BREAKING: Mayor Calls for Immediate Crackdown on Reckless Drivers

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn State Senator Zellnor Myrie called for Mayor de Blasio to do just that minutes before he did after the 15th cyclist fatality so far this year.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn State Senator Zellnor Myrie called for Mayor de Blasio to do just that minutes before he did after the 15th cyclist fatality so far this year.

After a 15th cyclist of the year was killed on Monday afternoon, Mayor de Blasio issued the following statement:

We are seeing a dangerous surge in cyclist deaths on our streets, and we are taking action. I have directed the NYPD to immediately launch a major enforcement action that will encompass every precinct and crack down on dangerous driving behavior like parking in bike lanes. At the same time, I have charged the Department of Transportation with developing a new cyclist safety plan to make biking in our city safer.

No loss of life on our streets is acceptable. Last year was the safest year on record—and we have to keep pushing the envelope and increasing our efforts until we achieve Vision Zero.

The statement comes after an outcry of critics had called on the mayor to act, especially as three cyclists were hit and killed in the last seven days.

At a vigil for cyclist Ernest Askew — who was the 13th cyclist to die this year when he was killed in Brownsville last week — State Senator Zellnor Myrie said he appreciated the mayor’s statement, but was concerned.

“The devil is in the details,” said the freshman lawmaker. “People who’ve lost loved ones will want to see what it entails and the mayor should include these people and leaders in the advocacy community to make sure this is a real effort.”

Transportation Alternatives’ co-Interim Executive Director Marco Conner was more skeptical, issuing this statement:

While we appreciate the Mayor’s statement, his words are only as good as the tangible action they produce from his own administration. The Mayor’s efforts, to his great credit, have saved lives against all odds during the first five years of Vision Zero, but those efforts have been insufficient to truly match the public health crisis that traffic violence is — a crisis that has claimed more than 1,100 lives on city streets since 2013.

The current crisis must be seized upon as the mandate it is to realize the full potential of Vision Zero. This means recognizing that cars and trucks are the cause of this epidemic; it means having the courage to say that every New Yorker’s life and limb is worth more than any of the three million free parking spaces we devote streetspace to in NYC, and that their preservation must never, ever, come before our lives; and it means providing NYCDOT the resources for scaling up quickly to address this challenge with known and proven safety measures citywide at a level, and with the urgency, this crisis demands. This will be the measure for Mayor de Blasio.

 

  • Joe R.

    How about as part of the safety plan not ticketing cyclists for slow rolling red lights? This is often done just as much for safety as to save time, in order to avoid being in the pack of cars when the light changes.

  • Zero Vision

    The problem with enforcement is that it’s carried out by the NYPD and (ostensibly, at least) overseen by the Bill de Blasio. So that will mean a lot of stupid enforcement against stuff that doesn’t keep people safe – and perhaps even some tickets against cyclists for “balance” – that will ultimately stop after this initial burst of outrage subsides. See you all back here in a months or two when the death toll is over twenty.

  • relevantjeff

    Fuck this guy. It takes fifteen deaths in six months – in his second term to finally give a shit about cyclists? Umm… NYPD’s gonna do the same shit NYPD always does. Maybe this time, now that DeB’s got his panties in a bind, the NYPD’ll ticket cyclists for six days instead of three.

  • William Lawson

    But come ON. We ALL know how these things pan out. Mayor makes a public display of resolve in the face of public outrage and promises the NYPD will follow suit. NYPD complies for a couple of weeks at the most and then stops. They’re like a surly child dipping one foot in a bathtub and saying there, I’m done. There will be a constant stream of Tweets from people with evidence of the NYPD not doing a single damn thing the mayor told them, meanwhile the mayor doesn’t have the guts to follow through and keep the pressure on, and besides he just can’t wait to get out of this city and into Washington where the real movers and shakers are and for christs sake if he has to listen to one more caller ask him about bike lanes.

  • Joe R.

    I still don’t think he gives a shit about cyclists but being that he’s running for President he has to at least look proactive about stuff. Once he figures out that he stands no chance of getting the nomination, and probably no chance of holding any other elected office again, he’ll go back to his usual, uncaring self.

    Also, my guess is most of the enforcement will end up being against cyclists, as it usually is.

  • Vooch

    I gotta argue that we have seen a slight hint of cultural change in the NYPD at least the 19th and 20th have mouthed some words seeming to show concern about humans.

    Its a start. perhaps.

  • muffinstumps

    I hate that I agree with this 100%

  • NYrByChoice

    The same enforcement must be on cyclists who don’t follow rules of the road, running lights, riding against traffic and not heeding traffic flow on one way streets.

  • Sassojr

    The only thing NYPD knows is enforcement, not safety. They have been “in charge” of trying to reduce motorcycle deaths in the city. instead of doing a study, conversing with the community (they engaged with us for the first time in YEARS recently), finding out the causes of deaths, proposing common sense solutions like filtering, etc…we got motorcycle only Checkpoints. That’s it. When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  • I’ll stop for every red light, if you promise to do the same on foot.

  • William Lawson

    They don’t even know enforcement. Basically there’s an entire class of crime which the NYPD refuses to police because it doesn’t want to. I fail to see how this isn’t grounds to fire every cop who refuses to comply.

  • kevd

    “not heeding traffic flow on one way streets”
    I can’t actually figure out if that means anything different from “riding against traffic”.
    is it just riding against traffic on a one way street?

  • William Lawson

    This comment, and every other almost identical cut and paste comment like it, has become cemented in my mind as one of the most reliable indicators of pig headed stupidity we have in society today. Congrats.

