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Bike Lanes Up, Emergency Response Time Down

January 3, 2013

Remember this gem from NBBL?

Well, now that the city has added even more bike lanes since this spycam video was released to the media in February 2011, how are the city’s emergency response vehicles faring out there?

Via 1010 WINS:

New York City has achieved the lowest number of civilian fire deaths in its history, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano announced Wednesday.

The city had 58 fire deaths in 2012. That’s four fewer than the previous record low of 62 set in 2010.

It also has recorded its fastest average ambulance response time for life-threatening medical emergencies. It’s exactly 6 1/2 minutes – a second faster than in 2011.

Emphasis mine.  Like most of NBBL’s dire predictions, the concern about delayed emergency response has collapsed under the weight of time and evidence.  Correlation is not causation, of course, and I’m not arguing that bike lanes have contributed to an average ambulance response time that’s faster than in previous years.  But right now it does appear as if they haven’t hurt.

Of course, emergency response vehicles have had to contend with New York City’s traffic for decades. Eighty years ago, one of them even had to drive on the sidewalk.

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2 Comments
  1. Eric McClure permalink
    January 3, 2013 11:17 am

    Wow, wonder how many people were killed by firefighters responding to alarms back in those days. And I love the bit where they had to drive upside down, beginning at the 3:15 mark.

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