Bike Lanes in NYC Are Protecting Cyclists—Here's How
A Bronx bicycle accident lawyer reveals what New Yorkers need to know
The streets of New York City offer a perfect example of the benefits of encouraging people to use bicycles to relieve traffic congestion. But the risk of bicycle accidents increases as more people choose to pedal around the city.
The plan to increase bicycle safety and ridership is in full gear in New York City, according to a Department of Transportation (DOT) study. The installation of bike lanes has reduced the risk of cyclist injuries by 32% while increasing commuter ridership by an astounding 50%.
Bike lanes make a difference
The numbers are part of the DOT report “Safe Streets for Cycling: How Street Design Affects Bicycle Safety and Ridership.” It analyzed the impact of conventional, protected, and shared bike lanes at more than 100 locations in the five boroughs.
Key findings from the study include:
- Protected bike lanes, which are physically separated from other lanes of traffic, reduced bicyclist injury risk by an average of 34%.
- High-risk streets with protected lanes saw risk plummet more than 60%.
- Conventional bike lanes, where cyclists have their own lane but are not physically separated from other traffic, cut risk by an average of 32%.
- Low-volume streets with conventional bike lanes saw injury risk drop an average of 42%.
- Shared lanes, which integrate cyclists with vehicular traffic, experienced an average risk reduction of 18%.
Why these numbers are important
First, of course, is the No. 1 goal: protecting the health and safety of bicyclists. Underscoring the mission is the fact that bicycle ridership is a growing, important component in reducing New York City traffic congestion. Overall, ridership rose about 3.9% from 2018 to 2019, and 26% since 2014, according to the DOT annual report, “Cycling in the City.”
- The number of commuter bicyclists climbed 26% from 2014 (41,789) to 2019 (52,696).
- On Staten Island, where bicyclists trail the other boroughs by a large margin, the increase was 141%, from 266 in 2014 to 641 in 2019.
- In Midtown Manhattan, cycling has skyrocketed 61%, from 23,233 daily trips in 2015 to 37,302 in 2020.
- Contributing to the growth is the Citi Bike program, the largest bike share operation in the country. Ridership rose 30% from 2020 to 2021. In early October, the program already had set a record for the year with three months to go.
What to do when bike lanes aren't enough
All the good news about improved bicycle safety in New York City comes with a disclaimer: No matter how careful you are when riding your bike, you are largely at the mercy of motorists who make avoidable mistakes, choose to drive recklessly, or simply fail to look out for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Texting and driving, speeding, tailgating, and aggressive driving are all common causes of bicycle accidents in NYC. Other times, people are injured when someone in a parked car fails to check for a cyclist before opening a car door into the path of the rider (this is known as a "dooring" accident).
Regardless of how your bicycle accident occurred, it's in your interest to talk to a lawyer if you were hit by a car while riding your bike. That way, you can get a clear understanding of your legal rights and options.
Don't let an insurance adjuster try to downplay the severity of your injuries or pressure you into accepting a lowball settlement offer. Get a bicycle accident lawyer in your corner who won't let the insurance company push you around. The last thing you want to do is lose out on the compensation you're entitled to.
At Giampa Law, our attorneys have been fighting for injured cyclists in NYC for years and understand what it takes to win. Find out how we can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Bronx bicycle accident attorney.