Williams, advocates ride for cyclists’ safety
and across the Brooklyn Bridge.
The group then held a press conference,
joined by Council Members Carlos
Menchaca and Brad Lander, outside the
David N. Dinkins Municipal Building.
They discussed the need for all communities
— motorists, cyclists and
pedestrians — to work together, and for
government to act to address the emergency
of cyclist safety in New York City.
The Public Advocate stressed the
importance of all New Yorkers, including
those who are not regular riders, to
understand the cyclist experience and
the dangers facing them on the road.
He also spoke about the need for a
cultural shift regarding the view of who
“owns the road,” noting that it was past
time for such a discussion, especially for
“I was glad to have the opportunity
today to see and experience cyclists’
concerns firsthand,” Williams said. “The
crisis facing cyclists in New York City is
immediate, and the scope and urgency of
the city’s action needs to meet it.
“These deaths are preventable tragedies,
and the city is part of the cause,”
he added. “We can’t encourage more ridership
without providing the protections
which would make that possible and safe.
All of us need to be all in.”
Williams said that addressing “this
emergency is going to require drivers
and cyclist to work together in a partnership,
but we need to make sure we’re
doing this from the lens of those who are
less privileged on the road, with the most
at risk, and have the least protection.”
Among the actions highlighted that
the advocates said would help save lives
and make streets more accessible to
riders were significant expansion of
“real, protected, bike lanes,” as well as “a
Department of Transportation’s review
and redesign of areas where cyclist injuries
and deaths occur, and further implementation
of safety measures at dangerous
Williams said the crisis of cyclist safety
in New York City has reached new
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levels in recent weeks, with eight fatalities
in the last two months out of the 19
In 2018, he said a total of 10 cyclists
Williams said about 200,000 cyclists
use the streets of the city each day.
On Sunday, 52-year-old Jose Alzorriz
was killed in Midwood, Brooklyn, when a
driver sped through a red light.
“The number of cyclists killed this
year is staggering. We have now almost
twice as many tragedies compared to
all of 2018. We must come together and
find prompt and effective solutions to
stem the rise in cyclist related deaths,”
said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez,
chairman of the Committee on Transportation.
“For once, we must quicken the pace
in which we install protected bike-lanes
across the city to increase road safety
for cyclists,” he added. “I thank Public
Advocate Jumaane Williams for taking
the initiative with this Bike Tour across
the Brooklyn Bridge to bring awareness
to this untenable situation.
“I will continue working closely with
my colleagues at the Council and Speaker
Corey Johnson to ensure we bring an end
to this safety crisis affecting pedestrians
and cyclists,” Rodriguez continued.
“To the families of Maria del Carmen
Porras Hernandez and Jose Alzorriz, we
owe everything we can do to redesign
our streets and get reckless drivers off
the roads,” said Council Member Lander.
“There’s a lot more work to do, and we
need to do it faster before another family
loses a loved one.”
Marco Conner, deputy director for
Transportation Alternatives, said: “With
the current Vision Zero State of Emergency,
we need bold plans to ensure that
everyone, no matter how they travel, can
do so in a safe way.
“We thank the public advocate for
riding with us today and seeing, from
a cyclist’s perspective, why we need to
redesign streets with all users in mind
and break dangerous driving behavior,”
Continued from Page 1
Public Advocate Williams and a coalition of riders in Downtown Brooklyn.
Offi ce of Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
Serving the Community with Dignity