Good News: New York City Cyclists Have All But Achieved Vision Zero

New York City bike riders are Vision Zero pioneers. Chart: DOT
New York City bike riders are Vision Zero pioneers. Chart: DOT

Yesterday the 104th Precinct, in Queens, tweeted a photo of officers giving a ticket to a cyclist. The precinct deleted the tweet when it triggered blowback from street safety advocates, but you can see it at the end of this post. “Bicyclists are no exception to Vision Zero,” it read. “Ride safe!”

If NYPD’s goal is encouraging cyclists to help prevent traffic deaths and serious injuries, we have good news: New Yorkers who ride bikes have all but achieved Vision Zero. In fact, cyclists were Vision Zero pros long before the initiative launched in NYC.

From 2000 to 2013 (the most recent year for which official bike crash data are available), cyclists killed eight New York City pedestrians, according to DOT. During that time frame, drivers killed 2,291 people walking. There were two reported incidents in which people on bikes struck and killed pedestrians in 2014, when DMV data show drivers killed 127 pedestrians.

All told, cyclists fatally struck 10 people in NYC in 14 years, compared to 2,418 pedestrians killed by drivers, making cyclists accountable for .4 percent of pedestrian deaths.

Police can devote all the resources they want to bike enforcement, but the best they can hope for is to reduce fatalities by less than one half of one percent. It makes no sense to frame bike tickets as “Vision Zero.”

So, congratulations New York City cyclists. You are not the reason hundreds of people lose their lives on NYC streets each year, and the city has the data to prove it. Now that that’s settled, NYPD can concentrate its Vision Zero efforts on dangerous driving, which is far and away the primary cause of traffic mayhem.

Image courtesy @BrooklynSpoke
Image via @BrooklynSpoke

(h/t Alex Knight)

  • Mathew Smithburger

    Crazy stuff like this that stimulates voters to not invite a certain NYC mayor back for a second term.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    Why is it even possible to delete a tweet? These things should stick around forever.

  • c2check

    Compare:
    Cyclists killed/cyclists who strike and kill others:
    10/1= 1000%
    vs.
    Motorists killed/motorists who strike and kill others:
    178/178= 100%

    Wonder how this would compare if you account for each mode’s street presence (each as a percent of total bikes+cars+buses on the street)

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/01/31/nypd-16059-pedestrians-and-cyclists-injured-178-killed-in-traffic-in-2013/

  • qrt145

    Maybe the cops meant that ticketing cyclists is part of Vision Zero because it protects the cyclists themselves from getting killed. Not that it makes a lot more sense…

    Question for Streetsblog (or an astute reader): did you cover the fatal bike-ped crash of 2013? I must have missed that story, because I remember clearly that when the two fatal crashes of 2014 happened, I thought that they were the first since 2009.

  • Joe R.

    The sad part is they probably believe ticketing cyclists protects them because, you know, obeying traffic laws always guarantees your safety. It’s sad we as a society are infantilizing adults by not allowing them to make judgement calls any more. Following the “script”, which is the set of traffic laws and traffic controls, makes things worse on balance. It causes people to lose the ability to deal with exceptional situations. It also makes driving a mindless process when you want the exact opposite. Cyclists in an urban area are easily the most engaged road user. They can certainly judge for themselves when it’s safe to cross an intersection.

    Bottom line—the police are a bunch of authoritarian, clueless morons.

  • Nate

    Yeah, but there were far fewer bikes than cars on the road over this period. I mean, I’m an avid streetsblog reader, and totally PRO cycling, but this seems like a misrepresentation of the numbers. A few thousand cyclists killed 2 people in 2014. But hundreds of thousands of motor vehicles on the road killed 127. If you look at this by percentage, it does not support the argument.

  • Simon Phearson

    Well, when you allow yourself to pull numbers out of the air that undermine the argument, it’s no wonder you don’t find it very convincing.

