NYC Widow Pushes ‘Pedal Pledge’ To Keep Pedestrians Safe

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The woman who lost her husband to a terrible accident involving a bicycle deliveryman is out to make sure something like it never happens again.

It has been two years since Nancy Gruskin suffered the loss of her husband Stuart. He was hit and killed by a bike delivery rider going the wrong way on a Midtown street.

“It can be chaos out there, with the bicycles going,” Nancy Gruskin told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

In her husband’s honor, Gruskin has started a safety foundation that will now undertake its first major effort. The Stuart C. Gruskin Foundation is asking businesses to sign up for “The Pedal Pledge.”

The new initiative targets delivery riders who endanger pedestrians by going against traffic and running red lights. The pledge entails asking businesses to make a commitment to train delivery bikers in safe and respectful riding.

“It sends the message that this business is taking safety on the streets very seriously,” Gruskin said.

A scientific study from Hunter College that observed thousands of delivery riders found that 16 percent rode against traffic, 22 percent failed to use bike lanes and 40 percent ran red lights.

On 9th Avenue, the owner of B-Bap rice bar said she was ready to sign “The Pedal Pledge.”

“I think it is a good idea. I think it’s not only good for the public, the pedestrians, but also for the people that work at the restaurants,” the restaurant’s owner said.

Gruskin said that she didn’t want her husband’s death to be “in vain.” She added that ultimately the “public can vote [on the pledge] with their wallets” by patronizing businesses that commit to safer streets.

For More Information About “The Pedal Pledge,” Click Here

More from Tony Aiello
  • Joe R.

    Cyclists actually place themselves in far greater danger by stopping at lights. When stopped, they can get hit by cars trying to jump ahead of the queue by driving in the far right lane (which is usually empty near intersections where no parking is allowed). This happened to me more times than I care to think about. When the light changes, cyclists are in the middle of cars jockeying for position. Apparently though the safety of cyclists is less important than having them follow laws and traffic control devices which really are designed for cars. No argument though that all cyclists should yield to and watch out for pedestrians. That’s both good sense and common courtesy. Passing a red light after slowing enough to see if it’s clear is one thing and should be allowed as it is under Idaho law. No excuse though for cyclists to fly through crosswalks full of people crossing without even bothering to look. That’s dangerous, inconsiderate behavoir. And absolutely no rationale to ride against traffic. That’s especially dangerous to cyclists riding in the right direction.

    In my opinion then change, change number 2 on the list to “Yield to every pedestrian or vehicle on red” and you’ll find more cyclists willing to sign on, including myself. Everything else I agree with 100%.

  • Lili Silva

    This is a step towards the right direction. Businesses should start taking more responsibility for their delivery person’s actions, having myself had a few near misses while crossing the street. Hopefully businesses who take the pledge will instruct/train their personnel to follow these simple rules.

  • a concerned mother

    what a great interview. so glad to see that 40 businesses have signed the pedal pledge………….hopefully more will do so………kudos to mrs. gruskin

  • Fred

    A pledge is not enough. Cyclists should be licensed and their bikes registered.

  • steve

    I agree. I think the onus needs to be placed with more proportion on car drivers.

  • Opus the Poet

    One person was killed by a bicycle rider that year, one. In that same year more than 50 were killed by people driving motor vehicles on the sidewalk, not even in the road. Or to put it another way there were more people killed by motor vehicles entering buildings than by bicycles. Bicycles simply aren’t a huge source of death and injury, unlike motor vehicles that account for 99.5% of the city-owned paved spaces in NYC. Throw in parking lots and garages and motor vehicle space grows even more. Not that I disagree with the Pedal Pledge, it’s great and will actually save many more cyclists than pedestrians, but the people that would voluntarily sign such a pledge are not the people that are actually the problem.

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