With cyclist fatalities and hit-and-run crashes at unacceptable levels this year in New York City, street safety advocates from Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets will hold a mass bike ride with hundreds of cyclists on the evening of Thursday, September 15th to say: Enough. TransAlt mobilized a broad coalition of bike and street safety groups after 78-year-old Michael Schenkman was struck and killed by a driver in Bayside, Queens on August 24th, in what was the 16th cyclist fatality of 2016. This week brings news of a 17th fatality, after an unnamed cyclist was killed in East Elmhurst, Queens early Tuesday morning.
“We’re riding to send a send a message that the City is off course in its Vision Zero effort to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2024,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “15 people on bikes were killed in New York City in all of 2015; this year we surpassed that number before Labor Day. Hit-and-runs against cyclists and pedestrians have also already reached the same number as we saw during all of last year. These critical Vision Zero statistics are moving in the wrong direction, and we want to know what Mayor de Blasio is going to do about it.”
Riders will demand that the Mayor take immediate action to fund and fast-track protected bike lanes and safeguarded pedestrian crossings for all 446 Vision Zero Priority Corridors and Intersections. Nearly half of this year’s cycling fatalities have taken place in areas designated as "Priority" locations in the City’s Pedestrian Safety Action Plans.
When advocates ride together to demand safe passage for cyclists and pedestrians, they will be led by the most vulnerable users of the streets -- new cyclists, teens, older New Yorkers, and kids. 6-year-old Galit Gordon, who will be coming from Brooklyn to join the ride, said, "We need safer streets so that no one gets run over by cars and trucks and so kids can ride their bikes to school.”
WHAT: Mass Bike Ride to Demand Safe Passage for Cyclists and Pedestrians
WHERE: Riders gather at E. 59th St and Fifth Ave and finish at Washington Square Park
WHEN: Thursday, September 15, Riders meet at 6pm and depart at 6:30
WHO: Transportation Alternatives, Families For Safe Streets, Right of Way, Black Girls Do Bike, Kidical Mass BK, WE Bike NYC, Recycle-A-Bicycle, 5BBC, Bike New York, Time's Up, CHEKPEDS, the NYC Mechanical Gardens Bike Coop, Get Women Cycling, the New York Bicycle Messenger Foundation, the Century Road Club Association, the New York Cycle Club and Bicycle Habitat.