    In any event, the post’s argument is perfectly sound. Even if a cyclist is statistically more likely to kill a pedestrian than a driver, investing police resources in a cyclist crackdown in order to prevent one or two deaths (i.e., a 100% elimination of all cyclist-caused deaths) doesn’t make sense if you could invest an equivalent amount of police resources to prevent many more deaths by drivers or a much smaller amount to prevent one or two deaths caused by drivers.

  • Andrew

    Eliminating half of one percent of motorist-on-ped fatalities would save significantly more lives than eliminating all cyclist-on-ped fatalities.

    Of course, I think we can do a lot better than half of one percent.

  • Brian Howald

    2,418 is 241.8 times greater than 10. The only way the fatality rate per trip is greater for bicycles than cars is if there are >= 241.8 times more trips by car than by bicycle over the past ten years. Given that the mode share for bicycles is in the single digits, I don’t see how this is possible.

  • dr2chase

    Strictly speaking, the people at greatest risk (by far) of “getting killed” are those who neither walk nor ride bikes. Lack of exercise is far more deadly than bicycle crash risk.

  • r

    Thanks for pixelating the person’s face. The 104th put up his picture so he was easily identifiable, which seemed like a questionable choice. (One can hardly imagine them posting a picture of a driver being ticketed, though perhaps they do. No idea.)

    That man deserved privacy, especially given NYPD’s penchant for ticketing people for all kinds of bogus garbage.

  • bolwerk

    Reports on fascist police behavior should include names and badge numbers.

  • Joe R.

    Also, the way we count bikes likely grossly underestimates their usage. Recreational use in the outer boroughs isn’t counted. Neither is commuting entirely within the outer boroughs.

    Another point is when you get into very low numbers, like 8 people killed by bikes over 14 years, you’re entering the realm of samples which are statistically too small to draw any conclusions from. It doesn’t follow that if 0.6 people per year are killed by bikes now, then 60 people per year would be killed if we increased bike use by a factor of 100. Based on things like “safety in numbers”, it’s highly likely the fatality rate might stay roughly the same no matter how much bike usage there is. In fact, the microtrend points that way. Bike use has increased significantly since 2000, and yet the fatality rate hasn’t.

  • Considering cyclist numbers have increased over the past 14 yrs, for any number of reason (cost of driving being prohibitive, better infrastructure for bikes in the City, etc), yet the number of fatalities has remained constant, says a lot about this mode of transportation for the safety of NYC residents vs automobiles.

    Also, the speed factor is another benefit. Bikes cannot routinely travel at the speeds needed to kill someone. If only we had machines that could track the speed of motorists and enforce the laws, we’d have safer streets.

  • Joe R.

    Lower speed plus lower mass equals safety. One little factoid I like to tell people is a 200 pound bike plus rider going 45 mph, which is a speed only elite sprinters can reach, has the same kinetic energy (and hence damage potential) as a 2-ton car going only 10 mph. At “normal” urban cycling speeds of 10 mph up to maybe 25 mph, damage potential is far less. From what I’ve read, just about all pedestrian fatalities caused by bikes weren’t caused by the blunt force trauma of the hit itself, but rather by some ususual circumstance which followed, like the person falling, then hitting their head on a hard object. Bikes are just a really safe way to get around, both for the rider, and those around them.

  • walknseason

    Agreed, BdB and Bratton are a disgrace. Just worried what comes next.

  • Matthias

    I’ve read a similar argument pertaining to traffic control–that we’ve taken away drivers’ ability to use good judgment by attempting to proscribe everything to the last detail through traffic control devices (signs, signals, markings) that clutter the street environment to such an extent that it is dangerously distracting. I tend to agree.

  • JacobEPeters

    Vision Zero is also about ticketing those acting recklessly and endangering their own lives. Vision Zero can only be accomplished once EVERYONE is acting safely. The problem is that the most dangerous infractions to all road users need to be enforced first. So, let’s get motor vehicle fatalities down near zero before treating peds & cyclists like their actions are as dangerous as motor vehicles. I agree that cyclists should not be exempted from Vision Zero enforcement, but 1st things 1st.

