FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND COMMISSIONER SADIK-KHAN ACCEPT NATIONAL BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITY AWARD
New York's Efforts to Increase Bike Resources and Facilities City Wide are Recognized by the League of American Bicyclists
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today accepted the Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Award from the League of American Bicyclists during a meeting at City Hall. The award recognizes New York's commitment to improving conditions for bicycling and its investment in bicycling programs and facilities. The number of cyclists in New York has grown by an estimated 75 percent since 2000 and New York is in the midst of an ambitious plan to make all five boroughs more bike friendly. The BFC designation has four levels and New York was awarded a bronze. In the award's five year existence 174 communities have applied for the designation and 70 have been successful. New York City is the only community in the region to be designated a Bike Friendly Community.
"A central part of our PlaNYC is to reduce carbon emissions by getting people out of cars. We're trying to make it easier for people to use their bikes as a viable means of transportation and we appreciate this recognition," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Whether through increasing and improving bicycle lanes or building bike shelters near transit hubs, by making New York more bike friendly, we're taking steps to prepare for the future."
"At DOT biking is a priority, and promoting increased use of bicycles meets with the objectives of the Mayor's PlaNYC," said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. "We're happy that our efforts are being recognized nationally and we remain committed to making New York even more bike friendly."
"The Bicycle Friendly Community award to New York City is recognition of the impressive steps they have taken in recent years to improve conditions for cyclists," said League of American Bicyclists Executive Director Andy Clarke. "The foundations are being laid to make New York City a great city for cycling. The incredible culture of cycling in the city created by Transportation Alternatives, Bike New York, and others, is a testament to the city's huge potential."
League judges consider several factors before granting BFC status, including:
BFC judges were particularly impressed with what was described as "the most thorough crash analysis of any city in the country." DOT, in conjunction with the Departments of Health, Parks and the Police Department completed a comprehensive analysis of all cyclist fatalities and serious injuries during the previous ten years. Amongst other conclusions, the analysis showed that cyclists were safest when they were traveling in a bike lane and wearing a helmet. DOT has since undertaken, and is on pace to complete, a three-year effort to double the number of on-street bike lane miles. They have also begun a program to provide free official NYC bike helmets at safety education events. Thus far they have given away over 10,000 free helmets. In addition, a partnership among city agencies, advocacy groups, AAA and the advertising firm Publicis has begun a public education campaign intended to make drivers and cyclists aware of their rights and responsibilities on the road. And New York has recently built North America's first on-street bike lane that is physically separated from vehicle traffic by bollards and a lane of parked cars.
Stu Loeser / John Gallagher (212) 788-2958
Seth Solomonow (Department of Transportation)