Though one arrest occurred, the ‘die-in’ at a New York City park Tuesday night was mostly peaceful. The protest at Washington Square Park saw a confrontation between cyclists and the NYPD. Angry cyclists screamed at police while loudspeakers could be heard blasting,
“You are unlawfully in the roadway obstructing traffic. You are ordered to leave the roadway and utilize the sidewalk.”
Though a confrontation was well underway on the outskirts of the park, cyclist in the park seemed oblivious to the events around them. They staged a mass die-in and expressed their anger at Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Department of Transportation, and the NYPD.
Too Many Dead
With over 15 dead cyclist this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio says he is deeply worried. Perhaps it was he who had something to do with this statement by the Department of Transportation.
“we have already averaged over 20 miles of protected bike lanes a year for the last three years, more than any other administration.”
A plan to fix things?
The Department of Transportation unveiled a new plan to help cyclists and motorist coexist. Its key points are:
- New and expanded cycling infrastructure citywide that will further protect cyclists.
- New cycling-oriented policy changes, some of which will be pursued through state or city legislation.
- Increased public awareness and education programs that focus on cyclist safety, including aggressive outreach to truckers and industry partners.
- Further enhanced NYPD enforcement and work with the State on better truck enforcement.
As we know from past plans that the Department of Transportation has released, they have done little to stem the tide of deaths on New York City Streets. The protestors are asking for the city to revamp its roads to allow for more cyclists and less motorists. The city government does not seem ready to make such a dramatic change. Whatever happens, something must be done or this years numbers could easily exceed 30 cyclists.