  • Joe R.

    That’s exactly what I was getting at. I remember when Sandy hit and we lost power in my area for a few days traffic seemed to flow much more smoothly. Drivers quickly learned to go slow enough at intersections so they could see what was coming. Everyone seemed to negotiate taking turns if there were cars on both intersecting streets. The drivers even noticed me on my bike, and gave me my turn to go when it was appropriate. I actually liked this better in that I was almost never delayed at any intersection for more than a second or two. With drivers focusing on other street users, rather than the state of the traffic signals, I’ll bet collisions were way down.

  • Komanoff

    Good catch. Brad, can you check this out for us? Like qrt145, I’m fairly convinced the two 2014 fatals were the first since 2009.

    Also, while I and I’m sure others remember well one 2009 fatality — Stuart Gruskin, knocked down by the wrong-way food-delivery rider in midtown — I have no recollection of a second. Can you check into that as well?

  • walks bikes drives

    I’m curious. I wonder if the health department has numbers of people who have died from tripping on the sidewalk and striking their heads. Or better, from bumping into, or being bumped by, another pedestrian and falling down, hitting their heads on the sidewalk or other hard surface. Something tells me, those numbers would either be similar to, or more likely, higher than the number of people killed by cyclists.

  • I don’t recall seeing any media coverage of a 2013 wreck. AFAIK there was nothing between the 2009 wreck (jaywalker steps in front of a salmon cyclist) and the 2014 deaths in Central Park.

  • The report should have included all motor vehicle deaths in the total, not just the ones that could have been killed by a cyclist. Because motor vehicles kill way more than just pedestrians.

  • qrt145

    So it wasn’t just me, then. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, though; could that the Post just didn’t hear about it, because otherwise it might have been front page news for a week.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    In Manhattan CBD; ~10% of roadway traffic are cyclists.

    About 200,000 New Yorkers cycle every day. citibike riders alone rack up 80,000 miles in a normal weekend.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    maybe Peds should wear helmets 🙂

  • BBnet3000

    Don’t forget slip and falls in the winter.

  • Joe R.

    I was looking for numbers to no avail but my gut instinct tells me it would be a lot higher. Lawyers dealing with injuries from defective sidewalks seems to be practically a cottage industry in NYC.

    The numbers are higher for sure if we include those killed by motor vehicles on sidewalks.

  • ummm…

    Keep in mind that laws/guidelines are there for the purposes of uniformity, safety etc. etc. The city can CHOOSE to prosecute. Cops can CHOOSE to ticket. More often than not they choose to do neither. Sometimes it works in our favor, sometimes their is an uproar i.e. white collar crimes given a pass while low level drug offenses are prosecuted. It is not fully accurate to claim that our laws are not interpreted and selectively used.

  • ummm…

    Disgrace? I wouldn’t go that far. They are politicians, which is not an easy job. It can also be abused a great deal. Nonetheless, disgrace is a bit much.

  • Joe R.

    A lot of the uproar here has more to do with the actual laws themselves being pointless. Sure, the city and police can decide which laws to enforce or not enforce. Generally, if the laws themselves serve a valid safety purpose, or some other purpose vital for society, then most rational citizens have no objection. The objections only come when the laws don’t serve such a purpose. NYC is legendary for passing pointless, authoritarian laws. For example, if a few people choked on chewing gum, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was banned. A lot of the laws pertaining to bikes are similarly either pointless, or just don’t take into account the differences between bikes and motor vehicles. Red lights and stop signs should be allowed to be treated as yields. Sidewalk cycling should be allowed, at least in most of the outer boroughs. Electric bikes shouldn’t be illegal.

