When I lived in New York, I remember walking down a congested street in Chelsea, one lazy Tuesday afternoon, and locking eyes with a bike messenger at the exact moment that a cab hit him from behind, sending the biker flying into the road.
That was terrifying, and a scarring moment when I knew I’d never ride a bike in the city.
In spite of that, the Bloomberg administration has been making efforts to promote bike lanes in New York. So much so that Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, a political strategist, penned a blog for the Huffington Post on the importance of bike lanes.
“They serve a simple purpose— to help provide all New Yorkers with more diverse transportation choices,” Wolfson wrote. “Some New Yorkers will always drive, or take a cab. Others will rely on public transportation. Many will walk. And a greater number— a 50% increase in the last four years— will ride bicycles to work and to recreate.”
The reason for this push and promotion is that some New Yorkers have problems with bike lanes. In a city where every square inch of real estate counts, only 54% of residents are in favor of bike lanes, while most Republicans (surprise) oppose them, according to a Quinnipiac University survey. And earlier this month a law suit was filed against the city to try and remove the bike lane on Prospect Park West.
“Bicycle lanes are one of the more controversial things, obviously,” Michael Bloomberg said. “Some people love ‘em and some people hate them… It’s probably true that in many of these cases we could do a better job and we’re going to try to do that.”
Hey, at least the guy’s honest! What do you all think, is it possible for New York to make room for more bike lanes?