Many may agree that one of the things that makes New York City such a great place to live is that the transportation system is one of the finest in the entire country. In fact, the city is renowned for being pedestrian and bicycle-friendly, since more and more people are opting to use alternative forms of transportation to get where they need to go. And while bicycle use is becoming more popular as a reliable form of transportation for New Yorkers, some seem to oppose the idea as promoting safety for everyone on the road. One civic leader’s recent comments on bicycle accidents and their causes serve as an unfortunate reminder of setbacks that can arise when promoting road safety.
As one New York official pointed out recently, counties across the state have funds designated in their budgets to perform necessary road maintenance and repairs, helping to ensure that they are fit for bicycle riders and motorists alike. Committing resources to maintain safe roads and promote responsible driving habits also serves several purposes, as it is one way to encourage exercise and healthy choices in the community. The only issue is, however, that local authorities and legislators have to be committed to supporting alternative forms of transportation.
When a local high school student wrote his County’s legislator about the serious bicycle accident his mother was involved in, the official replied by exclaiming that bicycles did not belong on county roads. The lawmaker added that pedestrian and bicycle accidents could be avoided if individuals exercised inside instead.
Given that more organizations and civic leaders are increasing efforts to promote exercise and road safety in communities throughout the state, some may consider the discouragement of bicycle use counterproductive to the success of many programs.
Source: CBS New York, “L.I. Legislature’s Stance On Bike Safety Sets Off Social Media Backlash,” Feb. 17, 2014