“Bike Bedlam” Fact Check: NYC Bike-Ped Injuries Drop From Low to Lower

Editor’s note: Streetsblog has retracted this post. The information on bike-on-ped crashes is not accurate. Read the full correction for an explanation of how we acquired the erroneous data and how we determined it was incorrect.

ped_injury_table.jpgPedestrian injuries sustained citywide in collisions with bicyclists pale beside the more than 10,000 pedestrian injuries and deaths sustained each year in collisions with motorists. Sources: New York State DMV (motor vehicle injuries) and New York State DOT (bike injuries)

One of the claims on Monday night’s "Bike Bedlam" segment that seemed off to me was reporter Tony Aiello’s assertion that "the city doesn’t keep a central database of bike versus pedestrian accidents." The first reason it seemed skewed is that the number of bike-on-ped crashes causing injury is minuscule compared to the violence visited on New Yorkers by auto traffic. The second reason is that the state, not the city, is the authoritative source for traffic injury data.

Getting up-to-date information about traffic crashes out of the state can indeed be maddeningly slow. CrashStat, the web site operated by Transportation Alternatives that
shows the pedestrian and cyclist injury history of NYC streets and intersections, doesn’t have
data more recent than 2005 for a reason. So on that score, street safety advocates would probably agree with Aiello 100 percent.

I asked the city DOT press office yesterday if they could furnish some numbers on the volume of bike-on-ped injuries in New York. They sent over a table of citywide data from the state DOT covering the last nine years. The table clearly shows a consistent drop in bike-on-ped injuries. It pretty much shreds the whole "Bike Bedlam" premise that pro-bike policies are putting pedestrians in danger.

The DOT press shop also said that they’d received no inquiries from Aiello about bike-ped crashes. So I emailed Aiello to ask who he’d turned to for crash data. He emailed back to say he’d been on a nice bike ride with TransAlt’s Caroline Samponaro today (for tonight’s cyclist perspective, I assume), and that he’d check his notes. I emailed again to make clear that I had some bike-ped crash information, and that city DOT said they’d never received an inquiry.

He emailed back:

The city DOT press office has no business talking to you – or to me, or to anyone, about inquiries made by other journalists.

I disagree with Tony. If you’re going to skew the facts and traffic in sensationalism, other reporters have every right to find out what sort of inquiries were made. Or not made.

  • Excellent reporting Ben! Just shot Streetsblog another $25 contribution, and everyone else should too!

    Sorry Aiello, but your miniseries is based on lies, not fact. Be a professional journalist, get your head out of the sand, and make a public correction while the series is still ongoing.

  • Danny G

    Never mind the sass, that is some sweet, sweet data. Thanks for jumping through hoops to find it. I only wish there was some .gov URL at which to find it and give it some unshakable credibility.

  • I think the TV pseudo-journalist has it backward. He can protect his sources all he wants, but a public agency is subject to all sorts of transparency laws and any citizen can file a FOIA request on any manner of public records. The fact that Ben is exposing that data exists and the TV guy didn’t do his due diligence in finding it before making his assertion is true investigative journalism.

    This data on bike-ped crashes, combined with the rate of injury decline among cyclists while the number of cyclists increases substantially, shows that as cycling becomes more mainstream, it becomes safer.

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Tonight’s segment should be interesting. Since they are framing it as mostly from the cyclist’s point of view. If so, I don’t quite understand how that fits under the banner “Bike Bedlam”. CBS should be calling it “Automobiles Out of Control” or something similar for equity in demonization of the mode.

  • Aaron Naparstek

    Sorry, Tony, if you find Streetsblog’s fact-checking to be an inconvenience to your divisive, useless, sensationalism. In fact, it is the DOT’s business to talk to answer questions when Ben asks them.

  • Jay

    Great work! I agree that it truly is amazing to see such a drop with the increase in cycling.

    While you can’t establish causation, I would be willing to speculate that improved bike lanes have made cyclists more visible and predictable to pedestrians.

  • Tralfaz

    CBS is just horrible to begin with. That Jetblue guy had his bike stolen in Queens today. CBS verbal copy heading-to-break teaser? “Today Steven Slater had another brush with the law…” with a shot of him and the text BRUSH WITH THE LAW.

