“Chaos” was the official opinion of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer following three days of monitoring and a report detailing the state of bike lanes in his borough. The lanes are there, which is a start, but the problem is that their success still relies quite a bit on the willingness of both bikers and drivers to acknowledge the associated rules.
Some of the problems noted in Stringer’s report include taxis parked over bike lanes, forcing commuters to swerve into traffic to get around. The same went for the many delivery vehicles in the city.
On the other side, bikers were frequently seen running red lights and pedaling the wrong way down the lanes. All of these factors increase the risk of a tragic bicycle accident..
Even with these problems unaddressed, the New York Department of Transportation is dedicated to installing thousands of additional miles of bike lanes. However, if these issues aren’t taken care of, thousands of additional miles could equate to that many more opportunities for accident or injury.
Already, New York’s reputation as a dangerous city for bike commuters and pedestrians is high. If a bike lane falls in the middle of the street and no one acknowledges it, is it still doing its job? Moreover, do the people who actually adhere to the rules face more danger because of it?
These are questions that are worth asking, and need answering before New York proceeds too much farther with plans for more lanes.