Cyclists can ride through walk signs at intersections in new pilot program

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- There's a secret about riding a bike in New York City - most cyclist deaths and injuries happen at intersections. The rate is high for pedestrians, too which is why they put the 'walk' sign on for several seconds before the green light for cars goes on.

Now, bicyclists will be allowed to ride through the walk sign at dozens of busy intersections, under a pilot program at several dozen intersections already equipped with so-called pedestrian intervals where the walk sign flashes on several seconds before the light turned green. That feature has dramatically improved pedestrian safety, and now the city DOT is using that same concept to help bikers.

After all - it found 65 percent of cyclist fatalities and 89 percent of overall injuries happened at intersections. This pilot program will take effect at 50 intersections in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Both cyclists and drivers said it sounded like a good idea.

"I guess there'd be a pretty short learning curve for everyone - it sounds complicated, but it could work out," says a cyclist.

One cabbie said they need to share the road.

For now, the program will be temporary, but the lawmakers behind it are hoping it will reduce cyclist accidents and pave the way for permanent solutions citywide.

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