  • Andy

    How many people have been killed by bicyclists in the past year? As dangerous as riding against traffic is, cars and trucks are hundreds of times more dangerous. And I’m not sure what “heeding traffic flow” means, but bicycles have the right to the whole lane on narrow streets, and blocking cars from going faster by taking up the whole lane in fact makes the streets safer for everyone.

  • Dan Sciannameo

    DeBlasio and NYPD and Vision Zero are jokes. NYPD harasses bicyclists and motorcyclists but it is those riders that are being killed by CARS. Start enforcement on cars and a little less focus on harassing two wheels.

  • JL

    Slight shift is better than business as usual. Crackdowns are easier than effective enforcement. At least it’ll take the boot off the neck of commuter cyclists at choke points, which decreases cyclist numbers (safety in no.). Random truckers getting boned hopefully will “remind” drivers “Vulnerable lives matter”. We all know effective enforcement and safe streets is not NYPDs forte, but it’s better than your brother grabbing your wrist and “Stop hitting yourself” type of bikelash.

    It’s up to the DOT to create a safer environment. I don’t know that Polly/BdB is the persons to take it to the next level (volume and design)

    The silver lining might be the numbers are increasing due to the huge overall numbers. It is sad young lives are lost because of lack of foresight by the people in charge.

    Do stay alert out there and err on the side of caution.

  • Exactly . NYPD is built like an army . It all comes from the top. It is grounds to fire the Mayor .

  • Yep..

  • Joe R.

    Try riding a bike and maybe you’ll realize most of the things cyclists do make sense from their point of view. Moreover, they usually don’t place anyone in danger by doing these things. It’s often safer to pass red lights to avoid packs of cars jockeying for position when the light changes. So long as the cyclist carefully checks for crossing pedestrians and motor vehicles, which most do as a simple act of self-preservation, it’s not dangerous.

    I’m not a fan of riding against traffic but at times people do it because it’s either the only safe route, or it avoids a very circuitous detour. We should have two-way bike lanes on one way streets like they do in other countries.

  • motorock

    How the mayor & NYPD work:
    Cyclists killed by cars. Target and ticket cyclists.
    Motorcyclists killed by cars. Set up checkpoints and give tickets to motorcycles.

    Stupid does not even start to describe both parties involved.

  • cjstephens

    The sub-head in the newsletter link for this article reads: “Mayor de Blasio finally acts to stop the carnage”. Acts? No. He issued a press release. That’s it. And that’s all he’s going to do. Stop giving the mayor credit for doing nothing more than lip service to this issue.

    I’ve been saying all along that he and pretty much every other major politician in this city has nothing more than a windshield perspective. You all voted for de Blasio. This is your fault, Streetsblog readers. Stop voting for people like him. Stop sending your campaign dollars to people like him. We can’t expect anything to change until you do.

  • thomas040

    Maybe they could use a twitter handle or hashtag or something, so people can submit areas that need patrolling?? A little back and forth with the community might be a good PR move at this point, other than just issuing a statement that will have little effect in the real world?

  • thomas040

    Car-nation/Car-nage

  • thomas040

    It’s just a matter of someone being killed DURING their blitz, and they’ll have to step up and do something more. It’s incredible that it takes this much to get any action on so many deaths, but here we are. I really hope everyone will be safer from this, but I’m having concerns about the mayor’s lip service toward two-wheeled safety (that includes all scooters, hover boards , and electric mopeds too)

  • qrt145

    How do you know how every Streetsblog reader voted? Even if they did all voted for de Blasio, was there a better alternative when it comes to street carnage? De Blasio at least ran on Vision Zero, however hollow the promises. Other candidates didn’t even pretend to care, as far as I remember (but maybe I forgot about some).

  • cjstephens

    Do you really think that many Streetsblog readers _didn’t_ vote for de Blasio? I find that hard to believe. As for alternatives, that’s my point. Until safe streets advocates identify, recruit and support candidates who, you know, don’t drive everywhere, we can’t be upset with the likes of de Blasio, etc.

  • qrt145

    I would guess that an overwhelming majority of Streetblog readers voted for de Blasio in the general election. The primary may have been a bit more mixed. But you did say “all”. 🙂

    But now you are mixing readers, voters, and advocates. Voters simply pick one of the choices that are on the ballot. You can’t blame the individual voter for failing to recruit candidates: that’s a whole other level of involvement. And most readers just do that: read, and maybe post silly comments like I do from time to time. 🙂

  • cjstephens

    Maybe if more readers took on the role of advocate and made sure to vote, then we would all be better off? They’re not mutually exclusive.

  • Andrew

    How do you know how every Streetsblog reader voted? Even if they did all voted for de Blasio

    I can’t speak for anybody else, but I can confirm that at least one Streetsblog reader – one who votes in all general and Democratic primary elections – has never cast a vote for de Blasio.

  • Joe R.

    Your first sentence hits the nail on the head. There are rarely credible GOP candidates running for NYC Mayor, or really for any other offices here. Maybe if safe streets advocates could start getting such candidates on the ballot, we might have real alternatives. In NYC more often than not whoever wins the Democratic primary wins the general election. That’s not what a competitive democracy should be about. We should have at least two viable parties, preferably more. People like deBlasio don’t innovate or take chances because they have no real reason to. More often than not they face little competition, or at least their party does. The NY Democratic party is the very definition of machine politics. That’s why NYS/NYC is so far behind in many areas compared to the rest of the country. We haven’t even legalized e-bikes for f*ck’s sake. You would think a progressive state which takes climate change seriously would have been among the first to do so.

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