So NYC is the answer for cyclists is it?

Many commentators cite New York as the nirvana for cyclists.

As is usual with the emotive claptrap that is hurled around the facts don’t support the contention.

Lance Wiggs tells me via Twitter and in his NBR article that NYC is safer for cyclists than NZ., and that we should look to them for guidance on cycling matters. Really?

His response to that video:

He got his facts wrong too. In 2012 there were 8 cyclists killed and 33 pedestrians on NZ’s road toll not the 33 and 29 he claimed.

In New York City in 2012 there were 20 deaths of cyclists. In the whole of New Zealand there were just 8.

These people who are calling for bike lanes and traffic calming and all sorts of other stuff are asking us to consider spending billions of dollars on roading changes to save just 8 people per annum. The full stats go back to 1921, but for the last 5 years it is about 8 people per annum. New York kills around 20 of their cyclists every year.

The death rates of cyclists per head of population for both NZ and NYC are statistically irrelevant.

NZ: 8 deaths divided by 4.4 million people = 0.00000181818 or 0.00018 of a single %
NYX: 20 deaths divided by 8.3 million people = 0.00000240963 or 0.00024 of a single %

Calling for cycle lanes and the such to save lives is an astonishing waste of resources, especially when those killed all too often ignore the road rules like the cyclist who died yesterday.

Claims that cycling in NYC is safer than NZ simply don’t stack up.

If Lance Wiggs wants to attempt to make a difference he could start by getting some facts right, or dipping into his own pocket, something he is very careful to usually avoid, and maybe start putting Ghost Bikes around the place…it will be low cost too, only need about 8 a year.

Ghost bike in New York City Photo/ Wikipedia

Ghost bike in New York City Photo/ Wikipedia

The solution is not for millions to be spent on separating vehicles from cycles, it lies in people obeying the road rules and operating which ever vehicle they choose to transport them in a manner that is within the road rules.

No amount of cycle lanes will prevent people from running red lights from being crushed by 20 tonne trucks with the right of way.

Lycra is not some sort of force field that will protect you…some cyclists though are exceedingly slow learners.

Meanwhile like motor-cyclists the cyclists who ignore the road rules and ride like pricks will more likely than not become organ donors.


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  • John Q Public

    More people die from choking than cycling.

    • Mr_Blobby

      More people die from just about everything else.

  • LabTested

    Jeezzz the guy in the video was a whiny little bitch. I only kept watching cos I hoped he would get dealt to by an open car door.

    • Orange

      Anyone going that fast on a bike in traffic is going to come a cropper sooner or later.

    • philbest

      I can relate to his point; notice he said at one point, something like, “it’s safer on the road – where I should be”.

      He obviously understands what is known among serious cyclists, as the “vehicular cycling” hypothesis. Cycle lanes actually make it more dangerous. It is far better to just have the whole space as “road”.

  • john Doe

    Ffs there were 256 road fatalities last year. Therefore its it’s still more dangerous to drive than cycle by 30 fold.

    • philbest

      Not “per person mile of travel” though, by a long shot.

      • john Doe

        Stats,stats and more stats. Like the article, don’t ruin a good story with facts.

  • Ben

    Mr Wiggs is a pontificating old fool. He turns up after the accident and mouths off not knowing the circumstances of the accident.

    He is also an instant expert on safety at the Port of Lyttleton again with no knowledge of either the port or worlace safety. Deaths are tragic but ill informed comment from the likes of Wiggs do nothing to help.

    • Bunswalla

      And you’re a complete cock, who has clearly never met – or even seen – Lance Wiggs. But don’t let that stop you mouthing off without knowing the difference between your arse and your elbow.

  • cows4me

    You can stick that up your date, death wish.

  • philbest

    Cycling in NYC isn’t a transport mode, it is an extreme sport.

  • Mr_Blobby

    “spending billions of dollars on roading changes to save just 8 people per annum”

    No it wont most of those 8 people will die anyway, you might save a couple, but people will still do stupid things.

    The rule of thumb in the airline industry is something like US $2 Million. If the safety improvement is going to cost less than US $2 Million per life saved then they will do it, more than they will not implement it.

    The question, how much is a single life worth from an economic point of view. $1 Million, $10 Million, $100 Million, $1 Billion. Would you spend $1 Billion on cycleways to save 1 or 2 lives PA, the answer is no you would not, the total GDP for NZ is a little over $100 Billion, you would bankrupt the Country in very short order.

  • sheppy

    Looking at that video I’d suggest money needs to be taken away from making cycle lanes and spent on teaching cyclists how not to ride like a twat

    • Garbageman

      Exactly sheppy i see most of the other riders wernt acting like they were in the Tour De Fkn France guarantee they wernt whinging like a bitch and of course would have far better reaction times this twat is a future stat

  • Rick H

    The truck went through a green light – the cyclist didn’t .
    . .End of story.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    This self centered Road Lice Captain is still alive with that attitude and action?
    Won’t be long before he is a statistic.
    Oh there is a truck in my path, oh turning traffic and I’m passing traffic that wants to turn.
    Oh the traffic should be aware that this cock rules the road on his bike! Fuck off Wiggie

    • Rodger T

      Apparently ,from watching that clip, the bike lane must be kept clear at all times this `tard wants to ride his bike.
      Delivery vehicles,the police and garbage trucks must stop in the road so his obviously very important progress is not impeded.

  • pukakidon

    You know what they say, an idiot and their life are soon parted. Riding at that speed in and out of other cyclists running red lights and and between traffic. This guy is certainly a temporary citizen.

    I feel very sorry for man killed yesterday, however it does not matter who is fault it is at the end of the day, as the Cyclist will always come off second best if not dead.

    You make your own luck!!!!

  • Bunswalla

    Well, if you’re looking for “emotive claptrap” on the subject of cycling, you’ve come to the right place.

    • Rallimg

      Actually will leave the ’emotive claptrap’ tag for the obvious cyclist with no constructive opinion.

      • Bunswalla

        I don’t think you quite understand how this works. If your one and only comment is to chip someone for not having an opinion, and you don’t even have an opinion yourself, wouldn’t you say that’s a bit pointless (literally and figuratively)?

        Anyway I’m glad I’m an obvious cyclist – less chance of getting bowled.

  • Mr_V4

    What was this guy trying to prove? That trucks sometimes need access to the curb to drop off deliveries or pick up garbage? Who knew.

    Their job would be much easier if they didn’t have to look out for spandex creations travelling well in excess of what an appropriate speed would be in that area.

  • Gabrielle B

    Great. More fodder for cyclist bashers. Like we don’t have enough of that.