DOT Deploys “Street Safety Managers” to High-Volume Bike Routes

DOT Street Safety Managers at First Avenue and 11th Street. Photo: Stephen Miller

Wondering what’s up with the people holding stop signs in the bike lane today? NYC DOT’s press office just sent out this explanation:

New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced that DOT Street Safety Managers (SSM) are assigned to key bike and pedestrian corridors and bridge paths in Manhattan to help enhance safety among pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, further enhancing street safety as bike ridership grows, as DOT starts enforcement of commercial cycling laws and in advance of the 6,000-bike launch of the Citi Bike system. The SSMs will monitor locations with dense pedestrian and cyclist activity to reinforce existing traffic rules, advising bike riders to ride in the direction of traffic, yield to pedestrians and stop at traffic signals; instructing pedestrians to await traffic signals on the curb and not stand in bike paths; and discouraging cars from parking illegally in bike lanes. Shifts of four SSMs will be assigned to different locations in Manhattan weekdays during the morning and afternoon rush hours from April through October.

“Our streets have never been safer and we’re educating everyone on how to use them safely, and enforcing against those who don’t,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “With more people out in the warm weather we’re committed to doing even more to get out the message that safety is the rule of the road.”

In 2011, after the tabloids ran some over-the-top pieces about conflicts on bike/ped paths over the East River, DOT contracted with Sam Schwartz Engineering to staff the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge with “pedestrian safety managers” tasked with keeping everyone in their respective lanes. The agency says this year it is saving some money by handing the expanded role of “street safety manager” to current agency employees during the peak cycling season.

Photo: DOT

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