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  1. #1
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    It seems in NYC, at least, bike lanes are part of the solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/13/nyregion/13bikes.html?pagewanted=print
    City Hall Promises Major Increase in Bike Lanes on Streets
    By WILLIAM NEUMAN

    The Bloomberg administration plans to greatly increase the number of bicycle lanes after a city study showed that 225 cyclists died in accidents on city streets over the last 10 years, officials said yesterday.

    While some motorists may grumble that bike lanes take up road space and add to congestion, the study suggests that the lanes actually work. Most of the bike deaths involved crashes with cars, trucks or buses, but only one of those involved a cyclist who was in a marked bike lane.

    The city’s transportation commissioner, Iris Weinshall, said 200 additional miles of bike lanes were planned for the five boroughs over the next three years. The city now has about 220 miles of roadway designated for bikes, including paths set off from vehicle traffic by barriers, lanes painted on the street and routes indicated mainly by street signs.

    “The data demonstrates cyclists need more safe places to ride,” Ms. Weinshall said.

    The highest toll in the last 10 years was 40 in 1999 and the lowest 13 in 2001. Last year 24 cyclists were killed, according to the study, which compiled data from 1996 through 2005 and was conducted by several city agencies.

    Despite the city’s frenetic pace and heavy traffic, the study found that riding a bicycle in New York City did not appear to be significantly more deadly than in the country as a whole.

    Based on the city’s population, there were 2.8 bicycle deaths a year per million residents during the 10 years, slightly more than the 2.7-per-million rate nationwide.

    “Simply encouraging more people to ride bikes is going to improve the safety of cyclists,” said Noah Budnick, a deputy director of Transportation Alternatives, a cycling advocacy group. He called the study and the bike lane expansion “unprecedented.”

    “The more people bike, the more drivers become accustomed to looking for cyclists and to driving safely around them,” he said.

    Nonetheless, there was some disagreement over how extensive the city’s network of bike lanes really is — and will be after the expansion — because of how the city calculates the mileage. If both sides of a one-mile strip of a two-way street have bike lanes, for example, the city counts it as two miles of bike lanes. Mr. Budnick said the city’s claim of 220 miles might be more properly counted as less than half that. The same could be expected to apply, he said, to much of the proposed new mileage.

    The study revealed some intriguing trends. Men and boys accounted for 91 percent of the toll, or 199 fatalities. That was similar to data for the country as a whole, where male cyclists make up 89 percent of fatalities.

    Thomas R. Frieden, the health commissioner, said the predominance of men and boys among the fatalities might reflect “a little bit more risk-taking behavior from males.”

    Crashes with moving vehicles accounted for 207 of the deaths in the study. Among those, nearly a third involved trucks and buses, although they are only about 15 percent of the vehicles on city streets.

    The trend was the opposite for taxis. Cyclists accustomed to cursing at cabs as the drivers dart through Midtown traffic might be surprised to learn that taxis accounted for only two of the vehicle-bike deaths, or 1 percent, although cabs make up 2 percent of registered vehicles in the city.

    The study also reinforced the importance of wearing a bike helmet. It found that 74 percent of fatal accidents involved head injuries and that, in cases in which records on helmet use were kept, 97 percent of the riders who died were not wearing one.

    The study found that cyclists’ ignoring traffic controls like lights and stop signs was one of the most common factors contributing to fatal accidents. Drivers not paying attention was another common factor.

    The city plans to start an advertising campaign next spring to remind drivers and bike riders about safety.
    i was especially surprised at how few deaths cabs were involved in, as well.

    i guess simple paint stripes on the roadway actually are effective after all.

  2. #2
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Has HH posted in here yet?

    I'm glad NYC is taking some steps to increase cyclist safety. Whether or not BL's actually do work, as I'm sure it will be debated in this thread, I'm glad officials are at least trying to make roads safer.

    EDIT: HH didn't post while I was typing...*gasp*
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  3. #3
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    but only one of those involved a cyclist who was in a marked bike lane.

    ...The city now has about 220 miles of roadway designated for bikes, including paths set off from vehicle traffic by barriers, lanes painted on the street and routes indicated mainly by street signs.
    Guess what... any city with zero miles of bike lanes has even fewer bike lane deaths.

    How many of those 220 miles are true bike lanes - street pavement demarcated with a BL stripe, no barrier or physical separation from motor traffic - and how many total street miles are in the city?

