New York is catching up with other cities such as Portland, Minneapolis and San Francisco, and has added hundreds of miles of bike lanes and trails in the past few years. Since 2006, more than 250 miles of bike lanes have been added to New York City streets, according to the city’s Department of Transportation. In 2012, 10.8 miles are scheduled for completion. In addition, the city is a key player in the development of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway project that will create a 14-mile pedestrian and bicycle path around Brooklyn’s waterfront.
Brooklyn is not the only borough in New York where bike transport has expanded. Construction of a 10.6 mile Queens bike and pedestrian trail has begun, with the section in Queensbridge already completed.
Bike paths and lanes exist to protect riders and reduce accidents between bicycles and drivers of motor vehicles. In addition to safety, the existence of bicycle paths also promotes more riding, which in turn leads to a healthier population. Bicycles are an environmentally-friendly and inexpensive method of transport – in fact, bikes are the most common form of transportation in the world. In short, there is every reason for civic leaders to promote the construction of bike lanes and paths.
However, like any other type of infrastructure, bike lanes and paths need to be maintained. Over the years, several paths have made the news because of the dangers they pose to riders and pedestrians. For example, the dangers of the City Hall bike path in lower Manhattan were the subject of citizen protests and requests for closure in 2010. And for bike lanes to function as intended, everyone — bikers, pedestrians and motorists — need to obey the rules.
Check this website periodically for more updates on dangerous bike paths in New York City.
Source: New York Daily News, “Pedestrian and cycle path slated for western Queens waterfront,” May 4, 2012.