    You also have a lot of silly non-bike related laws as well. You have the infamous ticketing for being in parks after closing time (why should public parks close at all?), open container laws where people are ticketed for drinking in public, even if they’re not causing problems, requirements for businesses to lock up spray paint, laws against jaywalking, etc. It just goes on and on. The police don’t have to try very hard to find some reason to stop a citizen with all these laws. Laws which nearly every citizen breaks just going about their business aren’t good laws. They’re excuses to run a police state, which is exactly what NYC has become.

  • ummm…

    On specific laws you’ve brought up; i agree with your positions on some and not on others. As an everyday cyclist I would like a version of the Idaho stop etc. etc. I’ve gotten tickets for running lights or not having a bell. I understand why those laws are there, however minuscule the public safety concern may be. Possibly many laws are there for the sake of insurance companies. Jaywalking in my opinion really isn’t a law that should be taken off the books It is a law that is used when severe negligence is suspected. Cops dont typically arrest or ticket for Jaywalking. However, I’ve hit a person on a dark rainy night. This person came out from between two cars while looking in the wrong direction ON HER PHONE. I hit her and went down, just as a bus squealed to a stop behind me. She gets up and says “this is the second time this has happened to me this week”. That is why there is a jay walking law, so that negligence, or fault, can be found if and where needed. If there is no law, then she doesn’t need to take responsibility for her stupid actions, and I probably end up footing a bill because I have the added responsibility of being on a bike. You can’t just assume that laws, however small, are big brother oversights. When I go through a red, I look for cars and pedestrians. When I come to a stop sign I do the same. Outside of this idiot jaywalker I’ve never hit anyone in YEARS of cycling *knocks wood*. THe world is full of stupid/unethical people. Laws are designed to make people accountable. Your chewing gum hypothetical is a straw man.

    Have the laws – prosecute and police where necessary. Some laws can go, but the ones you cite can be discussed, but in a city as dense as new york can be problematic to remove. Red light laws are not “pointless”. Sidewalk cycling is allowed, for children. If you are riding a bike and are too timid to take the lane, then get off the bike and walk. You don’t belong on the sidewalk, even in bayside queens. That street is OURS not only cars. WHen I was in college I drank on friends stoops. Never got a ticket even with cops around- maybe once they told us to cover it up and go inside. We didn’t get a ticket because we were not rowdy and were respectable. Just enjoying the sun and a beer. There are dumb laws, but we aren’t expected to follow them to the letter. We are the opposite of initialized. Rates of prosecution and the judicial system capacity entails that the state apparatus expects us to police ourselves, not just follow blindly.

  • Joe R.

    I agree on the fault part, which is why I would allow bikes and pedestrians to yield at red lights/stop signs, but with the caveat that a cyclist/pedestrian going on red is automatically at fault if cross traffic hits them. Same thing with crossing midblock. Allow it, but if the person gets hit crossing, they’re automatically at fault.

    WHen I was in college I drank on friends stoops. Never got a ticket even with cops around- maybe once they told us to cover it up and go inside.

    You do know that cops now actually do often give tickets for that, especially in minority neighborhoods? And in any case, the open container law is superfluous. If people drinking in public are disruptive, there are already laws you can use to arrest them. If not, then they’re creating a problem, hence no need for any legal action.

    When I go through a red, I look for cars and pedestrians. When I come to a stop sign I do the same. Outside of this idiot jaywalker I’ve never hit anyone in YEARS of cycling *knocks wood*.

    Same here except I’ve never hit anyone. Your and my experience just shows that cyclists are indeed capable of judging when it’s safe to go on red. In fact, if the practice were legal, then bike organizations could properly train new cyclists how to do it. The biggest problem with cyclists passing red lights seems to be when new cyclists do it, but sometimes haven’t developed enough road sense, or maybe bike handling skills, to consistently do it well. I’d be happy to help train them but until it’s legal I doubt most bike organizations would sanction such training.

