Hate waiting at red lights when you’re on a bike? Now, thanks to a new pilot program from the city’s Department of Transportation, riders on two wheels can legally roll through some reds at select intersections.
Through this pilot, cyclists can now follow LPIs, or Leading Pedestrian Intervals, the department announced Tuesday.
LPIs give pedestrians a head start crossing the street, meaning they get a walk signal seven to 11 seconds before vehicle drivers get their green light to go through the intersection or make turns through crosswalks.
The city has installed 2,547 total LPIs throughout the five boroughs as part of Vision Zero. A 2016 study by the transportation department found that LPIs led to a 56 percent drop in serious injury and fatal pedestrian and bicycle crashes.
“As an avid bike rider, I understand the dangers of bicycling in New York City, especially at intersections,” said Councilman Carlos Menchaca, who is leading the pilot with the DOT, in a statement. “This pilot program is a good step in the right direction and a long overdue victory for advocates and community residents from my district who worked tirelessly to ensure this initiative came to life.”
Eighty-nine percent of cyclists killed or seriously injured in vehicle crashes were hit at intersections, according to the city. Officials hope this head start will give them the bumper they need to stay safe.
The pilot includes 50 designated intersections in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens and will extend in October 2018.
The transportation department will install temporary signs at these intersections telling cyclists they can follow the walk signals. Cyclists will still have to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
“NYC DOT is committed to the safety of all road users, and while cycling safety has improved considerably, there is still progress to be made,” said Sean Quinn, senior director of the DOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs, in a statement. “We will be watching the results closely, measuring the various impacts of the pilot to determine the next steps at the end of the study period.”