Metropolis Throws Extra Cops at Rising Bronx Bike owner Deaths, Accidents – Streetsblog New York Metropolis
After 4 bicycle owner fatalities within the Bronx in simply three months — and months of steadily rising bike accidents — the Division of Transportation is refusing to decide to offering the beleaguered borough with something like a sturdy, protected bike-lane community.
As a substitute, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg is doubling down on throwing cops on the downside, though a four-week enforcement blitz earlier this summer time did nothing to deliver down the hovering variety of bike accidents and crashes, based on NYPD Chief of Transportation Nilda Hofmann.
However with out a protected bike-lane community, cyclists will proceed to die or get harm — and throwing cops on the downside received’t assist anybody, advocates say.
“What cyclists from all around the metropolis, however particularly within the Bronx, want from this administration is extra protected bike-lane infrastructure. The Bronx wants redesigned streets which are self-enforcing, not streets which are reliant on NYPD enforcement to make sure safeness,” mentioned Erwin Figueroa, a senior organizer at Transportation Alternate options.
Citywide, accidents to cyclists are down 3.6 % in comparison with the identical time interval final yr, however they’re up about 35 % within the Bronx, based on NYPD statistics. Bikes accidents to riders within the Bronx have risen consistently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, even with much less visitors, as Streetsblog has reported.
Hofmann mentioned Tuesday throughout a press convention within the South Bronx that the NYPD carried out a four-week instructional operation and ticket sting, beginning on June 29, to crack down on rushing and reckless drivers, particularly at high-crash corridors, such because the Bruckner Boulevard, the place the town is decreasing the velocity restrict from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour.
Pedestrian accidents did fall 80 % — from 16 to three — throughout the police crackdown, which ended on July 26, however bike accidents didn’t budge, Hofmann mentioned. The operation centered on harmful driver behaviors, akin to rushing and failure to yield.
“[We] carried out a four-week high-visibility enforcement operation. This operation centered on harmful driver behaviors, akin to drivers that velocity and fail to yield,” mentioned Hofmann. “We’ve seen a lower in pedestrian accidents alongside focused corridors, like Bruckner. Bike accidents stay the identical.”
The Bronx has seen a run of biking deaths and accidents.
In June, three cyclists have been killed simply weeks aside. On June 5, 24-year-old Morales was struck by the motive force of a 2013 Lexus on Willis Avenue and E. 138th Road. He died from his accidents on June 11. That very same day, Jose Luis Estudillo Garcia, 38, was fatally struck by the motive force of a field truck who had been making an attempt to “navigate round” a double-parked automobile on Park Avenue close to E. 138th Road, Streetsblog; on June 20, Edward Marrow, 43, was struck whereas using an e-bike on the Pelham Bay Bridge inside Pelham Bay Park. Simply final week, a fourth cyclist who was struck close to East one hundred and seventy fifth Road on Aug. 5, died from his accidents, making him the tenth bicycle owner killed within the metropolis this yr.
However DOT’s solely plans for the Bronx proper now are to associate with the NYPD. No new bike lanes are on the desk; the borough was handed over for the handful of short-term protected bike lanes Mayor de Blasio announced over the previous couple of months so as to assist New Yorkers get socially distant recreation throughout the pandemic, and in response to surge in biking.
“This yr is proving to be a really difficult one to determine,” Trottenberg acknowledged. “We’re working with PD up right here on persevering with speed-camera set up, doing focused enforcement, doing velocity limiting right this moment.”
Trottenberg and DOT’s Bronx Commissioner Nivardo Lopez mentioned the company needed to hit pause on a lot of its initiatives due to the pandemic, however is now “ratcheting up” work, together with on Grand Concourse, Southern Boulevard, and Willis Avenue, which all embody parts of a protected bike lane, and can conduct extra group outreach quickly for future initiatives.
“Taking a look at different alternatives all through the borough, [we are] hoping to begin the method to start outreach to communities this yr,” Lopez mentioned.
However the one method to forestall extra individuals from getting harm or killed whereas biking within the Bronx is to put in secure bike infrastructure as quick as potential, mentioned Figueroa.
“The gradual tempo of implementation of protected bike lanes within the Bronx is being felt now greater than ever. As different boroughs obtained bulletins of pop-up protected bike lanes, not a single hall was chosen within the Bronx for this avenue remedy. It’s time to finish the inequitable implementation of protected bike lane infrastructure within the Bronx,” he mentioned.
Hofmann mentioned her officers issued 2,000 shifting violations and seven,500 parking summonses throughout the four-week enforcement motion.
Trottenberg persistently defends the NYPD as a valued “partner,” however advocates put little inventory in NYPD Imaginative and prescient Zero enforcement, noting the numerous situations through which officers have put cyclists at risk by parking their squad and personal cars in bike lanes, and focusing on cyclists of coloration, a lot of whom are low-income supply employees, for ticketing harassment. Streetsblog not too long ago reported that 86.4 % of the tickets police issued for biking on the sidewalk in 2018 and 2019 went to Black and Hispanic New Yorkers.