    They also had a warm and fuzzy promo right after a Biking Bedlam teaser for tonight that stated how “CBS is Going Green” And earlier – weather dude Lonnie Quinn out promoting Summer Streets on his bike.

    Really.

  • Cui bono… What percentage of CBS’s local news advertising is paid for by auto-dealers and auto manufacturers?

  • Kind of amazing how professional NYC DoT and Sadik-Khan seem to be.

    Bet they are taking all this stuff in stride, ignoring all the noise, one step at a time, moving forward with the transformation.

    Really nice.

    Of course, the transformation can never be fast enough.

  • Woody

    The transformation can never be fast enough — true dat. But this week they have begun striping the new Columbus Avenue bike lane from 96th St down to 77th. And the view of it from my window looks great already!

  • ddartley

    “The city DOT press office has no business talking to you…about inquiries made by other journalists.” -Tony Aiello

    “That’s the rules! Which I have just made up!” -Eddie Izzard

  • Any idea why the cyclist crash numbers have gone down by 60% since 2001, despite a large increase in bicycle traffic?

  • da

    Amazing stats; great work.

    So there were still nearly 11,000 pedestrian injuries/fatalities in 2008.

    But let’s not talk about that. Let’s keep obsessing about the out of control biking situation and the resultant 51 pedestrian injuries!

  • as

    Alon, most likely because of the bike infrastructure growing (proper traffic flow for bikes), and advocacy (more people know more safety rules).

  • Is anyone measuring the fear factor? (I am absolutely agree that cars should be the main target, but only asking about collisions is much too simple…and of course fear of cars, too!)

  • zach

    Are there records of pedestrian injuries/deaths with other pedestrians or with inanimate objects? I would expect more New Yorkers are injured by sidewalk gaps than by bicycles.

    Great stats.

  • Moses Hurwitz

    As long as we’re deconstructing statistics, let me point out that many, many bike-ped’ accidents never get reported. I have been hit by another cyclist (food delivery/failure to yield to signal/wrong way on the wrong side of the street) while on my bike and hit by a biker (commuter/wrong way on a one-way street) when walking. In the first case, my ribs were so badly bruised I couldn’t sleep on one side for over two months. In neither case did I report the incident.

  • Moses, unless over 10,000 bike-on-pedestrian accidents are going unreported, there’s simply no comparison with car-on-pedestrian accidents.

    I appreciate and sympathize with your experience, having also been hit by a wrong-way biker while I walked, but one of the reasons CBS and other news agencies can sensationalize topics is because they rely on individual experiences and anecdotes to tell the story they want to tell rather than doing the kind of true reporting which could tell a different one. Despite Mark Twain’s famous quote, statistics are actually quite good at telling the truth.

  • Ian Turner

    It’s also worthy to note that many auto-on-pedestrian collissions go unreported as well. Nobody is required to make a report unless there are more than $500 of damages, which in the case of an auto-on-pedestrian event basically means unless somebody goes to the hospital.

  • J. Mork

    Todd —

    Pretty much every time I cross a street in Manhattan (I work in Midtown) I’m afraid a car is going to turn into me. Often drivers try to bully me by inching towards me. I can’t recall the last time I was worried about being crushed by a bicycle while using a crosswalk. Am I really the only one who feels this way?

  • BicyclesOnly

    Zach,

    This responds to your various comments about lights, which help prevent crashes by and with cyclists at night.

    Lights (red in back, white in front) are required on all bicycles in operation in NYC from 1/2 hour after sundown to 1/2 hour before sunrise. Reflectors (front and back, and on new bicycles, on the sides of wheels) are also required at all times. Light colored clothing is optional.

    Many cyclists become discouraged from using lights and reflectors because they (or their mountings) are easily broken or stolen. Removing and replacing lights each time the bike is parked can add 3-5 minutes to each trip. Sturdier, brighter lights are more likely to be stolen. Lights stored in one’s bag can be accidentally activated, draining the power so they are useless when needed. Generator-driven lights are of course the answer to the battery problem, except they are very attractive to thieves and I have yet to find the model that allows easy removal and attachment for parking.

