New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan , along with Council Members Gale Brewer, Jessica Lappin, Dan Garodnick and Council Transportation Committee Chairman James Vacca, today announced that DOT is expanding its safety efforts with New York's largest commercial cycling education and safety campaign to make New York City's historically safe streets even safer. DOT on Monday will activate the City's first-ever commercial cyclist outreach and enforcement unit, a six-person team of DOT inspectors who will go door-to-door on the Upper West Side providing information to hundreds of restaurants and other businesses that employ cyclists on their existing legal requirements to provide safety information and safe equipment to their delivery workers-including helmets, identifying apparel and ID numbers. After six months, businesses that fail to comply with the commercial cycling laws may receive a violation from DOT resulting in a fine ranging from $100 to $300. NYPD will continue its ongoing enforcement against individual cyclists who ride on the sidewalk or against traffic, who disobey signs and signals or who do not wear a helmet, among other infractions, having given out 14,392 violations last year to cyclists-up from 3,874 in 2010. The participants were joined outside Lenny's sandwich shop on Columbus Avenue and 84th Street by local business representatives committed to the program, Columbus Avenue BID Executive Director Barbara Adler and NYC Hospitality Alliance Executive Director Andrew Rigie. Lenny's has one of the city's more robust commercial cycling safety management programs, with all delivery staff trained in safety; equipped with reflective vests, ID cards; and restaurant management reports indicating fewer safety incidents.
"New Yorkers are used to getting what they want, fast, but businesses that depend on bike deliveries can't cut corners on safety," said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. "Safe deliveries begin long before New Yorkers place their orders and the deliveryman grabs the bag, so we will be bringing safety information directly to business managers so that they understand that safety is literally part of their bottom line."
"Cycling is a financially smart, healthy, and green way for restaurants to do business in New York City, but only when delivery cyclists are educated and obey relevant laws," said Council Member Brewer. "I am pleased to be here today to kick off the NYC Department of Transportation's education campaign for restaurant owners and delivery cyclists. The Upper West Side has the City's highest number of 311 complaints regarding cyclists. To address this concern, my office produces "Rules of the Road" literature to hand out to riders, and with DOT we have sponsored helmet fittings for the general riding public. We look forward to co-sponsoring similar events for delivery cyclists. I have also walked door to door, along with the police officers from the 20 Precinct, to speak with restaurant managers to make sure that they know the rules regarding the proper equipment for their employees who make deliveries. Finally, my office, along with DOT and Community Board 7, recently held a training event for restaurant managers and over 50 businesses attended. These efforts have been productive, but given the large number of complaints from the public about speeding cyclists, I welcome DOT's initiative and thank the staff for their innovative campaign."
"New Yorkers believe they have a constitutional right to great food delivered to their door while it's still hot - and they're right" said Council Member Dan Garodnick. "That cannot mean that we will compromise the safety of our streets in the process. I'm pleased to stand with the Department of Transportation in their expanded outreach and enforcement."
"We need to put the brakes on dangerous delivery bicycles," Said Council Member Jessica Lappin. "Education and enforcement will make us all safer on our streets."
"The Department of Transportation is absolutely right to work with businesses and commercial cyclists to educate them on the rules of the road," said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the Transportation Committee. "I introduced legislation in February that would require commercial cyclists to take a bicycle safety course for this exact same reason. Commercial cyclists and owners must know that helmets, lights, bells, and vests are required, and that traffic laws apply to them. We must work to pass this legislation to codify these efforts."
"Lenny's is very proud to be a part of the city's campaign to promote Commercial Cyclist Safety in the city, as we at Lenny's have been at the forefront of doing whatever we can to ensure the safety of our delivery staff as well as pedestrians," said Chief Executive Officer Lenny Chu. "For the past three years, we have designed and implemented safety programs for our delivery staff in order to reduce the number of bike accidents, which have been tremendously helpful and effective. We are glad to be recognized by the city for our effort and to partake in this campaign that will hopefully bring more businesses to join our effort for cyclist safety in New York City."
"The Department of Transportation's initiative to engage and educate restaurants is a refreshing way to achieve regulatory compliance while ensuring the safety of hard working delivery personnel and pedestrians, said NYC Hospitality Alliance Executive Director Andrew Rigie. "It also means that busy, hungry New Yorkers may continue to get the delivery food they crave."
"Two Boots supports any and all efforts to improve bicycle safety in NYC," said Owner and Founder Phil Hartman. "As bike riders we've gloried in the Transportation Dept.'s transformation of NYC's streets, and look forward to a future where green transportation rules the day.
New York City streets have never been safer, with fatalities at their lowest levels since records were first kept in 1910. Serious bike traffic crashes have remained unchanged in the last decade even as commuter bike riding has grown four times.
DOT inspectors for the next six months will visit restaurants, stores and other businesses starting on the Upper West Side and then moving to the Upper East Side to provide the required Commercial Bicyclist Safety poster in a variety of languages, as well as brochures for workers and templates for the ID cards to be filled out by businesses. DOT also has an ongoing program to provide free bike helmet fittings for commercial cyclists. Additionally, DOT safety education personnel will host a series of neighborhood business forums to train business owners in detail on the commercial cyclist requirements and general bicycle safety practices. At these forums some free equipment will also be distributed. After six months of information and education, inspectors will start to issue violations to businesses that fail to comply with the commercial cycling laws, such as failing to provide their delivery cyclists with required upper body apparel bearing the business's name or bicycle equipment such as lights or helmets; post safety posters in the workplace indicating the rules of the road for the safe operation of bicycles. A full list of safe biking requirements is available at nyc.gov/dot. After visiting these initial areas, inspectors will move to other neighborhoods throughout the city with high numbers of delivery cyclists.
Below are images of the template for the ID card commercial cyclists are required to carry and the poster businesses are required to post inside their establishments informing employees of the law: