Over the last several years, the adoption of cycling as a form of exercise as well as a viable mode of transportation has grown. This is something that most people would believe is positive for both the health of people who choose to ride a bike and for the environment as cycling does not contribute to carbon emissions like driving a car does. While these facts are true, so too is another fact: riding a bike in any area of New York City could be putting a person’s life in danger.
Even by the end of the third quarter of 2019, AM New York had reported that the number of bicyclists killed on city streets that year far outnumbered that from the entire 2018 calendar year. In 2018, 10 riders died in accidents across New York. In the first three quarters of 2018, the city recorded 22 bicyclist deaths. Just a few years into the Mayor’s program designed to eradicate traffic deaths, called Vision Zero, it seemed that things had taken a turn for the worse.
Fast forward into 2020 and the New York Post reported that even more bike riders were killed in the remaining months of 2019. The 10 cyclist deaths of 2018 were followed by 29 cyclist deaths in 2019. Of the 29 riders killed, 17 perished in Brooklyn alone. In response to this tragic trend, the city has initiated work to create 30 miles of new bike lanes or paths, 10 miles of which will be in Brooklyn.
The prevalence of large trucks and SUVs has been suspected to be a contributor to the problems faced by bicyclists.