Cyclists Get Some TLC
In May, the NYC taxi and limousine Commission revealed a new tool to stop taxi passengers from opening doors in front of cyclists. The agency's new Passenger Information Sticker features prominent graphics (designed by T.A.) instructing passengers to "Watch For Bicyclists" and "Exit Curbside." The new Passenger Information Sticker will be displayed in all 12,000 of NYC's taxicabs.
According to the Department of City Planning, "dooring" is the most common cause of cycling crashes in New York City. Based on City Planning's statistics, T.A. estimates that 1,000 cyclists are "doored" each year, resulting in hundreds of broken bones and three to four deaths.
In April, cyclist safety also improved with the expansion of the Taxi Commission's Taxi TV program. Taxi TV, now in 400 yellow cabs, includes a well-made public safety announcement instructing passengers to check for cyclists before disembarking. While the Taxi TV public service announcement is very good, it rotates with other safety messages and does not reach every taxi passenger during every taxi trip, nor is it timed to show as passengers disembark.
Write to Taxi Commission Commissioner Matthew Daus and tell him that the Taxi Commission should install "anti-dooring" stickers on all taxicab partitions. These will be both a constant and timely reminder to taxi passengers to check for cyclists and on-coming traffic before opening their doors. Placed on the taxi's partition, passengers will see the stickers during every cab ride, including when they pass money through the partition to pay cab drivers and prepare to disembark.