New York, NY – The Progressive Caucus, in partnership with Transportation Alternatives, Streets Pac, Citi Bike, Bike New York, and Get Women Cycling, participated in its fourth annual Bike to Work Day today with group rides and a rally at City Hall to promote cycling advocacy and engagement. This event aims to bring attention to the need for resources to support bike safety, education, and infrastructure throughout the city. Caucus members support cycling because it promotes a healthy lifestyle, environmentally sustainable behavior, and a viable transportation option within a congested and overburdened system.
Progressive Caucus members also discussed transportation priorities from their new policy platform “Resistance & Progress: 18 Progressive Policies for 2018,” including the further expansion of the Citi Bike bike-share program in outer boroughs, as well as support of Fair Fares to allow those at or below the federal policy line to purchase reduced fare MetroCards, and the expansion of Bus Rapid Transits to reach underserved areas and seniors.
“New York City cyclists are critical to ensuring a better city for all of us. By cutting down on fuel emissions, they create a healthier environment; and they also reduce the strain on our overburdened mass transit system. For that, we dedicate this week to celebrating their contributions to our city, while continuing to address the need for safer transportation infrastructure for pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Vice-Chair for Budget for the Progressive Caucus.
“As everyday bike ridership increases in New York City, we must ensure riders are protected with the necessary infrastructure,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Vice Chair for Policy for the Progressive Caucus. “As I have every year since taking office, I’m biking to work to support investments in safe cycling, Vision Zero, and the expansion of a protected network of bike lanes throughout the City to make riders’ commutes easier.”
“Events like bike to work day get more New Yorkers on bikes, giving them a chance to try out this great way of getting around our city,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee. “At the same time, more New Yorkers get to experience the conditions that cyclists face and highlight why we must continue to build out cycling infrastructure to make it as safe as possible. I’m proud to have ridden a Citi Bike today and continue to urge the de Blasio Administration to make this option available to more communities across the city. When lower-income communities of color have more access to transportation, they are able to lift themselves into the middle class and Citi Bike can be a big part of that.”
“Biking is the healthiest, most environmentally sustainable, and fun way to get around in New York City,” said Council Member Brad Lander, the Council’s Deputy Leader for Policy. “We’ve made progress to improve our city’s bike infrastructure, but we still have a lot of work to do – especially when it comes to increasing awareness of biking resources throughout the city, investing in existing bike routes and planning new routes in all boroughs, and ensuring the best bike safety possible. I’m happy to be biking with so many of my colleagues on bike to work day, and look forward to continuing our improvements for seamless rides in the city.”
“The benefits of commuting by bike are many, and I applaud those constituents who are able to choose this healthy, environmentally sustainable way of getting to work and back,” said Council Member Deborah Rose. “As we approach New York City’s fourth annual Bike to Work Day — which looks to be a warm, clear day — I encourage my constituents to try cycling to work for a day. Those who can incorporate this into their daily routines not only save money on gas and healthcare expenses, but they help reduce air pollution, and feel better and more productive during the workday.”
“Biking to work has a far-reaching impact on people’s health and the overall quality of the City,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Deputy Leader. Experts agree commuting to work with a bicycle decreases the City’s carbon footprint, while improving bikers’ overall health. That’s why I’m proud to have sponsored Intro 795-A that is a part of a package of bills that improves bike access to commercial and residential buildings.”
“Bike to Work Day is an important opportunity to promote a healthy and environmentally friendly way to travel around our city,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “I am proud to be part of a growing movement to support alternative modes of transportation, and to ensure that all New Yorkers, including those who come from low-income communities of color, have access to viable transportation options.”
“If we are to take seriously the Vision Zero campaign, we must allocate more resources to protected bikes lanes throughout the city. The Bike to Work event helps elevate this conversation and emphasis the need for properly designed and protected bike paths throughout the City- without them the safety of all New Yorkers including bikers, motorists and pedestrians is at risk,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.
“On this day, we highlight a mode of transportation that improves our health, our environment, and access throughout our city,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “A city that bikes benefits in so many ways, but without the commitment to bike-friendly infrastructure we will never realize our full potential. While bike lanes and traffic calming measures are key, we also need a shift in the status quo thinking to better encourage riding on two wheels.”
“We would like to thank the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council for their steadfast support of safer cycling infrastructure and Citi Bike expansion to all 5 boroughs of New York City,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “Citi Bike has been a huge success everywhere it’s been rolled out, and it has helped contribute to a steady increase in the number of New Yorkers riding a bike as their regular form of transportation. We look forward to continue working with the Progressive Caucus to allocate public funding for Citi Bike to expand to the Bronx, Staten Island, far Upper Manhattan, and large swathes of Brooklyn and Queens, providing high quality bike share access to all New Yorkers.”
“Every person Get Women Cycling(GWC) converses with acknowledges New York City’s commuter landscape is changing in a big way,” said Angela Azzolino, Executive Director of Get Women Cycling. “For the first time in a long while New Yorkers have clear active transportation commuting options, thanks in part to the increase of pedestrian plazas, reduction of traffic lanes, a lower speed limit for cars, and an increase in the number of protected bike lanes. The changes which have occurred are extraordinary for a lot of people but certainly not for everyone. We stand with the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council on the steps of City Hall to urge local government to continue its great work and improve infrastructure in every neighborhood, to provide education across the board on active and multi-modal transportation, and to continue to implement policies for safer streets.”
“Efficiency has long been among New Yorkers’ top priorities, so it’s only natural that an increasing number are choosing to turn their commutes into affordable, practical workouts,” said Ken Podziba, President & CEO of Bike New York. “This is undeniably good news for our city for a wide range of reasons, so we’re thrilled that Progressive Caucus members and the City Council are celebrating National Bike to Work Week with a ride on Bike to Work Day—and we look forward to working with them to expand cycling education programs, develop infrastructure, and ensure the safety of cyclists in all five boroughs.”