  • nanter

    Statistical significance changes with the denominator, not the numerator. The sample size to which you allude is the denominator, the number of cyclists or the number of miles cycled (a more valid indicator). If that sample size is high enough, and I believe it likely is with the current mode share in Manhattan, then yes, that 0.6 per year would be statistically likely to go to 60 per year if you increased cycling by a factor of 100.

  • ummm…

    Elmhurst, Queens would most certainly be considered a minority neighborhood; which is where I would go to visit old school chums. Policing may have changed in the decade or so it has been since I graced the stoops of my youth 😉 .

    Nonetheless, I am sympathetic to your argument, but I am a perpetual cynic. When a cyclist, pedestrian etc. runs the red or jaywalks then they are already considered at fault by todays laws. The law in place now requires them to stop, and if they don’t then they are liable/at fault. If we relax the laws to yield, then we cannot have this absolute fault. Factors will come into play. Drivers will have to deal with right of way, or yielding themselves as they can’t expect to be the only vehicle in the intersection; lawyers will come up with creative ways to argue liability.

    In effect you may be arguing my position, however reluctantly I take my position; we should have laws to place liability – but we should also have policing that is fair and weighs the dangers of specific road actions by cyclists. For example, I was given a ticket by a cop that parks on central park west and 100th street. He is there every day. It is a T junction there. I pass him as I ride to work. He drives the two blocks from the precinct and sits there for a cyclist to go through a red light, even with no pedestrians or cars. That is needless policing. Keep the law, change the policing. Of course this is problematic as a policeman cant argue discretion in court – which may lead to a necessity for your version of yielding at lights and the new legal rabbit hole it creates.

    Anyhow, there are some very stupid people out there that would take a downgrade from full stop to yield as an invitation to bomb through the intersection. That is where more trouble lies. I wish I could see another way, but laws are sometimes for the lowest common denominator. For people that can’t think about the community or live with dignity. On another note I am against some drug laws, so my argument is not all encompassing.

  • ummm…

    yeah, i don’t even know what my reply is saying. Lunch coma

  • qrt145

    A very much doubt that a 100-fold increase in cycling would cause 100 times more pedestrians killed. People and bikes in the city are not like ideal gas particles. A 100-fold increase in cycling would necessarily be associated with huge changes in infrastructure and culture which make a simple extrapolation impossible.

  • nanter

    I left out a key phrase in my post: all other variables kept constant. I agree with you; the infrastructure changes required to support such a rise and the safety in numbers would invariably reduce the death rate. I was simply making a statistical point.

  • Joe R.

    I was alluding to the numerator being smaller than the statistical “noise”, which looks likely here. The variance from year to year is HUGE compared to the average. The 0.6 deaths per year might just be due to noise around a mean much closer to zero. Maybe here you have a true mean of 0.05 and the other 0.55 is statistical noise. Noise doesn’t increase linearly with sample size. It might be if cycling increased 100 fold without any other changes in the environment you’ll go to a mean of 5 with fluctuations of 1 or 2 due to noise.

    Or put in layman’s terms, it’s very difficult to extrapolate trends of very infrequent events.

    Supporting my theory here is the fact you very large percentage variations in the numbers killed by motor vehicles, even though the absolute numbers are much larger. The numbers for bikes are over 200 times smaller. The noise will end up being a much larger percentage, likely many times the magnitude of the true average.

    What qrt145 mentioned about infrastructure is also quite relevant. I’ll add that as more of the general population cycles, people would learn to look for bikes more. That would tend to decrease the number of collisions. More importantly, large numbers of cyclists on the street have a calming effect on those who cycle in a way which tends to result in collisions.

  • lop

    Your and my experience just shows that cyclists are indeed capable of judging when it’s safe to go on red. In fact, if the practice were legal, then bike organizations could properly train new cyclists how to do it.

    Some cyclists. Just like some drivers don’t need overly restrictive rules to get around without hurting anybody. But all cyclists?

