NEW YORK (CBS 2) – After the Department of Transportation called CBS 2’s Bike Bedlam reports false, they reneged on its claim and admitted that there was a lack of bike safety data in New York City.
Now, the New York City Council is taking steps to document accidents involving bicycles, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reports.
The Councils’ Transportation Committee is now considering a bill that requires the DOT and the NYPD to collect data on bikes hitting people and other bikes.
“We cannot assess traffic safety without knowing how many accidents are caused by bicycles and where,” committee chair Jimmy Vacca said. “It’s an important part of our attempt to improve pedestrian safety in the city.”
Critics said the city should have started collecting bike safety data before spending millions on all the new bike lanes.
“This has been done in an abrupt and high-handed manner and again the public is paying through the nose for it,” bike safety advocate Jack Brown said.
On Thursday, Council members slammed the transportation agency, pushing for better safety data.
“We’re happy to keep working with the Council on all the legislation they’ve raised,” DOT member David Woloch said.
Woloch admitted bike safety needs a lot more attention but refused to endorse a specific bill.
Sponsors hope to bring the bill before the full Council by early next year.