  4. #4
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    .....and a city with zero bike lanes has a lot less bicyclists riding as transportation than cities with a transportation network that vigorously supports bicycling.

    sounds like New York City's has the chance and the impetus to put in a well provided, cohesive and relatively useful grid of bicycle accomodations that will increase both the numbers of bicyclists as well as the viability and cognizance of bicycles as transportation.

    greater bicycle accomodations on Manhattan and other bouroughs will likely have the same synergystic effect seen in cities like Portland and Seattle... the numbers of bicyclists here have exponentially increased as facilities and accomodations increase.

    a city like New York forward-reaching plans to accomodate bikes in the trasportation plan and provide for them on-the-ground is impressive and bound to have positive effects. Similar to effects seen in other cities around the globe by greater bicyclist accomodations-

    "Build it and they will ride."

    NYC with less traffic and more bicyclists - I can imagine.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  5. #5
    Senior Member gwhalin's Avatar
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    If NYC creating more bike lanes gets more people biking, that will make cycling safer. To answer HH's question, the vast majority of NYCs bike lanes are a simple painted line on the street. It is somewhat rare (in my experience) to find a bike lane that is truly blocked off from traffic.
    Take back the bikelane!
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  6. #6
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    There is no direct correlation between the accident fatalities and bike lanes. If the fatalities attributed to wrong-way cyclists, sidewalk cyclists getting killed at intersections, night-riding-with-no-lights cyclists and blowing through traffic control cyclists were pulled out of the total, you may find the only fatality was in the bike lane....

    And if the recent posts of NYC cyclists are any indication, the local motorists simply treat the bike lanes as a great place to park....

  7. #7
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    Two things to keep in mind:
    1. NY has a mandatory bike lane law.
    2. Bloomberg hates cyclists. His administration has declared holy war on cyclists on a number of fronts.

    Those two points put together make me very suspicious. Where there is a mandatory bike lane law, bike lanes are not a cyclist accomodation, rather they are restriction on cyclists' ability to use the road.

    Because of the NYPD's antagonism toward's cyclists, I'm suspicious of any statistics they produce. They have a history of manipulating statistics -- and outright lying -- to cast cycling as dangerous and those who do it as reckless.

    I don't see anything in the statistics presented that "proves" that bike lanes "work."
    The United States of America is the only democratic nation in the world to deny citizens living in the nation's capital representation in the national legislature. District residents have no vote in either the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. www.dcvote.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCCommuter
    Two things to keep in mind:
    1. NY has a mandatory bike lane law.
    sure. there are, though, some exceptions to it. and if bikes are in fact vehicles, oughtent there be situations where their operation is restricted. i'm pretty glad, for instance, that semis are prohibited from driving up my one-way, residential street.

    Quote Originally Posted by DCCommuter
    2. Bloomberg hates cyclists. His administration has declared holy war on cyclists on a number of fronts.
    Bloomberg hates critical mass, which is, despite what timesup would have you believe, not the same as hating cyclists. Bloomberg was in fact pretty pro-cyclist for a time and in what was to be sure a publicity stunt bought a bicycle to commute to city hall during the threat of a transit strike (before the last one) and then, in another publicity stunt, gave it away to a needy teen.

    Quote Originally Posted by DCCommuter
    Those two points put together make me very suspicious. Where there is a mandatory bike lane law, bike lanes are not a cyclist accomodation, rather they are restriction on cyclists' ability to use the road.
    i ride in nyc every day and have never felt that bike lanes are an imposition or a restriction. quite the opposite, in my case.

    Quote Originally Posted by DCCommuter
    Because of the NYPD's antagonism toward's cyclists, I'm suspicious of any statistics they produce. They have a history of manipulating statistics -- and outright lying -- to cast cycling as dangerous and those who do it as reckless.
    this was a multi-agency report, not just nypd. and if that were the city's aim, you might have expected another proposed licensing scheme or an announcement of a ticket blitz, or even a belated announcement that the guy who planted the firecracker at the british embassy'd been caught...not announcement that they were going to spend time and money on new facilities for cyclists.

