NYC public advocate calls for increased safety measures for cyclists
After taking a bike ride from Brooklyn and across the Brooklyn bridge Tuesday afternoon, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams held a news conference aimed at raising awareness about the latest tragedy: Sunday’s horrific fatal collision in Brooklyn. It was the 19th cyclist death on city streets this year.
“When I look at a problem, I always try to look at it from a position of privilege to less privilege,” Williams said. “The fact of the matter is, on the road, the driver behind the multi-ton metal is the most privileged position on the road.”
Members of advocacy organization Transportation Alternatives joined Williams in pushing for more protections for cyclists.
“First and foremost, we need to have a citywide connected network of protected bike lanes,” said Marco Conner of Transportation Alternatives.
City Councilman Carlos Menchaca took a moment to not so subtly call out Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is on the campaign trail running for president, to help increase protections for cyclists.
“The people who are dying in our cities and neighborhoods are just trying to get to work. The deaths that are happening are happening because of inaction,” he said. “We’re calling on the mayor to refocus his energy on the City of New York.”
A mayoral spokesperson responded to the calls from other city officials.
“The mayor is laser focused on making our streets safer for cyclists and saving lives,” the spokesperson said. “We are aggressively implementing his cycling safety plan to continue the most dramatic expansion of protected bike lanes of any city in the country.”