NYC To Start Recording Accidents Between Bikes, Pedestrians

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Pedestrians hit and injured by bicycle riders – it’s a statistic that no one kept. However, after CBS 2 exposed the gap in record-keeping, New York City is moving to fill in the blanks.

In a city where pedestrians and bike riders are clashing, some advocates say something is missing in the debate – reliable injury data.

“Hard data on incidents between bicyclists and pedestrians, it’s a real missing link,” Nancy Gruskin, of the Gruskin Family Foundation, said.

Gruskin learned that the hard way after her husband, Stuart, was fatally injured by a reckless bike rider last year in Midtown.

As CBS 2 revealed in our “Bike Bedlam” reports, New York City hasn’t been collecting data on the number of pedestrians injured by bike riders.

After CBS 2 helped Gruskin get a meeting with NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, however, some progress has been made.

DOT told Gruskin the state has agreed to use motor vehicle accident forms to finally document accidents between bike riders and pedestrians.

It’s a victory for Gruskin and her bike safety foundation, but one that won’t come immediately.

The data collection won’t begin until next April, and the numbers won’t be crunched for months after that, even as the city moves forward with plans to build miles of additional dedicated bike lanes.

“I think they have an agenda, and they’re gonna push that agenda through,” Lois Carswell, of Seniors for Safety, said.

On Thursdays, the critics will call for the city to rip up the controversial bike lane on Prospect Park West. This being New York City, though, there will be a counter-protest by bike lane supporters, as the debate spins on and on.

“I’m very happy with the results of DOT’s work here,” one resident said.

While the city and state work to start collecting the injury data, bike safety advocates are working with hospitals to document the problem using emergency room reports.

More from Tony Aiello
  • Linda Marcus

    How are the bike lanes funded?

  • Tom B.

    I agree that the statistics will be low. But that does not diminish the importance of collecting this information. What we can never measure is how many times the elderly or infirm will choose to stay indoors rather than venture out onto the sidewalks that the rightfully perceive as inhospitable.

  • Jay

    Maybe pedestrians wouldn’t get hit if they were on the sidewalk when waiting to cross the street and not standing in an active roadway texting.

  • Marsha

    While I am happy that this data will be collected, it can never measure the stress that the teacher’s pet bicyclists are adding to the street. While I have never been hit, the stealth nature of bicycles and the rampant ignorance of laws in place have added fear to many. And there is, of course, no data that proves that all of this infrastructure and pandering to the minority cycling community is worth it. The fact that it will 6 months before data collection is even begun is a sign of how DOT is just trying to march forward with its agenda, ignoring the needs of any other groups. You will never convince me that these cyclists are getting out of cars to get on their bikes.

    And Richard, I think that Nancy Gruskin might disagree with your comments about bloodshed. This woman is putting herself on the line to try to prevent her tragedy from repeating itself.

  • Jack Brown

    This is a vital link to a responsible bike culture in NYC. So far it has been an exercise in zealotry resulting in a public safety crisis.

  • Richard

    It won’t be a big waste of money because there won’t be many collisions serious enough between pedestrians and bicycles for people to bother reporting. In the end, the numbers will be a very, very small fraction of car-on-pedestrian and car-on-bike injuries. Hopefully, when the numbers come in and they’re minuscule, CBS will run a follow-up mea culpa for this alarmist “bedlam” series, and focus on the real menace- cars.

    And if I’m wrong, and there’s some unreported, unknown, widespread bloodbath caused by bikes out there, then we’ll have some facts instead of all of this “news” hullabaloo based on pure speculation.

  • Today’s Headlines « NYC

    […] “Bike Bedlam” Actually Helpful? City To Start Tracking Bike/Ped Collisions (CBS 2) […]

  • NYC Accident Lawyer

    It is as important for cars to share the roads with bikes as it is for bikes to be aware for pedestrians. It will be interesting to see the statistics they put out.


    The Accident Lawyers at

  • Christopher

    How about the number of incidents involving motorists injuring and/or killing cyclists!!! Or does New York City even care about that!!!!! Bikes are great form of transportation, cardiovascular exercise, environmental compassion, and community coming together.

  • katie

    what’s a joke and a waste of money?

  • Andrew

    What a joke and a waste of money!

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