    Quote Originally Posted by DCCommuter
    I don't see anything in the statistics presented that "proves" that bike lanes "work."
    how about the part where only one fatality occurred inside a marked bike lane? there are lanes on a lot of the busiest and worst sections of city streets in manhattan and brooklyn. you'd expect more than one death on sixth or hudson alone, for pete's sake. and that tangled mess down by the manhattan bridge?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwhalin
    If NYC creating more bike lanes gets more people biking, that will make cycling safer. To answer HH's question, the vast majority of NYCs bike lanes are a simple painted line on the street. It is somewhat rare (in my experience) to find a bike lane that is truly blocked off from traffic.
    one notable exception, of course, is the mup on west street/under the henry hudson which, until completion at least, does involve some streets uptown but is largely a separate (and lovely, btw) facility.

  10. #10
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    So is parking in the bike lane now treated as a major threat to public safety and treated accordingly?
    The United States of America is the only democratic nation in the world to deny citizens living in the nation's capital representation in the national legislature. District residents have no vote in either the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. www.dcvote.org

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCCommuter
    So is parking in the bike lane now treated as a major threat to public safety and treated accordingly?
    it's starting to be taken seriously. TA has a bunch of initiatives right now (including photographing cars &c.) and are gaining some traction in the press. the NYPD is under heat for their parking practices in chinatown & hopefully a recent photography event in brooklyn will expand the pressure over there as well. the daily news, which is harshly anti-CM, has come out in support of TA on multiple occasions.

    Are there flying squads of traffic cops blitzing every bikelane in the city daily, hauling away offending drivers in cuffs and placing their cars on barges to be used are artifical reefs off the jersey coast? of course not. but i've actually seen cops on hudson street tiketing drivers parked in the bike lane at least once a week since the beginning of the summer, which is a start. and as much as i like cycling here in town, i'm nowhere near provincial enough to think this is going to be a top priority in a city with, what, eight millon residents.

  12. #12
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laika
    Bloomberg hates critical mass, which is, despite what timesup would have you believe, not the same as hating cyclists. Bloomberg was in fact pretty pro-cyclist for a time and in what was to be sure a publicity stunt bought a bicycle to commute to city hall during the threat of a transit strike (before the last one) and then, in another publicity stunt, gave it away to a needy teen.
    Agreed that Bloomberg hates critical mass. However, his administration has engaged in ticketing blitzes against cyclists without bells and reflectors in daylight, and mass confiscation of legally parked bicycles locked up on sidewalks. Is that pro-cycling?

    Sadly, these tactics hurt mostly utility cyclists, who for the most part are poor and hard-working delivery people.
    The United States of America is the only democratic nation in the world to deny citizens living in the nation's capital representation in the national legislature. District residents have no vote in either the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. www.dcvote.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCCommuter
    Agreed that Bloomberg hates critical mass. However, his administration has engaged in ticketing blitzes against cyclists without bells and reflectors in daylight, and mass confiscation of legally parked bicycles locked up on sidewalks. Is that pro-cycling?

    Sadly, these tactics hurt mostly utility cyclists, who for the most part are poor and hard-working delivery people.

    agreed that the ticketing blitzes are silly...but bells & lights are the law. and the confiscations have been in the same hipster neighborhoods that provide the bulk of cm riders. believe me, there's no love lost btwn mike and me. but i think a lot of his hostility about cyclists is a result of having had his nose tweaked by rnc protestors in august 04. cm is the only remaining target from then w/in reach, and i think a lot of other cyclists get caught in the middle on that.

  14. #14
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laika
    agreed that the ticketing blitzes are silly...but bells & lights are the law. and the confiscations have been in the same hipster neighborhoods that provide the bulk of cm riders. believe me, there's no love lost btwn mike and me. but i think a lot of his hostility about cyclists is a result of having had his nose tweaked by rnc protestors in august 04. cm is the only remaining target from then w/in reach, and i think a lot of other cyclists get caught in the middle on that.
    So that makes it OK?
    The United States of America is the only democratic nation in the world to deny citizens living in the nation's capital representation in the national legislature. District residents have no vote in either the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. www.dcvote.org

  15. #15
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    I think this report shows it's true colors in the conclusions:
    Quote Originally Posted by report
    Key New York City and New York State Traffic Laws for Motorists and Bicyclists
    ...
    Bicyclists must use a bicycle path if provided except for access, safety, and turns.
    That is actually not true. New York has a mandatory bike lane law, but not a bike path law. They are different things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Guess what... any city with zero miles of bike lanes has even fewer bike lane deaths.
    So what you're saying is that bike/car accidents happen in the bike lane because that's where cyclists are found, and if cyclists are not riding in the bike lane, bike/car accidents occur where the cyclists are found.

