Bike-Crash Study Fuels Discord Among Agencies

From Crain’s Insider:

An unreleased study of bicycling fatalities has led to friction among
the three city agencies compiling it. The police, transportation and
health departments analyzed the deaths of 200 cyclists over 10 years
and found that only one of them was in a bike lane.

An insider says DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall didn’t conclude that
lanes are the answer. Instead, because the accidents often involved
head injuriese, Weinshall wants to call for a law mandating helmets.
But the NYPD isn’t eager to enforce a universal helmet law and the
health department isn’t ready to call for one.

Last summer, transportation officials cut the annual creation of bike
lanes and routes to 20 miles from 30. A spokeswoman for the DOT says
the agency is committed to increasing the pace of bike lane
installations.

Cycling groups say that other cities’ helmet requirements for adults
have reduced cycling by 25% or more, which raises the danger for
remaining bikers. Advocates believe that the emphasis should be on
preventing accidents, not on mitigating injuries.

  • mike

    I am continually perplexed as to why the City insists on applying bandaids instead of actually solving the problem.

    A helmet law will do nothing but reduce the number of cyclists on the streets, making things more dangerous for both cyclists and drivers.

  • I’m sorry, but the types of crashes I have heard about would not have really been prevented by helmets. In my mind helmets are only protection from simply falling off my bike for some reason. They are not an effective level of protection against cars or trucks. I do always wear a helmet on the street, but less often in parks.

  • mfs

    having a helmet is not going to prevent you from falling under truck tires if you’re doored. but a bike lane might.

    also why do we want to give cops another reason to ticket bikers?

  • Brent

    This is yet one more example of the incompetence and lack of vision of the NYC DOT, under the inept leadership of Iris Weinshall. This organization has continually demonstrated that they are unwilling to balance the needs of motorists with the city’s non-motoring majority. A lack of bike lanes, too- narrow sidewalks, chain link fencing on the 59th st bridge- all absurd. I, for one, am in favor of a complete restructuring of the NYC DOT. Incidentally, helmet laws will not prevent the cause of head injuries.

  • Clarence

    People are crazy not to wear bike helmets, but it should never be a law and is not the kind of tactic that is going to make the streets any safer for cyclists.

  • gavin

    Where can I find this study?

  • It’s not published yet. They are still working on it at City Hall.

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