De Blasio Promises ‘Vigorous NYPD Enforcement’ to Prevent More Cyclist Deaths

Mayor Bill de Blasio and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg testing out dockless bikes in the Rockaways (Via Mayor’s Office)

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday said the city is in the midst of an “emergency,” following a series of bicycle fatalities. 

“We absolutely have an emergency on our hands,” the mayor said Monday evening during his weekly NY1 appearance. “We’ve been using the Vision Zero strategy now for over five years, it’s been working consistently, but what we’ve seen these last weeks and months is not acceptable.”

The mayor’s comments come after a man was killed while on a bike by a man driving a vehicle in Brownsville last Thursday, prompting elected officials and street safety advocates to hold a vigil. On Monday afternoon, another cyclist was killed by a driver, this time in Williamsburg. Out of the 15 cyclist deaths that have taken place this year, 10 have been struck and killed in Brooklyn. 

On Monday, de Blasio pledged to use a “full court press to stop” in response to the spate of cyclist deaths, and said the city will “use the power of NYPD enforcement on motorists to try and immediately jolt this situation.”

Specifically, the mayor said there will be more “police presence focused on making sure” motorists do not drive in bike lanes, that they do not go above the speed limit, and that drivers “remember to yield to bicyclists and pedestrians in all the places they’re supposed to.”

“We have to do something more and better, and then over time, we’re building a lot more bike lanes, and a lot more of them are protected for sure,” he added. “We’ve got much, much more to do in terms of bike lanes, but right now, in terms of making immediate difference, it will be very vigorous NYPD enforcement on vehicles.”

On Wednesday at 10 a.m., Council Member Antonio Reynoso will gather with safe street advocates at the corner of Bushwick Avenue and Boerum Street to mourn the death of the aforementioned cyclist killed Monday by a cement truck driver.

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Sam Raskin

Sam Raskin has reported for Politico New York, Gotham Gazette, Gothamist and Curbed New York.

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