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Cycling Safety Culture in NYC Is Starting to Change: Part I

Posted by Smiley & Smiley on Aug 22, 2012 6:46:24 PM

The crowded streets of New York have been an inspiration for authors, artists, architects and "average Joes" for generations. The controlled chaos of the Manhattan grid is awe-inspiring, with its ever evolving population of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists on the move.

However, the frenzied nature of New York's streets unfortunately lends itself to a significant number of motor vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents each year. Because even though the chaos is largely contained, the streets are ultimately too crowded and unpredictable to remain safe at all times.

In an effort to reduce the number of cycling accidents which occur on New York streets, the Bloomberg administration has worked for several years to reconfigure the structure of NYC's streetscape. In particular, it has created "255 miles of bicycle lanes onto streets previously dedicated to automobiles," over the last six years, according to the New York Times.

While the bike lanes were ultimately created to better ensure the wellbeing of NYC cyclists, not all New Yorkers have welcomed the newly created safe zones. In fact, neighborhood groups and individual citizens alike have created petitions, initiated debates and filed lawsuits aimed at eliminating bike lanes in certain areas.

However, a recent survey indicates that New Yorkers are increasingly supportive of the bike lanes and of cycling safety measures throughout the city. Though this may seem like a small victory for cyclists, it is actually potentially significant. When the culture of the New York streetscape changes for the safer, everyone ultimately benefits. Please join us later this week, when we will continue our discussion of the recent survey and New York cycling safety culture.

Source: New York Times, "Bicycle Lanes Draw Wide Support Among New Yorkers, Survey Finds," Michael M. Grynbaum and Marjorie Connelly, Aug. 21, 2012

Topics: bicycle-accidents, Cycling Safety, cyclist-safety

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