A BIKE MAYOR
FOR
NEW YORK CITY

A new role in city government dedicated to overseeing the improvement of cycling in New York City

ABOUT

In the winter of 2019, Transportation Alternatives convened a wide-ranging panel of bike leaders in New York, including working cyclists, small business owners, urban planners, and environmental justice advocates to discuss the possibility and potential of a "Bike Mayor" in New York City.

Here are the panel's job description and policy recommendations:

JOB DESCRIPTION

The New York City Bike Mayor will work closely with members of the Bike Mayor Advisory Board, the Mayor’s Office, City Council, agency heads, community stakeholders, and advocates to implement policies, educate New Yorkers, and transform our city into a better and more equitable place for cycling.

New Yorkers need far more opportunities to ride bikes because cycling is healthy, clean/emission-free, equitable, and fun. We know that more people would like to ride but are understandably concerned -- largely because they are fearful of dangerous streets. Better biking infrastructure and better biking policy will make this highly beneficial form of transportation more accessible to a far greater number of people.

Making New York City the best cycling city in the country will help address multiple challenges that NYC governance needs to tackle, including: population growth, population aging, climate change, poor air quality, worsening congestion, income inequality, failing public health, worsening noise conditions, and inadequate economic growth.

Accountability
The Bike Mayor’s position should be formally created and recognized by the City of New York and New York City Council, as a full-time paid position that includes a part-time or volunteer Bike Mayor Advisory Board. However, as of now the position has not been so created or recognized by the City or Council. This position would be accountable within city government as follows:

The Bike Mayor position will be accountable to the Speaker of the New York City Council, and will be limited to the same term limits as the Speaker who appointed them.

Responsibilities
The Bike Mayor’s primary responsibilities will center on the following key policy areas as they relate to biking in the city:

Maximize Safety for Cyclists: Identify and promote cutting edge policies that are proven to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on our streets and make cycling safer; promote a full network of protected bike lanes across New York City.Ensure Inter-Agency Coordination: Ensure smooth communication and implementation of cycling projects and policies across various levels of government.Advocacy and Outreach: Work with advocates and community stakeholders to promote pro-biking policies and educate New Yorkers about the benefits of cycling.Ensure Equity in Bike Policy: Serve as a watchdog and ensure that all bicycling policy is conceived and implemented with a strong eye toward equity, including -- but not limited to -- the following: racial equity, gender equity, neighborhood equity, age equity, and ability equity.Climate and Sustainability: Advance the adoption of low-emission transportation policies through the promotion of cycling to help the city achieve its “80 by 50” goal, and meet the Paris Accord goal of preventing warming exceeding 2 degrees Celsius. Youth Engagement: Promote independence and mobility in school children through the integration of cycling education in schools, parks, and the Public School Athletic League.Bike Tourism Supporter: Work closely with groups like NYC and Company and I Love NY to develop materials highlighting the best opportunities to bike in NYC, and fight to integrate NYC with the regional trail networks. Promote Pro-Biking Business Policies: Help the business community foster environments that benefit and promote cycling, which includes ensuring there is enough parking for bikes near business hubs, and that there are economic incentives and curbside preferences in effect designed to move as many freight and delivery services as possible to cargo and e-cargo bikes. Working Cyclist Champion: Be a voice for the working cyclist community, and ensure that human rights, fair labor, and fair policing practices are followed across the city, as well as be able to articulate and pursue a clear pro-working cyclist legislative and regulatory agenda. Promote Better Research and Data Accessibility: Work closely with Sidewalk Labs, LinkNYC, BetaNYC, CitiBike, DOT, DCP, NYPD and other relevant private companies and city agencies to ensure that data related to cycling in New York City is accurate, up-to-date, open and being used to inform and drive policy.Better Bike Share Advocate: Watchdog the roll out of bike share programs, ensure they are equitably deployed, accessible for all, and that anyone who wants to can use them. Racing Cyclist Community Advocate: Advocate for, help grow, and maintain safe access of cycling in all of its forms, including as a beginner and advanced form of competition.
Qualifications
5-10 years relevant experience in the non-profit, governmental, or private sector working on issues related to urban spaces, transportation and bicycling Strong organizational skillsProject management experienceComfortable under pressure and tight deadlinesExperience with media events a plusResident of the five boroughsOwns a bicycle Must be deeply familiar with the conditions that restaurant delivery cyclists, bike messengers, and pedicab drivers work in.
Characteristics and Values
Good political senseAble to authentically relate to and interact with New Yorkers across economic and ethnic backgroundsExcellent oral and written communications skillsDemonstrated commitment to and love of New York City Experienced and responsible bike riderGood listener and strong community builderEngagement in green and sustainable developmentFamiliar with and having had a working relationship with existing cycling groups in New York City Commitment to social justice Goal-oriented

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

The following policy recommendations were developed by the Bike Mayor for New York City Blue Ribbon Panel as a jumping-off point for New York City’s future Bike Mayor. This evolving document was developed through a series of discussions hosted by Transportation Alternatives in the spring of 2019. (More detailed Policy Recommendations here)

#1: Maximize Safety for Cyclists
Identify and promote policies that are proven to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on our roads and make cycling safer.

#2: Ensure Inter-Agency Coordination
Ensure smooth communication and implementation of cycling projects and related policies across various levels of government.

#3: Stand for Advocacy and Outreach
Work with advocates and community stakeholders to educate and promote pro-biking policies.

#4: Ensure Equity in Bicycling Policy
Watchdog and ensure that all bike policy is conceived and implemented with a strong eye toward equity, including -- but not limited to -- the following: racial equity, gender equity, neighborhood equity, age equity, and ability equity.

#5: Focus on Climate and Sustainability
Advance the adoption of low-emission transportation policies through the promotion of cycling.

#6: Enhance Youth Engagement
Promote independence and mobility in school children through the integration of cycling education in schools, parks, and the Public School Athletic League.

#7: Advocate for Bike Tourism
Work closely with groups like NYC and Company and I Love NY to develop materials highlighting the best opportunities to bike in NYC, and fight to integrate NYC with the regional trail networks.

#8: Support Pro-Biking Business Policies
Help the business community foster environments that benefit and promote cycling.

#9: Be a Champion for Working Cyclists
Be a voice for the working cyclist community, and ensure that human rights, fair labor, and fair policing practices are followed across the city.

#10: Advocate for Better Research and Greater Data Accessibility
Work with relevant public and private agencies to ensure that data related to cycling in New York City is accurate, up-to-date, open and being used to inform and drive policy.

#11: Advocate for Bike Share
Watchdog the roll out of bike share programs, ensure they are equitably deployed, accessible for all, and that anyone who wants to can use them.

#12: Advocate for the Racing Cyclist Community
Advocate for, help grow, and maintain safe access of cycling in all of its forms, including as a form of competition.

SIGN THE PETITION!

No one better understands the dangers of New York City streets and the deterrents to cycling better than people who ride bikes. Cyclists need a liaison in government who can articulate these risks and speak up for the needs of New York City cyclists.

Send a message to the mayor to demand that he appoint a Bike Mayor to represent people who ride bikes in New York City today.

SIGN THE PETITION