Commercial Cyclists Meet with Kallos, DOT to Promote Bike Safety

The Department of Transportation provided 175 vests, bells, and lights free of charge to commercial cyclists attending the training on the city’s legal requirements on Wednesday, September 16. DOT Safety Education provided district-specific multilingual written material and DOT’s Commercial Bike Unit was also on hand to offer education on how commercial cyclists can avoid violations.

Council Member Ben Kallos met with Upper East Side business owners and cyclists at the Commercial Bike Safety event as he continued his push for increased bike safety.

“We all order delivery, making it imperative that we educate owners and commercial cyclists on the rules of the road,” Kallos said. “We want to provide businesses with the knowledge to avoid violations. Thank you to the Department of Transportation for their assistance in promoting bike safety at this forum, and all year long.”

The Commercial Bike Forum follows an August public Bike Safety Forum in which Kallos, the NYPD, DOT, Citi Bike, Bike New York, and Transportation Alternatives presented results from the Bike Safety Program kicked off in June after a rider was seriously injured in the 5th Council District.

In 2014, Kallos surveyed 60,000 families to contribute information to a "Livable Streets" report on dangerous intersections and necessary street improvements. Because of the report, the Department of Transportation agreed to do Pedestrian Interval Studies at dangerous intersections, install a bus shelter and bike rack, and beautify streets. Following the report, the DOT and NYPD also released a Vision Zero Borough Pedestrian Safety Plan for Manhattan.

The NYPD delivered initial results from the summer initiative at the end of August, including a 52% increase in enforcement year-to-date and an 18% decrease in bike and vehicle collisions year-to-date. They've also increased distribution of education safety materials, including 8,000 in August. The Department of Transportation noted they have given away 10,500 bells and 10,100 lights since the program started in 2008.

A Commercial Bike Safety program launched at the end of last year following an educational forum for all businesses in the district in coordination with the Department of Transportation and New York Police Department (NYPD), empowered residents with the following plan of action:

STEP 1: MORE SAFETY VESTS
We canvased the district with vests, lights, and bells. If you see or receive a bike delivery with NO safety vest displaying business name and identification number, report it to the business, 311 and Ben Kallos.

STEP 2: REPORT UNSAFE BIKING
If you see unsafe biking, remember the business name and identification number from the safety vest then report it to the store, 311 and Ben Kallos. Tell the store that you can wait longer for deliveries so bikes can be slower and safer for everyone. Do not order delivery from businesses which ignore the law, including those who use electric bicycles.

STEP 3: ENFORCEMENT
When you call 311, DOT and NYPD will be notified and will take the appropriate steps to resolve the issue.