My thesis is to improve the safety of food delivery bicyclists working in Asian restaurants in Manhattan, NYC by designing accessories to provide safer and better handling/maneuvering for them while making delivery.
• We live in the city that is crowded and demanding heavily on commercial cyclists to make delivery everywhere, especially food delivery.
• In Manhattan, there are over 6,000 to 8,000 delivery personnel who serve at 3500+ restaurants that have delivery service through out the city.
• Not only a large portion of these restaurants are Asian oriented food but a lot of food delivery cyclists are Asian (especially Chinese) and they are the group of underlying people who do not get much attention to.
• They often overwork and are exhausted. They work by the average of 65 to 70 hours a week and make 30 to 60 deliveries a day.
• Through my observations and interviews with this group of people, typical food delivery cyclists, a lot of time, have 6 to 8 bags of food on their handlebars and arms. This inevitably increases the chance of accidents caused by hard steering and bad maneuvering caused by the excess weight on the handlebars.
• The excess weight of food also make balancing the bicycle difficult especially that they always have to swerve in between traffic and avoid pedestrians and taxis to make speedy deliveries.
Part B: A Larger Problem related to Food delivery cyclists in NYC (Manhattan)
Issues: • Food deliveryman is often being considered as one of the bottom most jobs one could get.
• Weather is an important factor that will affect deliverymen’s working condition greatly when wet floor and rain can cause brakes to become less effective and dramatically increase braking distance.
• Man made danger usually happen by dangerous driving and unlawful behaviours of autos driver and opening door carelessly occupants.
Employers and Deliverymen Problem:
• Employers have to provide basic safety equipments for food deliverymen no matter if the bicycles are store own or not. Employers are also required to post and educate their employees with Safety cards hand out by NYC’s DOT.
• Many deliverymen on the street of Manhattan are still working without Safety equipments that can protect them from fatal injuries even though there is a law that requires them to use them.
Government and Social Problem:
• Most Customers demand lighting quick delivery and hot from oven food from food deliverymen which push deliverymen to speed up and to carry a lot of food at once.
• New York City Department of Transportation doesn't keep track of injuries and fatalities involving bicycle messengers and delivery workers separately so the information on this group of people is less than sufficient.