    After hard experience, I recommend purchasing three sets of ultra-cheap Planet Bike LED lights (cheapest reliable light on the market and the company supports bike advocacy), via mail order. The plastic mountings break almost immediately, so I don’t even bother to attach them to my bike. Instead, I use a sturdy rubber band for each (the ones used to bunch supermarket broccoli work well) to attach them to the bike frame. In essence, this is a homemade “knog” light that mounts easily to any part of the frame, a pack, helmet, etc., at a cost of about ~$5.00/pair. I keep the second set of lights in my bag and the third set at work. I buy the batteries in bulk, mail order, and distribute them throughout my bags and in other places.
    Even with all those preparations, it seems I end up having to ride at night without lights at least a couple times a month. In those cases, I will either stick to car-free routes or, if that’s not feasible, stick to well-lit routes and stay well out of the dooring zone. Another back-up is seeking out another cyclist on the road with lights to ride near. I’ve never met a cyclist who wasn’t happy to escort me in this fashion, and I’ve done it plenty of times for others.

    One thing to remember is that a properly-mounted reflector, when illuminated directly by a car’s headlights, is visible at a greater distance than most lights. So they also are an important source of back-up protection as well.

    I don’t try to wear light clothing because I cycle for everyday transportation and I’m not going to limit myself to light colored clothing when I’m not required by law to do so.

  • I notice that the decrease in ped fatalities and injuries by motorists reduced by a meager 15% in 10 years versus more than 60% by cyclists. This is particularly significant since the volume od cyclists has tripled while the violume of cars has reduced or stagnated.

    This shows that cyclists are improving their safety behaviors at a very high rate a good news indeed to counter the the growing perception that cyclists are out of control and behave poorly.
    Indeed creating bike lanes is helping a lot by separating users.

    This shows that statistics of improvements in crash safety in the last 10 years have essentially benefitted motorists and NOT pedestrians. They are mostly derived from Detroit,s buIlding safer and mostly BIGGER cars , SUVs. As we know, the safer the driver feels, the more aggressive he can be without risking his own life. Arguably motorist safety increases risks to pedestrians.

    DOT has a long way to go to reduce the pedestrian fatalities and injuries by 50% as they intend to do when you consider these trends

  • Jay

    Moses, you raise an interesting problem.

    I’m dealing with an area right now that should be improved to reduce ped-bike conflicts for the safety and comfort of both groups. We know there are accidents, but the accidents don’t get reported: they’re not bad enough to require an ambulance, nobody wants to wait a half hour for the police to come take a report, and there’s no insurance process similar to that with a fender bender.

    So, unfortunately, there are no real statistics available to make a stronger safety case for funding the needed improvements.

  • ddartley

    Like BicyclesOnly, I recommend Planet Bike, for two additional reasons: they’ll sell you replacement parts for even their small items (so you don’t have to landfill a whole item and buy a whole new one), and shipping is free for members of bicycling advocacy organizations!

    Also, I’ve bought several lights from them and have found their parts to be more durable than BicyclesOnly has.

  • ddartley

    Alon, perhaps its evidence of the “safety in numbers” effect:
    http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/06/05/safety-in-numbers-its-happening-in-nyc/

  • zach

    BicyclesOnly:

    Thanks for the advice. I hope I didn’t come across as harping on those who don’t use lights. I try to use lights, but also sometimes plan to return during daylight and find myself unprepared.

    I intended my comment only to put the mad dog helmet advocating sometimes seen here in perspective with other safety measures. Helmets are important, but I don’t think as important as lights, and as you say, reflectors.

    zach

  • Larry Littlefield

    On the lights issue, I carry lights in the same bag with my work clothes. They are there now, even though I probably won’t be riding after dark or before sunrise until late October. If you always have a bag when you bike, it isn’t that hard.

    I also recommend a LED safety vest from LEDTronics. It uses regular batteries, and is better than wearing yellow clothes every day. I keep that in the bag, too, during the dark months.

  • David

    ‘It [bike-pedestrian accidents] pretty much shreds the whole “Bike Bedlam” premise that pro-bike policies are putting pedestrians in danger’. The point is not whether cars have more accidents with pedestrians,bput that many bicyclists do not obey vehicle traffic laws. The bicyclists that operate their vehicles on sidewalks and riding the wrong way on one way streets (the bicycle lanes are also one way) create a greater potential for accidents and are a public safety concern. The riders that do not follow the law give the cyclists that do a bad name. I am in favor of increasing bicycle lanes and other pro-bike policies, but bicyclists need to follow the law.

