by ecorazzicontributor
Categories: Transport
Tags: , .
Photo: Flickr via James D. Schwartz

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?

  • herwin

    it’s insane that bikes and bikelanes are considered controversial instead of cars who conjests the streets, make deadly accidents and most of all poison the air, make people sick and shorten their lifespan.

    the only good thing of a car though is you can have a stereo in it, unfortunately that’s not an option for a bike… :-(

    • Melissa

      I know people who have battery operated radios on their bikes, which play music as they ride down the street. It IS possible. :)

  • Melissa

    I live in Montreal, Canada which is a city known for it’s high number of bike lanes in a province that has an incredible number of bike lanes. (Some people even go on long-distance bike rides between Montreal and Quebec City – a trip that normally takes about 4 hours by car or train!) And I make use of bike lanes all spring and summer long.

    I understand that real estate is of the utmost importance in a very densely populated area like NYC, but I think that one’s quality of life can improve greatly with the opportunity to ride a bike safely in a major city. Whether they are just marked on the road’s asphalt or have an entirely closed off area for bikes, bike lanes save lives and avoid countless injuries. I should know. I’ve been in bike accidents – someone opened a car door on me when I was riding down a street without a bike lane and trying to avoid the traffic. And believe me, it’s not fun. I was lucky, and it could have been far worse.

    Drivers will always complain about bikers, but being able to bike through the city is a glorious thing. I hope New Yorkers come around to the idea.

  • krissy

    I hope that one day New Yorkers can shut down vehicle traffic in Manhattan or at least in Time Square and then it will be truly safe for the riders.