    Finally you get it.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCCommuter
    So that makes it OK?
    no, just clarifying that i think the actions against cyclists are a reaction to CM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    bike lanes should always be part of the solution!
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  19. #19
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Guess what... any city with zero miles of bike lanes has even fewer bike lane deaths.
    Oh my! What an earth-shattering observation! Why couldn't I see this before?! This can apply to all forms of laws!

    If we make it so that consent has to come from only one party, rapes will go down!
    If we change the definition of "violence" then violent crimes will go down!
    If we reduce educational standards, then the amount of failing schools will decrease!

    I'll stop now before the government gets too many ideas...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Oh the wonders of undefined data. There are so many questions to ask. One rather obvious one is what defines a death while riding in a bike lane? The next one is how many deaths were there on a street with a bike lane where the cyclist was not riding in the lane. 220 miles of bike lane (especially when each side of the street is counted seperatly) does not seem like much. That kind of nuumber raises questions about just which streets were selected. Often the first streets to get bike lanes are the ones with nice wide shoulders and often (at least comparatively) that are used by large numbers of cyclists. Nothing wrong with doing that. I would do the same. But there is a problem if you then turn arround and say bike lanes make things safer.

    Of course things could be the other way arround. It is possible that some of the bike lanes were put in with commuters in mind and were put to provide some kind of access where otherwise there was none (e.g. really nasty streets). But on hte whole I'd bet the mere 220 miles are more apt to be on what were the safest streets to start with.

  21. #21
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    With zero cyclists there are zero cyclist deaths, either.

    I believe that almost all traffic deaths happen in traffic lanes. We should outlaw those deathtraps.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  22. #22
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    I say we do away with bike lanes. How about we create car only lanes and segregate them from bikes. Consequently, any lane without a car symbol on it will only contain bikes.
    Oh and change the ratio of car lanes to non car lanes to reflect that currently devoted to bike lanes.

  23. #23
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    If an accident/death occurs in an intersection (which rarely if ever have BL markings) on a street that has BLs does it count as an accident/death in a marked BL or not? I'd guess not. Considering that most vehicle (including bicycle involved) accidents occur in intersections this finding is not surprising.

    Al

  24. #24
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    If an accident/death occurs in an intersection (which rarely if ever have BL markings) on a street that has BLs does it count as an accident/death in a marked BL or not? I'd guess not. Considering that most vehicle (including bicycle involved) accidents occur in intersections this finding is not surprising.

    Al
    Bingo. If you read the study, you find that the following stats:

    Here are some stats from the body of the report:
    53% of fatalities on arterial (4 lane or more lanes)
    40% on local streets
    7% on limited access highways (where cycling is prohibited)

    89% of fatalities at intersections
    11% midblock

    It also says:
    Marked bicycle lanes are areas on roadways that are clearly delineated for use by bicyclists. Bicycle lanes are located on city streets, and in parks where the lanes are shared with pedestrians. Using the NYC DOTís database of bicycle lanes, fatal crashes were examined for their proximity to marked bicycle lanes.
    Only one fatal crash with a motor vehicle occurred in a marked bicycle lane. This fatality occurred in Prospect Park, as a result of a motor vehicle colliding with a bicyclist. A total of 10 other fatal crashes occurred in or near a marked bicycle lane. Six fatal bicycle crashes with motor vehicles occurred in close proximity to, but not inside of, a marked bicycle lane. One fatality occurred on a city street near a bicycle lane, but did not involve a motor vehicle. The last three fatalities occurred inside a marked bicycle lane located within a park, but did not involve a motor vehicle.
    So of the 225 deaths, only 11%, or 25, did not occur at intersections. Of those 25, 11 occurred "in or near" bike lanes.

    If you wanted to spin the data differently, your conclusion could have been: "Bike Lanes Death Traps: Over 40% of deaths occur in or near bike lanes, which make up 1% of roads!"

    (New York has 19,000 lane-miles of roads.)

    The more I look at this study the more apparent the political agenda is.
    The United States of America is the only democratic nation in the world to deny citizens living in the nation's capital representation in the national legislature. District residents have no vote in either the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. www.dcvote.org

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    The agenda is: Get bikes out of the way of cars while pacifying the bike community with a little painted line and improving the safety of bicycling 0%

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