  • J

    I think that it is important to note that the decline in bike-ped crashes has declined, and unless there was a sudden shift in what people choose to report, the overall bike-ped crash rate (reported and unreported) has likely declined by about 60%.

    While I think some of the decline is due to more bikers acting in a safer manner, I also think that the additional bikers have caused pedestrians to become more aware of their presence and are thus more likely to watch out for them.

    Clearly, though, there is a perception of fear of bicyclists that no amount of data will negate. In the case of cars, time has caused the fear, injuries, and death caused by cars to be a somewhat accepted part of urban life. If the NYPD ever got on board, they could be a huge partner in targeting that perception; ticketing cyclists who ride the wrong-way, blow through red lights, and fail to yield to peds. If not, perhaps time will also make the somewhat inherent fear of a faster moving mode of transport to become accepted in urban life.

    The data show clearly that more bike lanes = more bikes = more safety for everyone, even if it doesn’t necessarily feel that way.

  • Ian Turner

    David,

    How can you claim that “bicyclists … are a public safety concern”, when the data clearly indicate otherwise? The public safety concern is cars, whether driven legally or otherwise.

  • JK

    Be nice if this stat box was prominent on the DOT website in the safety and bicycling sections. This information shouldn’t require a reporter to ask about, nor should it be buried in some pdf’ed safety report or mayor report. Also, the crash data should also be provided/100k population to account for the estimated 350k more NYC residents living here in 2010 vs 2000.

    Lastly, the NYS Committee on Open Gov says a FOIL request, and records of FOILs can themselves be FOILed under NY State law. By extension, seems reasonable for NYC DOT press office to answer a reporter’s highly specific yes/no question about another reporters request for info. The question to NYC DOT press came after the story in question was aired, so didn’t involve ruining a scoop or otherwise effect the content of the already aired story.

  • jt10000

    David, there are two discussions here. One is do cyclists break the law? The answer is “Yes, most do, quite often.”

    The second issue is, does that matter in terms of hurting other people. The reasonable answer, based on info like the stats Streetsblog looked at, is “Not much. A little. It’s a small thing.”

    Aiello and a lot of people are blowing the latter way out of proportion. There are lots of examples of lawbreaking in our city that are not a big deal either. If we care about real safety, we’d put the focus on real sources of injury, rather than trying to discourage an activitity (cycling) that’s a net gain for the wellbeing of the city despire a few accidents and douchey riders.

  • Joe R.

    “Any idea why the cyclist crash numbers have gone down by 60% since 2001, despite a large increase in bicycle traffic?”

    Yes-it’s the safety in numbers thing. As more people cycle, drivers ( and pedestrians ) get used to seeing them, and know what to look out for. Bike lanes help to an extent also, but they’re really not the primary reason for the large drop in bicycle injuries. Also, as more people ride, to some extent the safer cyclists put a bit of pressure on the most dangerous ones to clean up their act. Bottom line-getting more people on bikes not only reduces the load on mass transit, but also makes cycling safer for everyone.

  • Joe R.

    BicyclesOnly,

    I went through a stage also where I didn’t use lights at night because of all the problems. I had bulbs buring out when I hit potholes, short battery life, etc. And then LED lights came along. No worries about bulbs burning out ever, and far greater run time. I might also suggest that you use rechargeable instead of throw-away batteries. Today’s rechargeables, especially low self-discharge cells like Eneloops, are better in every way than throw-away alkaline batteries. They save you tons of money, and also avoid adding to landfills. Now I always have a front white light and a rear red blinker when I ride at night ( which is about 99% of the time ). I find drivers see me and respect me more as a result.

  • Ben,
    An excellent piece of journalism. And sorry, Tony, the press has a right and responsibitiy to check the accuracy of news. I spent 31 years as a reporter and editor, including a few working with Tony when he was based at The Journal News newsroom in White Plains. I have no idea where a journalist, especially a good one like Tony, gets the idea that media coverage is not a fit subject for the press. Keep up the good work, Ben.

