In a study published by the Department of Transportation (DOT), the city announced that it had identified three Priority Bicycle Districts in Queens that required additional bike lanes to promote safety.
“Safer Cycling: Bicycle Ridership and Safety in New York City” was released on July 31 to outline the progress New York City has made in terms of cyclist safety and the explosive growth in cyclists from since 2006.
The report found that cycling increased far faster than population or employment growth and that in 2016 bicycle trips increased by 150 percent, or by 98 million from 2006. The number of cyclist fatalities has slightly decreased as the number of cyclists and bicycle lanes has increased but the report argues that the city must do more.
In 2016 alone, 18 cyclists were killed in New York City. Most cyclist fatalities occurred at intersections and areas where there were no “bicycle facilities.” The DOT’s Priority Bicycle Districts (PBC), including three in Queens, accounted for 14 percent of the city’s bicycle lane network but 23 percent of cyclists killed and severely injured.
Community Board 3, which includes East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona; Community Board 4, encompassing Corona and Elmhurst and Community Board 5, which includes Ridgewood, Maspeth, Glendale and Middle Village are all scheduled to receive new bike lanes through 2022.
Sunnyside has been the scene of several bicycle deaths this year, including a father of three who was cycling home when he was hit by a drunk driver.
According to the report, the city will enhance or create 75 miles of bicycle lanes in the 10 PBCs by 2022. The DOT will also continue to add 50 miles of bike lanes a year, which includes 10 miles of protected bike lanes.
In 2018, DOT will complete a study to outline the best practices in intersection design and make recommendations for safer options. The study also found that the expansion of Citi Bike has a positive impact on cyclist safety.
During the first year if its implementation, the city experience a 17 percent decrease in cyclists killed or seriously injured within the bike share area. Astoria is set to get 59 Citi Bike stations by the end of the summer or early fall.
“As the city continues to grow, more New Yorkers are cycling than ever before, whether as part of their jobs, for recreation and exercise, to run errands, or as part of their daily commute,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg in a letter addressed to New Yorkers in the study. “The City of New York is committed to supporting this trend and ultimately doubling the number of regular cyclists across the five boroughs.”
To view the full study, click here.