Kathryn Garcia commits to improving bike and street safety

On Sunset Park’s Third Avenue (Brooklyn), a notoriously dangerous stretch for cyclists, New York City Mayoral Candidate Kathryn Garcia committed to fully implementing NYC 25X25, to give the streets back to the people and strengthen bike safety, particularly in low-income neighborhoods long neglected by historic disinvestment.

Today our streets and sidewalks are a losing battle between competing uses. To prioritize the public in our city’s public spaces, Garcia is committed to converting 25% of the space currently devoted for cars into space for people. As part of this commitment, Garcia would:

Expand the protected bike lane network to be more equitable and interconnected with at least 250 additional miles of protected lanes, prioritizing connectivity.

Better maintain the bike lanes we already have through swift procurement of badly needed small equipment to clean and plow bike lanes.

Build and expand bike parking spaces, including racks, corrals, and secure bike parking so that cycling can be a real, reliable transportation option for working New Yorkers – and not just a novel amenity or recreation for the wealthy.

As more New Yorkers opt to bike for essential transit, and many utilize bikes for essential work such as food delivery, the City will need to do more than expand access to bicycles and improve street livability–the City will need to build and invest in bicycle security. Secure bike parking is a critical and scarce utility in New York City, but it shouldn’t be and under a mayor Garcia, it won’t be.

2021 is on track to be the second deadliest year during the de Blasio era. In the last eight years under current Mayor de Blasio, the City has failed to deliver on 11 different plans to improve bike parking and safety. Where de Blasio plans and ponders, Garcia executes. The data shows that more bicycle parking has significant potential to “encourage increased cycling, prevent traffic crashes, and reduce the barriers for communities, especially low-income communities and communities of color.”

As mayor, Garcia would expand bicycle parking to match increasing need and build bicycle parking near transit hubs to continue creating a more interconnected public transit system.

Said Kathryn Garcia, “In recent years, the City has taken some steps to encourage more New Yorkers to bike. By making it safer and easier for New Yorkers to ride bicycles, we can reduce dependency on cars, support local business, protect the environment, and improve overall health and wellbeing for our city. The benefits are endless and speak for themselves.

“Unfortunately, the limited progress made under Mayor de Blasio’s administration –to expand the protected bike lane network and introduce a bike share program– has been concentrated in our wealthiest zip codes. Nowhere is this more apparent than in neighborhoods like Sunset Park and on Third Avenue, where we have seen a disturbingly high number of New Yorkers killed by traffic violence.

“Coming out of this pandemic, we have an opportunity to return our streets to the people and invest in critical bike infrastructure–particularly in low-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color, where our streets are most dangerous due to years of neglect by our elected leaders in government.

“When I’m mayor, I will create a more liveable New York. We will put the people first and execute on the common sense solutions to make our streets safer and our city healthier.”

In over 7 years, Mayor de Blasio has failed to make any meaningful changes to New York City’s roadways to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists. As mayor, Garcia would:

Achieve Vision Zero by making changes to the built environment to physically prevent crashes, instead of relying only on driver behavior change.

Protect pedestrians by leveraging automated enforcement including speed- safety, red-light cameras and new technologies like failure-to-yield cameras.

Protect bikers through robust enforcement of bike lane violations and safety barriers that work. Bike safety is paramount: we must protect the workers for whom a safe bike lane isn’t optional—it’s their job to be there.

Align the agencies that play a role in traffic enforcement to streamline and centralize management and accountability in one department.

Better integrate CitiBike into the existing transit network and subsidize expansion into communities that have been underserved by the existing program.

Read Garcia’s full transportation plan here.

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