In October 2019, the New York City Council approved a project to install 250 miles of new protected bike lanes across the city. This is welcome news, but for many it comes too late—last year, the highest number of cyclist fatalities was reported in over two decades.
New York City has long been a haven for cyclists despite the dangers they face sharing the road with motor vehicles in one of the world’s most congested cities. Yet this alarming trend of rising cyclist deaths calls for drastic measures.
NYC Bike Safety Measures
NYC currently has about 1,250 miles of bike lanes, 126 of which are protected, meaning a barrier separates cyclists from moving vehicles using the road.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council have agreed on the $1.7 billion plan to improve road safety for cyclists. Mr. de Blasio has made street safety a priority since he took office in 2014—he plans to eliminate traffic deaths by 2024. While traffic fatalities in general have gone down in recent years, the number of bicyclists killed in 2019 remains concerning.
Aggressive Representation for Injured Cyclists
In 2019, a record 29 cyclists died and many more were injured in NYC. By comparison, there were only 10 fatalities in 2018. What is going on?
Reckless driving is typically the cause of cyclist injuries, yet drivers are only charged about half the time. Motor vehicle drivers killed a combined 148 pedestrians and cyclists in 2019, yet 76—more than half—have not been charged. This can occur for several reasons, including the driver committing a hit and run or simply because the driver is let off the hook by law enforcement.
Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians are meant to share the road. In a place as crowded as New York, accidents are inevitable even with safety measures in place. Even cyclists’ reckless behavior can cause accidents. But if we don’t begin to hold drivers more accountable for their negligent actions, it can send a dangerous message—that they can act with impunity and continue to put people at risk.
If you or a loved one has been injured in New York City while on a bicycle, there are people who can help. Belushin Law Group, P.A. has been representing accident victims since 2002 and our attorneys bring 75+ years of combined experience to each case. We will do everything we can to ensure the driver who hit you takes responsibility for their actions and grants you the settlement you deserve.