Citi Program Not Increasing Biking Accidents in NYC, At Least Not Yet

Since its inception in New York City on May 29th, Citi Bike, the privately-managed bike sharing program, has revolutionized the manner in which thousands of New Yorkers get around their city.

As a result of the erection of concrete barriers at many of the Citi Bike kiosks, there are more injuries to bicycle riders. According to the Department of Transportation spokesman, Seth Solomonow, these concrete barriers are “wheel stops installed at on-street bike share stations to prevent vehicles from running into and damaging system equipment.”  However, since the barriers blend in with their concrete surroundings, riders are getting injured because it is difficult to see them until it is too late.

The police now seem to recognize this flaw. Shortly after a cyclist hit a barrier at a kiosk near 56th Street and Third Avenue, a police officer sprayed the concrete barrier with bright orange paint. Whether this will be adopted throughout the parts of the City in which Citi Bike operates remains to be seen. And even if it is, will it serve to prevent future accidents?  The early verdict about Citi Bike’s effects on cyclist safety is positive. More time will reveal if these trends will continue.

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