The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down. New York, New York — it’s a harmful city!
Metropolis planners bike owner harm numbers through the COVID-19 pandemic might consolation themselves that accidents are largely flat in comparison with the virus-free months final 12 months, even amid a biking increase — however a real evaluation of accidents between March and September reveal that the carnage is steeply growing in components of the town with the worst bike infrastructure and the place driving has returned to pre-pandemic ranges.
Let’s unpack that:
First, based on the town’s personal knowledge, accidents to cyclists elevated solely barely from March by means of September this 12 months, in comparison with the identical interval final 12 months. Within the COVID-era seven-month interval, there have been — 3,231 cyclists injured, up 1.2 % from the 3,269 cyclists who had been injured within the comparable seven-month interval of 2019.
And that comes throughout a well-documented increase in biking.
- Accidents within the Bronx — which has the worst bike infrastructure within the metropolis — are up 43 % on this 12 months’s March to September stretch, in comparison with the identical interval final 12 months. In all, 518 cyclists have been injured within the final seven months within the Boogie Down.
- In Queens, which additionally lacks bike security infrastructure within the neighborhoods with the very best want, accidents are up 12.2 % — with 681 cyclists injured within the borough between March and September this 12 months.
- Brooklyn has the very best numbers of injured cyclists due to the sheer variety of Kings County residents who cycle. Accidents within the borough are nonetheless extreme — 1,294 individuals had been injured in Brooklyn during the last seven months — however they’re principally flat in comparison with final 12 months.
- Even the Brooklyn numbers reveal the hazard in neighborhoods with poor bike infrastructure. Within the northern half of Brooklyn, the place bike infrastructure is substantial, accidents are down 5 %, however within the southern portion of Brooklyn, the place infrastructure is proscribed, accidents are up 2.2 %.
- Bike owner accidents in Staten Island (not proven on chart) are up 19 % through the COVID interval, in comparison with the identical months final 12 months — from 53 to 63.
Regardless of these numbers, biking accidents seem like flat citywide, because of a steep lower in accidents to cyclists in Manhattan, which not solely has the very best bike infrastructure within the metropolis, but in addition remains to be having fun with a dramatic lower within the variety of automobiles filling its streets with hazard, congestion and frustration.
Accidents are down 18 % in Manhattan, evaluating March to September of this 12 months in opposition to the identical interval final 12 months — from 948 accidents to 776. That comes as complete automobile miles being pushed are nonetheless down by virtually 1 / 4 versus pre-pandemic numbers, according to Streetlight Data.
On the similar time, driving has elevated in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and it has principally returned to pre-pandemic ranges in Queens, based on the identical knowledge.
Taken collectively, biking advocates are calling for quick motion:
“For every bike rider who results in a police harm report, there are seemingly a number of extra knocked off their bikes who’re in a position to escape with highway rash and unhealthy bruising, however don’t change into a statistic,” mentioned Jon Orcutt of Bike New York. “That’s hardly a local weather for constructing bike using into the resilient and sustainable transportation system New York wants so desperately wants at this time.”
Orcutt particularly blamed the mayor for not making a extra equitable, fuller bike community. The very best bike infrastructure nonetheless exists within the whitest neighborhoods within the metropolis, as this exclusive data visualization from Streetsblog’s Kira McDonald shows.
“The protected bike lane map is a political map,” Orcutt mentioned. “It’s largely the fault of the mayor for not saying, ‘We’re doing a great bike community. That’s my coverage.’ However [there are also] native officers who make it tougher for DOT to allocate house for biking in lots of components of city.”
Native New Yorker. Travel addict. Hardcore thinker. Analyst. Pop culture fanatic. I live in Queens with my wife Linda and our dog Clemenza.