New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, and Bike New YorkPresident and CEO Ken Podziba today joined Brooklyn students from P.S. 89 and I.S. 302 in Cypress Hills in a Bike to School Day ride to highlight bike riding as a safe, healthy and easy way to get around the city. DOT and Bike New York also announced that they are developing a new how-to manual to help any school citywide create and plan its own Bike to School Day to promote bicycling as a way to get to school any day of the year. With the support of the City Department of Education, Bike New York led a “Bike Safe, Bike Smart” assembly to teach bike safety and the rules of road to students at I.S. 302 and grades 6-8 at P.S. 89. DOT also provided and fitted helmets to students signed up for Bike to School Day while the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) arranged for loaned bikes from nonprofit Recycle-a-Bicycle. The DOT-led ride included four routes, each covering nearly a mile. The Commissioner and Podziba greeted the students, teachers and other school officials as they arrived at I.S. 302.
“Our city’s streets consistently are making the grade for safety as we work harder than ever to make them even safer for New Yorkers of all ages,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “We are teaching the next generation of New Yorkers how to get the most out of our streets by showing bikes can be a fast, fun and safe way to get to school.”
“Bike to School Dayis intended to show parents and the school community that bicycling can be a healthy, convenient and green transportation choice for people of all ages,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. “We encourage kids to ride through our educational programs, and Bike to School Day is certainly one of our most exciting endeavors. It epitomizes Bike New York ’s goals and highlights our enthusiasm for collaborating with like-minded organizations such as NYC DOT and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.”
In May 2010, DOT and BikeNew York introduced the first Bike to School Day ride with students at Brooklyn’s M.S. 51 in Park Slope, capping off a week of bike safety and education programming. According to DOT’s latest Sustainable Streets Index, commuter cycling increased 262% in New York City from 2000 to 2010 as the City has reached new milestones in safety. The last four years are the safest on record since the City began tracking data on traffic fatalities. In its landmark Pedestrian Safety Report and Action Plan, DOT found that streets with bike lanes are 40% less deadly for pedestrians, underscoring the important role the 500 miles of on-street bike lanes has in improving safety for everyone, whether they’re walking, bicycling or in a vehicle.
DOT also is increasing its safety education and outreach efforts by targeting pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and highlighting each group’s role and responsibilities for sharing the roadways. In addition to the Bike Smart seminars, DOT conducts bike education at the community level and citywide, and launched its “Don’t Be A Jerk” advertising campaign to call attention to several key rules for bike safety. The agency also continues to fit and distribute helmets, bike lights and bells, and other education materials on safe, responsible riding.
For more information, visit www.nyc.gov.