Bicycle Safety Improves on East Side for Third Year in a Row

Bicycle Safety Improves on East Side for Third Year in a Row

Bike Safety Education, Equipment & Enforcement Program Led by

Council Members Kallos and Garodnick Gets Results

New York, NY —  Following an increase in education, safety equipment, and enforcement, bike safety from 30th to 97th streets on Manhattan’s East Side continues to improve as a result of a program led by Council Members Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick.  Since the program’s launch by Council Member Kallos in 2014 there has been a reduction in the number of collisions involving cyclists each year, and fewer pedestrians and cyclists injured in collisions.

The NYPD reports 17th and 19th precinct report Year to Date (YTD) through mid-October:

·         1,557 summons issued to bicycles mostly for not giving right of way to pedestrians and disobeying a steady red signal;

·         15,929 moving violations issued to vehicles, with 5,717 violations for improper turns, 2,730 violations for disobeying a traffic control device, and 1,541 violations for not giving right of way to pedestrians among other violations as of August; and

·         103 seizures of “e-bikes” with all but one receiving a summons (ECB/OATH), representing more than 10% of all enforcement with 923 seized citywide;

This year the East 72nd Street Neighborhood Association released two quarterly bike safety reports, in partnership with Council Member Ben Kallos, in which 25 restaurants received an “A” for delivery cyclists who wore vests with identification along with helmets and used human powered bikes with lights and a bell, while 20 restaurants received an “F” for using illegal e-bikes. The report was followed by confiscation of e-bikes from restaurants receiving an “F” by the NYPD’s 19th Precinct, which indicated that since the cost of a summons at $500 exceeds the cost of an e-bike, individuals receiving a violation just buy a new e-bike.

Following two years of e-bike enforcement where the Upper East Side accounted for more than 10% of all e-bike seizures citywide, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on October 19, 2017 that, beginning 2018, NYPD will begin issuing violations to businesses of $100 for the first offense and $200 for each subsequent offense. Coupled with Local Law 47, authored by Council Member Ben Kallos, businesses with unpaid violations or repeat offenses could risk losing their licenses, permits or registrations necessary to do business.

“Residents are afraid of getting hurt in a collision and complain about bikes that disobey the rules every day. Whether it is ‘near misses’ from a failure to yield to pedestrians, or reports of cyclists who run red lights, go the wrong way, or ride on sidewalks, residents are upset. Everyone must know the rules of the road in order to share it safely,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Thank you to the NYPD, Department of Transportation, Bike New York, Citi Bike, and Transportation Alternatives for their partnership in making our streets safer.”  

“Transportation Alternatives advocates are encouraged by Council Member Kallos’ outspoken support for street designs that feature a minimum standard of Vision Zero and traffic safety improvements to protect pedestrians and cyclists on the Upper East Side, said Chelsea Yamada Manhattan Organizer Transportation Alternatives

Since the summer of 2015, the bike safety program spearheaded by Council Member Ben Kallos and Council Member Dan Garodnick has succeeded in its goal of helping pedestrians and cyclists safely enjoy city streets, as covered by CBS, NBCOur Town and amNY.

The continuing bike safety program sponsored by Council Members Kallos and Garodnick includes:

Department of Transportation

·         Free vest, light and bell for commercial owners and riders who participate in trainings offered in English, Spanish and Chinese --200 trained in 2016 and more than 400 trained in 2017.

·         Free helmet giveaway with youth cyclist education with 194,391 distributed since 2006 and over 400 distributed in 2016 and 6,115 distributed at 10 events in 2017 on the East Side.

·         Protected bike lanes, which began with First Avenue expanded to Second Avenue in 2017, have reduced in all vehicle, bike, and pedestrian collisions.

·         Enforcement against restaurants that deliver by bike with inspections for safety equipment such as vests, lights and bells with issuance of warnings or summonses in response to 311 complaints.

Bike New York

·         Free learn to bike ride safely for children and adults in gymnasiums and public parks.

·         Free bike safety classes to educate children and adults at schools, government offices, and local bike shops. Bike New York educated 13,815 people in New York City in 2016. So far in 2017 that number has grown to 22,081 in 2017 Citywide. In 2016, a total of 1,380 Eastsiders attended classes held in District, and so far in 1,160 in 2017.

·         Free Citi Bike Street Skills to educate adults who are Citi Bike members or thinking about joining on how to bike safely, comfortably and legally on city streets.

CitiBike operated by Motivate

·         Free day pass or month on annual membership from CitiBike following participation in monthly free bike safety training.

East 72nd Street Neighborhood Association

·         Grading Restaurants based on use of safety equipment (vests, lights, bells and helmets) and electric bikes.

New York Police Department (NYPD) 17th and 19th Precincts

·         Bike Lane Patrol by NYPD officers on bikes purchased by Council Members Kallos and Garodnick to improve enforcement of traffic regulations in bike lanes.

·         Increased enforcement on bike safety and respecting bike lanes by 17th and 19th precincts with support from Traffic Task Force.

The program was designed with advice and support from Transportation Alternatives and Streets PAC.

An analysis of NYPD Motor Vehicle Collision data from July 2012 to October 2017 for Zip Codes covering the East Side from 26th Street to 96th Street (10016, 10017, 10021, 10022, 10028,

10065, 10075, 10128) found:



Pedestrians Injured in Collisions with Motor Vehicles


Pedestrians Killed in Collisions with Motor Vehicles


Pedestrians Injured in Collisions with a Bicycle


Pedestrians Killed in Collisions with a Bicycle



Cyclists Collisions with Motor Vehicle


Cyclists Injured in Collision with Motor Vehicle


Cyclist Killed in Collision with Motor Vehicle

The same analysis also found a drop in the number of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians injured in collisions:

Additionally, the analysis found that the number of collisions involving cyclists has also gone down from 373 in 2015, to 350 in 2016, to only 228 so far in 2017.

“As cycling becomes more established as a form of transportation in New York City, NYC DOT is committed to giving New Yorkers who get around on two wheels the knowledge and tools they need to stay safe,” said DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Luis Sanchez. “Council Members Kallos and Garodnick have played a significant role in our ongoing efforts to educate and equip cyclists, and we are thrilled to continue partnering with them and the New York Police Department to make our streets safer for everyone who uses them.”

“Confident, predictable, respectful riding is the cornerstone of our free bike education program, and we’re thrilled to see our lessons having such a positive impact on the UES,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. “We salute the efforts of Council Members Kallos and Garodnick to make New York City a safer place for all street users, whether they’re pedaling, walking or driving. When responsible behavior is taught and enforced, and continued improvements to street infrastructure are made, everyone benefits.”

"E72NA visited every restaurant we surveyed and got great feedback. Our local restaurant owners and their delivery cyclists want to be good neighbors and value our patronage, and we want them to thrive in our neighborhood.  Between our first and second surveys we noted a marked improvement in riders following the existing regulations and a reduction in the use of e-bikes, which can travel at speeds of up to 20-28 miles an hour – dangerous for their riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike.  We thank Ben and Dan, NYPD, and our small business owners and their cyclists for joining together with E72NA and other stakeholders in the on-going effort to make our sidewalks and streets as safe as they can be." said Valerie Mason, founding President of the East 72nd Street Neighborhood Association.