

Additionally, most of the time I *don't* have to wait more than a minute for a train; maybe I have good subway karma. My walks from GCT are within a 2 blocks radius.

I can also get from 14th St./Union Square to 2nd Ave. & 86th St. in 15 minutes on the train - I have already timed that on multiple occasions.

How about admitting that bikes are not THE be-all and end-all of transportation, even if you wish they were.