Citi Bike celebrates five months without a single rider fatality

New statistics released by the NYC Department of Transportation reveal an encouraging start to the bike-share program

Citi Bike

Citi Bike Photograph: Noffar Gat

Good news: Despite (mostly unfounded) fears of a massive spike in cycling-related fatalities, zero riders have been killed since Citi Bike launched in May. Opponents of Bloomberg's bike-share initiative said the city's constant traffic, congested streets and notoriously ruthless drivers would make the program—especially popular among inexperienced and helmetless bikers—hazardous, but new stats released by the Department of Transportation show that hasn't been the case.

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From January to October 2012, car crashes killed 18 cyclists in New York City, compared with 10 in the same time period this year. In neighborhoods served by the bike-share program, about 24 injuries and one fatality have been reported, but the victim was not riding a Citi Bike.

The data lines up with what cycling advocates call "safety in numbers": The more cyclists that are on the streets, the safer those streets are for bikers and pedestrians. When we spoke with Transportation Alternatives executive director Paul Steely White before Citi Bike's launch, he emphasized that phenomenon. "Streets with bike lanes are safer streets for everyone," he said. "They are streets that are more organized. There is less chaos."

We were surprised to learn that three riders were in fatal cycling accidents during the first year of Velib, the municipal bike-rental program in Paris—a city known for its extensive dedicated two-wheeler paths and widened bus corridors. Let's hope New York's encouraging trend continues as riders push for Citi Bike's expansion.

(h/t The New York Times)

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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