  • JH

    I’m tired of encountering cyclists going the wrong way when I ride my bike in a bike lane. About a year ago, I tried to politely tell cyclists I encountered that they were riding the wrong way on one-way streets. In response, I was either ignored or cursed. So, I gave up trying to be polite. From now on, I ride straight ahead and do not swerve or try to avoid riders going the wrong way. It’s a game of chicken, and I don’t really care who gets hurt.

  • How about bike-on-bike accidents?

    I ride regularly on Hudson River bike path and was clobbered hard by another rider back in May. I was making a turn having slowed down and signaled. As I made the turn a rider who was powering hard smashed into me, leaving me a bloody wreck. When I asked him whether he had seen my signal, he acknowledged that he had.

    It turned out that he did not know the standard hand signals and had assumed, without thinking, that I was planning to turn the other way.

    We bike riders should get our own house in order and make sure that everyone knows the standard hand signals and uses them.

    Bruised and bloodied in Manhattan.

  • Joe R.

    Marc, when making turns through traffic has the right of way, always, unless it’s at an intersection equipped with turn signals. Granted, the rider who hit you didn’t know hand signals, but when turning it’s really your responsibility to make sure nobody is behind you, not the responsibility of the person behind you to avoid you because you either didn’t look, or assumed they would slow down because you signaled. You essentially did what car drivers do to cyclists all the time, which is cut them off while turning. In fact, in general it’s a bad idea to assume any other road user will do anything. I never assume that cross traffic will stop when I have a green light, for example. More than once, this has saved me because I was prepared for someone running the red light.

    As for the hand signals, I’m not a big fan of them for several reasons. They’re inherently unituitive and easy to forget, plus almost nobody knows them. A better system for bicycles might be left hand out means turning left, right hand out means turning right. No signal at all needed for stopping as it’s obvious when a bicycle is slowing down. Second, taking even one hand off the bars to signal on NYC’s potholed streets can have terrible consequences. Third, when I ride I often don’t even know in advance whether or not I’ll be turning at an intersection until I get there, so I obviously can’t signal my intentions in advance. I ride recreationally, with no need to follow any particular path. It’s often a case of if I can’t proceed across the intersection for whatever reason, then I’ll turn right. If I can, then I’ll go straight. Fourth, it’s exceedingly rare I have bicycles behind me which might need to know if I’m turning or not. More often than not there’s cars or nobody. The cars are to my left. It doesn’t affect them whether I turn right or go straight ( and I won’t turn left in front of them unless I see the coast is clear ).

    I am sorry about your accident, and please don’t take what I said above in the wrong way. I’m assuming you were unaware that through traffic has the right-of-way over turning traffic, just as the rider behind you was unaware of hand signals. Unfortunately for you, this ends up being a perfect storm for a collision. I’m also not saying the turn signals are a bad idea, only that hand signals are. Some places sell LED turn signals for bicycles. Great idea because the meaning is intuitive, and you don’t need to take one hand off the handlebars. I may even purchase a set for my bike.

  • Joe,

    When I was learning the rules of the road I was taught that the right of way never extends *through* another person or vehicle. I don’t know the truth of your assertion that I did not have the right of way to make my turn, but I do know that the other rider should definitely not have hit me.

    And while I don’t dispute your assertions about signaling, what I do know is that I have been instructed in no uncertain terms that I, as a bicycle rider, have to obey the same rules as cars, including signals. You may be right that the standard signals don’t make sense and that no one knows them – I’m not smart enough to be able to make such categorical assertions. Making up my own rules doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, since I can’t have any confidence that my notion of sensible will be the same as the other person’s.

    If the rules don’t make sense, then we as a community should work to fix them. Moreover, for better or worse we should make sure that everyone knows the rules that do apply and obey them.

  • **********************
    No matter who has the right of way it is best to look back before turning and see if someone is coming.

    If there is anyone likely to hit you try to make eye contact.

    This is the safest way.
    ***********************

    Who has the right-of-way is for legal stuff which is probably best to avoid in the first place.

    In sailboat racing and other sports “right-of-way rules” can be integrated with competitive strategies. Transportation is not an extreme sport or even a sport. It is just getting from one place to another.

