Earlier this year, the New York City Department of Transportation announced a new pilot program focused on expanding access to means of micro-mobility while reducing electric scooter and cyclist injuries. The program will initially be launched in Eastern Bronx neighborhoods from Eastchester and Co-op City to Throggs Neck and Soundview. This 18-square mile area, home to some 570,000 New Yorkers, will be the first to receive access to ride-share electric scooters which are intended to be a “Citi Bike for electric scooters.” The goal of this program is to increase mobility for residents in areas where access to public transportation may be limited. Although there are subway and bus lines in these Bronx neighborhoods, they can be relatively long walks away from resident’s homes or points of interest. The e-scooters will allow New Yorkers to commute faster as well as aid those who live in transportation deserts.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman has suggested that the DOT will take steps to ensure the safety of riders who use the new scooters. “DOT will require scooter companies to keep sidewalks and pedestrian ramps clear as well as closely track all crashes,” said Gutman, “new dedicated bike lanes to ease travel for e-scooters as well as bicycles in the east Bronx.” As the number of New Yorkers using micro-mobility for transport increases, the city’s infrastructure must rise proportionally to keep them safe.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, cyclist injuries have reached record highs due to a lack of infrastructure and more people opting for bicycles as their primary mode of commuting. As warmer weather approaches, the DOT has released a “Bike Smart” guide brochure which is titled the “Official Guide for Cycling in NYC.” The booklet outlines New York City biking laws and provides readers with basic safety tips for cyclists and e-scooter riders such as wearing a helmet, watching for pedestrians crossing the roadway, and using a bell to alert others of your presence. The guide also explains riding etiquette and how to safely navigate intersections. In New York City, children at or under the age of 12 must ride on the sidewalk while adults are required to ride in the street. Statistics show that 89% of cyclist accidents occur in intersections while helmeted cyclists are 72% less likely to sustain a traumatic brain injury. Even so, riding a bicycle in New York City can be perilous and the utmost caution should be observed when doing so.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an e-scooter or bike-share accident as a result of someone’s negligence, please contact our office for a free consultation.