New York, NY – The Progressive Caucus, in partnership with StreetsPAC, Transportation Alternatives, Bike New York, Get Women Cycling, and Citi Bike, participated in its sixth annual Bike to Work Day today with group rides and a rally at City Hall to promote cycling advocacy and engagement. Council Members Ben Kallos, Carlina Rivera, Keith Powers, Carlos Menchaca, Brad Lander, Antonio Reynoso, and Jimmy Van Bramer were in attendance, and led rides from Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens respectively. 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.
Caucus members have put forward several pieces of legislation focused on street safety, including Council Member Rivera’s Bike Lane Bill (Intro 1163), Ydanis Rodriguez’ Vision Zero Design Standard Bill (Intro 0322), Council Member Menchaca’s Cyclist/Pedestrian Control Signals Bill (Intro 1457), and Council Member Lander’s Dangerous Driving Bill (Intro 971).
Through this legislation and ongoing advocacy, the Caucus is pushing for reforms to improve street design and safety and to allow for accessible alternatives to transportation, including bike lanes, but also bus and other forms of public transit. The Progressive Caucus has been an outspoken advocate on this issue, and the Caucus’ policy platform “Resistance & Progress: 18 Progressive Policies for 2018,” includes bike- and transit-related policy priorities, including the further expansion of the Citi Bike bike-share program in outer boroughs, the decriminalization of e-bikes used by immigrant delivery workers, increased investments in pedestrian safety, and the expansion of Bus Rapid Transit and bus improvements to provide faster reliable service to underserved areas to benefit low-income New Yorkers of color and seniors.
“Despite the fact that New York City residents are becoming more accustomed to cyclists on our streets, we must continue to ensure riders are protected with the necessary infrastructure in each and every borough,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “My tradition to support Bike to Work Day continues into my second term as does my work for more investments in safe cycling and Vision Zero, and the expansion of a protected network of bike lanes throughout my district and the City.”
“While we are excited to be celebrating National Bike Month and encouraging all New Yorkers to bike to work this month, we also must acknowledge that the city is failing to keep cyclists safe in 2019. We are less than half-way through the year and already 10 bicyclists have been killed on our streets, the same number of fatalities that occurred in all of 2018. Those of us in the Council know we must prioritize the safety of all who use our streets, and it’s time the city join us and dramatically increase pedestrian and bike safety infrastructure,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Member of the Progressive Caucus.
“I was proud to join the Progressive Caucus on Bike to Work Day to send a message that our streets are for everyone and should be designed to be shared,” said Council Member Keith Powers, Vice-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “As we work to manage congestion across the city, that comes with solutions for cyclists that are safe, and education for others. I look forward to enhanced ways to share our streets.”
“Bike riding offers New York City residents with a healthy, environmentally friendly, and convenient mode of transportation,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Member of the Progressive Caucus. “The administration must do much more to invest in bicycle infrastructure and crack down on dangerous driver behavior like double parking in bike lanes to ensure that cycling is safe for all. We must also work to expand bike share programs to underserved communities that currently lack other viable transportation alternatives. Thank you to the Progressive Caucus for your continued advocacy on behalf of this cause.”
“Biking is the most fun, fast, and sustainable way to travel around New York, ” said Council Member Brad Lander, the Council’s Deputy Leader for Policy, Member of the Progressive Caucus. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made to improve infrastructure for cycling, but we still have a lot of work to do. Streets that are safe for cycling are safer for everyone. More cyclists on the road means less congestion, less pollution, and fewer fatal traffic injuries. We must continue to increase awareness of cycling, expand and improve the city’s bike network in all boroughs, and make sure that riders of all ages and abilities feel safe on our streets. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and our advocacy community to make this a reality.”
“I am excited to participate in Bike to Work Day and committed to commute this way more often. The City must invest in comprehensive bicycle infrastructure to improve the safety of our streets and encourage greener transportation alternatives,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Member of the Progressive Caucus.
“Cycling has become an essential form of transportation in New York, with real potential to ensure a better city for all of us. It is helping to cut air pollution levels across the five boroughs, and reduce the strain on our overburdened mass transit system. For that, we dedicate this day to celebrating cycling’s contributions to our city, while continuing to raise the urgent need for safer transportation infrastructure for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Member of the Progressive Caucus.
“We’re very proud to be partnering with the City Council’s Progressive Caucus on our 6th Annual Bike to Work event. New York City has made great progress since our first ride in making our streets safer and expanding the bike network, and much of that is thanks to the leadership of Progressive Caucus members,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. “We still have much work to do, but today we celebrate progress!”
“Bike New York is thrilled to join and ride with so many City Council Members in this year’s Bike to Work celebration,” said Kenneth J. Podziba, President/CEO, Bike New York. “Our City has come a long way as a cycling city over the past decade, but in many ways we are still in the early stages of opening our streets to everyone who would like to travel safely by bike. We need to expand our set of protected bike lanes and connect them into a real network. We need to build on the initial foundation of in-school cycling education initiatives we’ve developed with the Department of Education. We need somehow to forge sensible and fair traffic law enforcement practices. Yet we are confident that together we will get there. We’ve been very proud to partner with many of you on local events and programs, and on policy initiatives to reduce reckless driving, more efficient ways to expand the city’s bike lane network and on the beginnings of a bike network maintenance program. We look forward to further collaboration and success as we travel the path from Big City to Bike City.”
“Get Women Cycling is working hard with the Progressive Caucus, our allies in bicycle advocacy, and NYC government to ensure this environmentally friendly, affordable, reliable, and healthy transportation choice remains safe and accessible to all New Yorkers regardless of gender or economic status. We are proud to ride and rally with this amazing group for further expansion of our bicycle network, sensible traffic law enforcement, and an educational curriculum that addresses the challenges we face as our commuting landscape continues to change,” said Angela Azzolino, Executive Director of Get Women Cycling.