    Defensive driving and defensive cycling is by far the most important aspect of cycling in the city. People and things are just too close and there is too much opportunity for accidents to be going fast and making moves that do not have a certain redundancy of safety. Cyclists are way too vulnerable as are pedestrians.

    It is easy to revel in lightning reflexes and speed; while it may elicit pleasurable psychological states it is not very conducive to self-preservation and preventing injury to others on city streets. Unfortunately, it seems that most people learn this the difficult way.

    As one example driving a car years ago I made a right turn on a side street and was hit by a taxi cab. Apparently, he pulled out of the parking lane where right-of-way rules determined that he did not have right away. He lost. Now, when making turns I look at the parking lane and if there is anyone in a car there I slow, and maybe even stop, and try to make eye contact before making the turn.

    Another recent time I was slowly cycling in a left-side bike lane on a one-way street. Going slow I gradually turned left across the empty parking lane to cross onto a path and unexpectedly knocked a cyclist over who was attempting to pass me. I felt bad. She apologized for not saying “Left”. I still should have checked despite, “who would have guessed?”

    Bicycles can be real quiet and can seem to come out of nowhere which may be part of the “startling effect” that many pedestrians experience as if some of the typical warning signals associated with the sense of hearing no longer work.

    Another (personal) thing: The value of free-wheeling (probably like free will) is likely way over-rated whether it is for cars or cycling except in sports.

  • Joe R.

    “When I was learning the rules of the road I was taught that the right of way never extends *through* another person or vehicle. I don’t know the truth of your assertion that I did not have the right of way to make my turn, but I do know that the other rider should definitely not have hit me.”

    According to the rules of the road, a turning vehicle must yield to traffic in any lanes it crosses. In practice, this rule usually refers to a vehicle turning left on a two-way street. It’s also ( usually ) required to get as far left as practical when turning left, and as far right as practical when turning right, so you avoid going across lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction as you when turning. Even if not legally required, it’s a good idea. If I’m riding in on a bicycle path, and someone signals, slows downs, and moves as far left as they can ( but not so far as to go into the opposing traffic lane ), then I’ll assume they’re turning left even if I don’t know hand signals, and will pass them on the right side. On the other hand, if someone turning left stays in the center of their lane, or even worse to the right, when turning left, then there’s a good chance traffic moving in the same direction will attempt to pass them on the left when they’re turning. This creates an automatic conflict. My point here is by moving far left for a left turn, or far right for a right turn, you automatically force someone to pass you on the opposite side you’ll be turning. This makes a collision of the type you had impossible.

    I agree having a set of rules and following them makes things more consistent. I also think that set of rules needs to account for the strengths and weaknesses of the mode of traffic it applies to ( i.e. “Idaho stop” ) or the rules simply will be largely ignored if they require engaging in unnatural and/or unsafe behavoir.

    I’m also not saying the other cyclist was blameless. He failed to leave himself an “out”. In a situation such as you described, if I see a cyclist slowing down I’m assuming they’re going to turn. Even if they don’t signal direction, I’ll do what is needed to avoid them should they turn into my path. If the street is wide enough, I’ll pass them on the left without slowing down, but will give them a 15 or 20 foot berth. Even if they start turning when I’m almost on top of them, they won’t cross my path. If the street is narrower or it’s a bike path, I’ll slow down as much as needed so I can stop if they cross my path. Legally I probably don’t have to, but like I said earlier I never assume right-of-way. Right-of-way only exists if someone grants it to you. I always leave an “out” just in case someone doesn’t. I make sure I can either switch lanes, or slow down in time. This is simple defensive cycling as gecko said.

