Thursday, October 21, 2010

CBS News Reports :NYC To Start Recording Accidents Between Bikes, Pedestrians

click this link for the full story:

NYC To Start Recording Accidents Between Bikes, Pedestrians 

The Department of Transportation can't fudge the numbers any longer thanks to the hard work of Nancy Gruskin and Jack Brown . For possibly decades now the Dept. of Transportation has relied on faulty data when reporting on the the number of accidents between bicycles and pedestrians in NYC.  It's no wonder then that bike lane and cycling advocacy groups used this faulty data, without bothering to check its legitimacy,  to further their agenda regardless of impacts to small business and resident opposition.  It's dangerous when our City government relies on dubious data, it's even more dangerous when non-profit groups use that data to install permanent changes to our City streets.

Now that actual recording of bicycle on pedestrian accidents will be kept, at least while the pressure is on, seniors, children and the disabled community can begin to see hope in reclaiming their sidewalks, crosswalks and streets from ill-informed transient zealots.

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Pedestrians hit and injured by bicycle riders – it’s a statistic that no one kept. However, after CBS 2 exposed the gap in record-keeping, New York City is moving to fill in the blanks.
In a city where pedestrians and bike riders are clashing, some advocates say something is missing in the debate – reliable injury data.
“Hard data on incidents between bicyclists and pedestrians, it’s a real missing link,” Nancy Gruskin, of the Gruskin Family Foundation, said.
Gruskin learned that the hard way after her husband, Stuart, was fatally injured by a reckless bike rider last year in Midtown.
As CBS 2 revealed in our “Bike Bedlam” reports, New York City hasn’t been collecting data on the number of pedestrians injured by bike riders.
After CBS 2 helped Gruskin get a meeting with NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, however, some progress has been made.
DOT told Gruskin the state has agreed to use motor vehicle accident forms to finally document accidents between bike riders and pedestrians.
It’s a victory for Gruskin and her bike safety foundation, but one that won’t come immediately.
The data collection won’t begin until next April, and the numbers won’t be crunched for months after that, even as the city moves forward with plans to build miles of additional dedicated bike lanes.
“I think they have an agenda, and they’re gonna push that agenda through,” Lois Carswell, of Seniors for Safety, said.
On Thursdays, the critics will call for the city to rip up the controversial bike lane on Prospect Park West. This being New York City, though, there will be a counter-protest by bike lane supporters, as the debate spins on and on.
“I’m very happy with the results of DOT’s work here,” one resident said.
While the city and state work to start collecting the injury data, bike safety advocates are working with hospitals to document the problem using emergency room reports.

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