Bikers Crossing a street in midtown

What Does The City Cyclist Boom Mean for NYC?

The Summer of Hell ended for New Yorkers on September 5, after eight weeks spent repairing train tracks at Penn Station. During this time, commuters had to find new routes to work including multiple train transfers, and for some even resorting to ferrying to work, adding an extra hour or two to commute times.

Before the Summer of Hell started, MTA officials urged commuters to try alternative transportation options, including ferries and buses. With the City’s increased focus on bike lanes and the institution of Citi Bike, some commuters ditched the subway and started riding their bike to work.

Twenty-five percent of New Yorkers ride their bikes regularly. Of these, nearly half ride their bikes at least several times a month. While it’s great that bike ridership is increasing in a busy metropolitan area such as New York City, the City is only recently taken the biking boom seriously and the current roadways may not be able to handle the increase over a long period of time.

New York City Bicyclist Deaths on the Rise

New York City is one of the several cities across the country participating in the Vision Zero initiative, which aims to reduce traffic injuries and deaths to zero. This action aims to improve safety and mobility for all.

However, this safety plan does not appear to extend to bicyclists. Vision Zero began in 2014 and since then, bicyclist deaths have actually increased. Twelve cyclists died in traffic accidents in 2013, That number spiked to 20 the following year. That number dropped to 14 in 2015 and then spiked again to 18 in 2016. So far in 2017, there have been nine bicyclist deaths in New York City. During the month of June, four cyclists died in a three-week period.

More Needs to be Done

The group Transportation Alternatives, devastated by the recent bicyclist deaths, distributed a press release outlining what the mayor needs to do to make New York City even safer for bicyclists. The group claims that the deaths could have been prevented had there been adequate bike lanes. There is allegedly enough funding to create the bike lanes, but not the desire from the politicians in charge.

While a lot of progress has been made in the past few years, there is a need for many more bike lanes. There are currently 400 miles of roadway without bike lanes, and these are in dangerous areas and intersections. The current goal of the Department of Transportation is to add 10 miles of bike lanes per year. At that rate, it will take 40 years to make all the needed improvements. Hopefully, now that the Summer of Hell is over, city officials will make bike safety their focus.

Get Legal Help from a Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyer

There are more and more bicycles on New York City’s roadways, and this means accidents are more likely to occur. While New York City is doing its fair share to make neighborhoods more bike-friendly, more and more needs to be done as the population grows. If you are injured in a bicycle accident, it’s a good idea to hold the liable party accountable for their actions. Call The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum to set up a consultation with an experienced Brooklyn accident lawyer. Contact our Brooklyn office at (718) 237-5586.

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