    One last thing. I’ve only had a few things go wrong when cycling. 90% of them were running into potholes I didn’t see. Most of the rest were dooring incidents. I only collided with a car once ( his fault ), and there were no injuries. I was waiting to make a left turn, the taxi behind me was annoyed waiting for me as I waited to make sure traffic was clear. He rear-ended me at very low speed. This ruined my rear wheel but that was all. Most of these things happened the first few years I started cycling on the roads, back in the late 1970s when things were much more dangerous for us city cyclists. Anyway, I took each accident or near miss as a learning experience, seeing why it happened, and taking steps to make sure it would never happen again. It’s been around 10 years since any incident at all now. I found the majority of times something happened, it was because I simply didn’t allow for an “out” if the unexpected happened. There were some accidents which were virtually unavoidable. 100% of these unavoidable accidents were caused by potholes which for some reason looked innocuous or nearly invisible until I was on top of them. I call them “sneaky” potholes. Even this problem is mostly avoided by traveling the same roads, and learning where such potholes are. If you ride enough, it’s probably a given sooner or later you’ll be on the ground. The trick is to make sure the reason is not something avoided with relative ease. With the surge in new riders, I see so many cyclists nowadays making fundamental errors. I compensate for it of course, but I know sooner or later these riders will end up on the ground. Far too many cyclists nowadays think safety begins and ends with strapping on a helmet. Maybe someone should offer defensive cycling classes which cover stuff beyond helmets or rules of the road.

  • george

    Only wanted to say that reading these comments i m jealous i dont live in a place with people like yourselves,all of you.i m impressed by the good manners,the respect ,and the depth of some of the ideas here,its nice to see people care ,even if it is on the other side of the world.best regards new yorker bicyclists.nice!

  • Joe,

    I think we may have passed the point of diminishing returns, but I’ll clarify one point related to your recent response: “According to the rules of the road, a turning vehicle must yield to traffic in any lanes it crosses.”

    If you know the Hudson River bike path segment down under the West Side Highway, you know that it is both narrow and two-way.

    Since I was all the way over to the right of the right-hand bicycle lane AND I was turning right, I was not crossing any lanes at all. I was turning out of a lane.

    You may wonder how he managed to hit me if I was way over to the right, and I do too. That’s why I was so astounded when he smashed into me. It was clear that he was going very fast and had completely misjudged the situation.

  • Joe R.

    Marc,

    Thanks for the clarification. The way you described the situation, it seems he may have been intoxicated by his speed and totally not paying attention, or perhaps simply unable to handle his bike at speed. I apologize for my earlier hasty conclusions. It sounds more like it was his fault than yours at this point. I love to ride very fast as much as the next person, but I only do so if I’m not putting myself or someone else in danger.

  • Mike

    The DOT numbers are vastly underreported, and may well be in the order of magnitude equivalent to the number bike riders in the city, and the territory they cover, any good statistician could tell you a half dozen reasons why the numbers are off – and why the incidents are going up, not down. I’ve been hit by bikes three times in two years, twice by riders going the wrong way on the avenue, and all three times by riders who ran red lights. I didn’t report any of these events – most people do not, and are not required to. We need a responsible cyclist population and defending really bad behavior as if it is not happening will continue to be black eye on the green community.

  • Anonymous

    DOT stamping plant, said he had not received the number Aiello PED – bicycle accident. The demand e-mail Aiello, who he will turn to crash data.

    Table Cloths

  • Anonymous

    Ministry of Transport, the shop said they received information Aiello PED bicycle crash, did not ask. So I asked him who sent Aiello faces collision data.

    cialis online

  • Anonymous

    Largely underestimated the number of DOT, is likely to be cycling in the city an amount equal to the order. Defensive driving and defensive on a bicycle in the city is by far the most important bicycle.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

New Data Debunks “Bike Bedlam” Sensationalism

|
New data is online about the extent of bike-on-ped crashes in New York City, and it adds some much-needed perspective to the public discourse about the “safety crisis” on city streets. According to reports collected by NYPD and compiled online by NYC DOT [PDF], police responded to 27 bike-ped collisions citywide in the last three […]

Correction: State DOT Keeps No Records of NYC Bike-on-Ped Injuries

|
Last week we ran a post in response to CBS2’s “Bike Bedlam” series in which we published a table showing a downward trend in NYC bike-on-ped injuries. In response, we received a few inquiries about how the data was collected and what it represents. After following up with agencies and organizations involved in crunching crash […]

What’s Causing the Drop in Bike-on-Ped Injuries?

|
Well, it didn’t take long for our local media to mangle the Hunter College study measuring bike-on-ped injuries in New York state. Statewide hospital data compiled by professors Peter Tuckel and William Milczarik plainly show a drop in pedestrian injuries caused by cyclists between 2007 and 2010 — the same period when NYC doubled the […]