The first bicycle accident after the start of the Citi Bike program occurred three days after the bike share program started. A rider on one of the blue bikes sustained non-life-threatening injuries when he was hit in the West Village at the Houston Street and MacDougal Street.
The victim, a man in his mid-20s, was allegedly trying to beat a changing light. He was struck by a 2013 Toyota SUV and was thrown onto the windshield. The SUV driver had a green light.
The crash underscores the concerns of many about the new bicycle borrowing program. Some fear that riders who have little experience navigating New York City traffic will be vulnerable to bicycle accidents. The program does not provide helmets with the bicycles; riders are strongly urged to wear a helmet, but since the users of Citi Bike are infrequent riders, it is unlikely that many of them have helmets. Bike riders in New York City are not required to wear helmets.
Proponents of the bike share program point to the development of bike lanes throughout the city and the reduced probably of bike accidents. According to city reports, the risk of serious injury from a bicycle accident decreased by 73 percent between 2000 and 2011, when bicycle ridership more than doubled.
Source: Business Insider, “A Rider On One Of NYC’s New Citi Bikes Was Hit By A Car,” May 31, 2013.