    And what bike organizations? I never had anyone train me how to ride. I don’t bike as much as some, but probably have ridden 15k-20k miles over the last eight years. How many people who ride bikes work with any sort of bike organization? What’s reasonable to expect cyclists to be capable of in a country where they’ve been riding since they were little kids isn’t necessarily the same as what’s reasonable when most cyclists are relatively ‘untrained’. You could fix that with mandatory training, but that opens up a whole cans of worms that let’s not get into.

    http://i.imgur.com/TuFNrNz.jpg

    From where the rider enters the frame until the crosswalk is (I think) ~240 feet, 8 seconds to traverse the distance and accelerating, so probably going 23-25 mph (again, I think) at the time of the collision. Perfectly flat here, he’s working up a good pace before starting the bridge climb. Seems fitter than most novice cyclists and blows through a red light that’s very easy to see in person if you don’t ride with your head down.

    This is one of the things many worry about when someone proposes to let cyclists pass red lights. Yes, I know you aren’t advocating that what he did would be legal. But why wouldn’t this sort of behavior become more frequent? I split time between Portland and NYC. In both cities a car driver has to stop at a red light before a stop bar or crosswalk, and has to remain stopped for pedestrians who are crossing. Yet in Portland I have far more drivers cut me off because they are making a turn on red. Cutting me off wasn’t legalized. But in doing something that is legal they make a mistake.

    After the bridge opened for a few weeks the transit agency, trimet, had crossing guards of sorts to hold everybody’s hands. They gave out some tickets to people who were being irresponsible. They were very polite and had no issues with people, myself included, who would responsibly treat the red lights as stops/yields. Based on my chats with some of them the message they want to convey to cyclists at the lights they have is slow down. It’s a pedestrian environment too, and they want to make the crossings comfortable. If a little kid darts out when he gets the light you need to be able to stop for them, and do so without scaring the crap out of the kid’s parents. You don’t have to stay stopped at a light with nobody crossing. But don’t hurt anybody, or make them do anything to avoid a collision. And don’t get yourself killed riding in front of a bus, streetcar, or light rail train.

    They have failed to convey this message to cyclists. Many of the responses on a Portland bike blog focus on supposed and vastly overblown design issues. Compared to the crossings around this bridge just about every intersection in Portland and NYC is horrible designed.

    http://bikeportland.org/2015/10/21/woman-walking-near-tilikum-bridge-suffers-serious-injuries-in-collision-with-bicycle-rider-166401

    If that’s the ‘community’ response it makes it very hard to see how a stop/yield on red could do anything but make walking far more stressful. I wouldn’t say the culture in NYC is different to expect a different response here. Maybe after a few decades of redesigning intersections to improve visibility?

    I would allow bikes and pedestrians to yield at red lights/stop signs, but with the caveat that a cyclist/pedestrian going on red is automatically at fault if cross traffic hits them.

    The woman, who had a walk sign, was in the hospital for more than two days with four broken ribs, a separated shoulder, a chipped vertebra, lots of cuts and abrasions, and attacks of vertigo. Saying it’s the cyclists fault only does so much. If a cyclist gets hit by a truck and the police come out and say it was the truck driver’s fault does that really make it all better?

    How many would still support a rationalization of traffic laws with respect to cyclists if it was paired with all precincts in neighborhoods that get a decent number of cyclists putting together dedicated bike enforcement patrols? Even if it’s just a couple officers. But their full time job would be to give tickets to the sort that are dangerous and irresponsible, and leave safe riders alone. You know vision zero isn’t just about fatalities. NYC wants to end injuries too. Bike crashes are far less deadly than MV crashes. That means focusing on fatalities the way this article does understates the number of injuries. With that in mind I’m not sure at least a part time bike enforcement patrol wouldn’t be uncalled for in some neighborhoods anyway.

