Bicycle Blueprint
Introduction

NYC Cycling
1. NYC Bike Policy
2. State of NYC Cycling
3. Cyclists & Streets
A Bike and a Prayer


Riding Infrastructure
4. Street Design
5. Bridges
6. Road Surfaces
7. Greenways
8. Parks
9. Bicycles and Transit
10. Reducing Traffic


Security
11. Bicycle Theft
12. On-Street Parking
13. Indoor Parking


On the Job Cycling
14. Bicycle Messengers
Fifth, Park & Madison
15. Freight Cycles
16. Gov't Cycling


Reducing Risks
Accidents
Three Who Died
18. Air Pollution


Bicycle Education
19. Schools
20. Public Education


Appendices

      Chapter 17:
Accidents
a) Perceptions and Reality
b) Accident Statistics
 Cyclist/Pedestrian Accidents
d) Motor Vehicle Collisions
e) Helmet Laws
f) Chapter 17 Recommendations
Table 17: Collisions and Fatalities in NYC Traffic Accidents

Cyclist/Pedestrian Accidents

Other patterns emerge when the statistics from various years are compared. The most striking change over the past decade has been the decrease in collisions between bicyclists and pedestrians (see Table 17). The number of reported collisions climbed from around 400 in the early 1980s, steadily up to a high of 707 in 1985, and then dropped even more steadily to just 298 in 1992 — the lowest number ever recorded. (Annual fatalities, ranging from 0 to 3, seem to follow no particular pattern.) The decline is more impressive still when the increase in the volume of cycling is taken into account.

The Police Department has attributed the impressive drop in cyclist-pedestrian accidents to its aggressive ticketing policy of cyclists. There is a certain correlation: from 1985 to 1986, when the bicycle messenger industry gained visibility and notoriety, the number of summonses issued to cyclists nearly tripled from 6,578 to 18,130, while bicycle-pedestrian accidents dropped 11 percent, from 707 to 631. Yet since then the rate of summonses has dropped back down, to 10,395 in 1990, while bicycle-pedestrian accidents have continued to decline. Moreover, while there is no record of which party is at fault in bicycle-pedestrian accidents, clearly a good proportion of them can be traced to jaywalking, for which the Police Department issued virtually no summonses.

The bicycling community ascribes the halving in bicycle-pedestrian accidents since 1985 instead to a gradual mutual accommodation of cyclists and pedestrians. The increase in accidents occurred in the mid-1980s, during a big boom in city cycling. As pedestrians and cyclists have learned to adjust to each other and anticipate each other's moves, the number has fallen back down.

In addition, cycling groups have stressed safety and kinship between cyclists and pedestrians, from the collegial rhetoric that flourished in the 1987 demonstrations against the midtown bike ban, to the constant safety exhortations in Transportation Alternatives' City Cyclist magazine. The increasing respect cyclists have received as public opinion and political action gradually shift in their favor may also have played a part in encouraging improved cyclist behavior.

If the city reduced car use by eliminating curbside auto parking, in favor of bike lanes or wider sidewalks in congested areas, the number of pedestrian-bicycle and pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents would also decrease due to the improved visual contact between sidewalk and street. Slowing motor vehicle traffic would also ease the general assault on the senses New York City motor traffic now presents, allowing all parties to pay better attention to people and vehicles moving around them (see Chapter 4: Street Design).




a) Perceptions and Reality
b) Accident Statistics
 Cyclist/Pedestrian Accidents
d) Motor Vehicle Collisions
e) Helmet Laws
f) Chapter 17 Recommendations
Table 17: Collisions and Fatalities in NYC Traffic Accidents