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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #11-42

NYC DOT and T.A. Invite New Yorkers to Take the Bike Smart Pledge During Bike Month

Bike Smart Pledge to safe riding supports Gruskin Foundation’s “5 to Ride” campaign

More than 200 bike-friendly events give New Yorkers fun ways to enjoy Bike Month NYC 2011

New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Transportation Alternatives (T.A.) today announced that Bike Month NYC 2011 is in full swing and encouraged New Yorkers to take the Bike Smart Pledge to ride safely during the annual, month-long celebration of bicycling in New York City—and every day of the year. Presented by DOT and T.A. in collaboration with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Department of Parks & Recreation and GreeNYC, Bike Month NYC includes more than 200 organized riders, races, workshops and other events to promote the safety, convenience and ease of cycling for transportation and recreation. Bike Month is also a great time for the city’s growing number of cyclists to commit to following top five, simple bicycling rules: Yield to pedestrians; Stop at red lights and stop signs; Ride in the direction of traffic; Stay off the sidewalk unless you’re 12 or younger; and Use bike lights at night. The online pledge at nyc.gov/dot also links to the “5 to Ride” campaign at www.5toride.org, supporting the Stuart C. Gruskin Family Foundation founded by Nancy Gruskin in honor of her husband, who died in a 2009 Midtown collision with a wrong-way delivery cyclist. Bike Month activities are free and provide great opportunities to enjoy biking as an effective, greener and healthy commuting option in the city. Bike Month NYC highlights include National Bike To Work Day on Friday, May 20, with T.A. “commuter stations” in every borough featuring iced coffee and a snack, and Bike Bonanza on May 22, a fun gathering that combines a bike swap with activities to teach safe riding.

“Our streets are for everyone, and Bike Month is a great time to explore the sights and sounds of this city by bike—and also to bike smart,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “It’s never been easier and safer for New Yorkers of all ages and skill levels to get around on two wheels. Now cyclists must also be smart and take the Bike Smart Pledge for the safety of everyone who uses our streets.”

“Thanks to our city’s commitment to creating safe space on our streets for everyone, more New Yorkers are riding bikes than ever before,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “With so many New Yorkers choosing two-wheeled transit, it’s important that everyone is sharing our streets safely and courteously. That's why the DOT is launching the Bike Smart Pledge and Transportation Alternatives created our Biking Rules Campaign in 2009 and bringing Bike Ambassadors to our streets this summer. By sticking to a few common sense rules, New York Citycyclists are taking the lead to create safer, saner streets for everyone.”

“The 5 to Ride Campaign is a way for businesses to help make the city streets safer by pledging to educate their delivery cyclists on the top 5 rules of the road,” said Nancy Gruskin. “Dozens of restaurants and individuals have already signed up testifying that while biking is fun, it also carries a great responsibility and an even greater commitment to safety. Everyone can support the efforts of the foundation by purchasing a cool 5 to Ride t-shirt or tote bag and commit to the safety of everyone who walks, drives and bikes on the streets.”

As part of DOT’s ongoing efforts to educate all roadway users, including bicyclists, the agency also will launch the celebrity “Don’t Be a Jerk” advertising campaign, which asks all New Yorkers to ride by the rules.

Bike Month NYC encourages biking by bringing together fun, educational events ranging from group rides to bike-repair clinics to bike-skills workshops. According to DOT’s latest Sustainable Streets Index, commuter cycling increased 262% in New York Cityfrom 2000 to 2010. To promote Bike Month NYC, a new advertising campaign featuring New Yorkers on their bikes is now on posters and billboards throughout the city. DOT also continues to build on its efforts to make New York City’s streets safer for everyone on them, adding 250 bike-lane miles to its on-street network in the last four years. It also installed more than 11,000 bike racks citywide.

To learn more about T.A.’s Biking Rules Campaign, visit bikingrules.org. A list of Bike Month NYC events held across the five boroughs is below. For a complete list or a printed schedule, visit bikemonthnyc.org. To download the new 2011 NYC Cycling Map, visit nyc.gov or call 311.

Bike Month Event Highlights

National Bike To Work Day, May 20: Join T.A. at bike commuter stops for breakfast, tips and special giveaways for cyclists.

Bike Bonanza NYC, May 22: Free, fun activities for the whole family. The event takes place from noon - 4 p.m. at Travers Park in Queens and includes a bike swap, free helmet fitting and safe-cycling skills classes. (Additional Bike Bonanza events will be held in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island during the summer and fall.)

Art By Bike – Tour of DOT’s Public Art Installations, May 22: Under bridges, beside bike paths and above sidewalks, DOT’s Urban Art Program installs surprising art to streets citywide. Join DOT’s public art tour on May 22 at 9:30 a.m. starting at Allen and Houston streets in Manhattan.

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