There are fewer buses on the streets of Manhattan now than before, so I can always ride on the "BUS ONLY" lane, and the chances of being passed by a bus by 1 inch or squeezed into a sidewalk is getting smaller because I don't see many buses any more.
(btw, will those cops who like to fine cyclists fine us if we are found riding in a BUS ONLY lane?)
Well they'll have to catch cyclists since we don't have license plates that can be photographed but you never know about cops who have a quota to fill or precincts that haven't been particularly bike friendly in the past.
Under circumstances where the choice is between being hit by a car in the car lane and being fined in the bus only lane, I'll choose the latter. No one is going to reward me for obeying the law when I've become a victim. Just look at those law-obeying cyclists killed by elderly drivers. They are even blamed for riding bicycles.
I wouldn't mind riding in these new bike lanes if they weren't constantly blocked by Police cars and cabs and full of pedestrians, joggers and people walking their dogs, and recently, people on wheelchairs. Plus, there is no protection for cyclists from turning cars, every intersection is a struggle to get through. I feel safer in the bus lane and I'm yet to see a bus passing me. If I get ticketed I'll take it to the court: I want bike lanes enforced as well and that means ticketing pedestrians and drivers for violating the bike lanes. The stupid pedestrian islands only encourage people to walk into the bike lanes. It's very frustrating.