  • lop

    And just to add, in all my time riding, split between Portland (20%) and NYC (80%) I have never received a ticket for going through a red light or failing to stop at a stop sign. And I go through lights and signs like that ever time I ride my bike. And a fair number of miles in NYC were in neighborhoods with fairly heavy policing. Never had a cop give me any sort of lecture for the way I ride, and yet police have witnessed me many times going through lights and stop signs. Sometimes I wonder to what extent yield on red is already de facto legal. Yea, some get tickets for going through lights. The way I see people ride I can’t help but wonder how many of those tickets were deserved for riding recklessly. That’s excluding the majority that are just a sort of stop and frisk style ticket that have nothing to do with the bike.

  • Joe R.

    Let me preface my response with the fact that at best I believe an Idaho stop law is a kludge. I only consider such a law necessary, or at least desirable, if three conditions are present:

    1) You have many signalized intersections, and the red light timing, if it exists at all, is such that stopping at red lights exacts a gross inconvenience on cyclists. Moreover, this needs to be true not just on one or two streets, buy on a fairly largely percentage of routes. Gross inconvenience in this context might mean delays of more 10% to 20% above a cyclist’s unfettered travel time. In NYC many trips can easily have delays of 100% to 400% stopping at red lights, so this condition is easily met.

    2) The police tend to enforce the letter of the law on cyclists, even ticketing those who slow down, look, and only proceed if the intersection is clear.

    3) There is no network of alternatives to the street grid for cyclists where they may complete most of their ride without stopping.

    In NYC until broken windows enforcement started under Guiliani only conditions one and three were present. We had a defacto Idaho stop rule in that the police just about never gave out tickets for running red lights, except perhaps in rare cases where the rider was reckless.

    The problems obviously started once the NYPD clamped down on cyclists. These boards are full of anecdotes of people getting ticketed for slow rolling red lights a t-intersections. Obviously since I wasn’t there I can’t say whether their behavior was reckless, in that they usurped the right-of-way of a pedestrian or motorist, but in general it seems fair to say in NYC you can get a ticket for safely passing a red light. Perhaps not in eastern Queens where I live, but certainly in much of Manhattan or downtown Brooklyn. That’s why there are calls for an Idaho stop law. The NYPD is failing to exercise discretion, so we need a law which forces them to. Granted, they could still fail to exercise discretion under an Idaho stop rule, saying a vehicle or pedestrian was present when that wasn’t case. However, with an increasing number of cyclists having cameras, once a few police were caught lying, my guess is the rest would err on the side of caution, only giving tickets when the cyclist was really creating a hazard, as is the intent of such a law.

  • Nathan Rosenquist

    The argument is that the NYPD is wasting their resources trying to prevent the one or two cyclist-related pedestrian deaths each year, yes? Even if each cyclist was as dangerous to pedestrians as each car (They aren’t), that argument would still hold. I don’t see how it’s not supported by the numbers. And as generally indicated by other replies, your numbers are off by an order of magnitude or two.

  • AlexWithAK

    Just saw the hat tip for my tweet. You’re welcome, Streetsblog. Happy to help.

  • AlexWithAK

    Looking at it by percentage doesn’t do you much good when the cycling death and injury numbers are as low as they are.

  • Matthias
  • Pat

    Of course we don’t know the whole story here but it seems odd that there is a sergeant on scene and someone to tweet a picture.
    I agree motorist enforcement is more important, but enforcing all the traffic laws including those for bicycles and pedestrians, will help make our streets safer.

  • Vision Zero is not about ticketing at all. Sweden’s Vision Zero had dramatic results with a program of data-driven changes to infrastructure, which is why everyone’s so keen on it. But all we’re seeing in the U.S. is politicians misapplying those two words to the same ol’ same ol’ unjust and unproductive ticketing strategies.

    It’s not Vision Zero. Period.

  • qatzelok

    Exactly. It’s about road design, modal shift, and reduced speed.

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