Bicycling in New York: Good or Bad?

Photo by: Getty Images

While being a New Yorker, there is no way denying the amount of the pollution the city produces. Thick gases from cars, buses, and factories form dark, translucent clouds following us like an unwanted imaginary friend.  However, even if the New Yorker’s eyes are blind to the pollution, we cannot be ignorant to the fact that pollution is a problem. One solution is encouraging bicycling in New York, a greener alternative form of transportation. But is cycling in New York really a good or bad thing?

If one looks at this issue from an environmental stand point, it seems quite clear that bicycling one’s way through the city is not only beneficial for mother Earth, but it is just as good for our bodies. Not only is riding a bike an easy form of exercise, builds up stamina for busy New York days, but it also saves cab and metro fares. So switching gears, opting to cycle to work instead of overcrowded trains, does have it perks.

But cycling in the city can at times, be dangerous for the rider.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has been on a quest to set up lots of bike lanes for New Yorkers. But although, riders have a more designated space to ride, some lanes like the ones located in Prospect Park West, can be considered dangerous for some. Cyclists often run over pedestrians. According to an article on the New York Post, accidents and injuries have increased after the path was positioned in Prospect Park.

Store owners throughout the city have also stated that it is harder for delivery trucks to park and unload shipments and there has been reports that the lanes cause major traffic congestion.

According to a poll taken in August 2012 by the New York Times, 66 percent of New Yorkers said bike lanes were a good idea. What do you think New Yorkers?

Check out this video about the bike lanes by Melissa Grace and Tina Moore, Daily News writers.

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5 thoughts on “Bicycling in New York: Good or Bad?

  1. Hello, Thank you for dropping by my blog. I hope I was able to share some insights and ideas no matter how mundane some of them may be lol.

    I find your blog light and informative, I must say I agree with you about your thoughts on biking. . 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by as well. I enjoyed reading your last post about life.

      Do you often ride bikes? In the city it could be dangerous but beneficial as well. I appreciate the comment. =)

      1. Thank you for liking the post about life. I wish I could ride the bike as often as I can but sad to say the city environment here is not so conducive and supportive about bike riding. Soon I will share a story about what happened to the person who suggested bike riding to the government 🙂

  2. Great post. But some other facts about the city’s love/hate relationship with cyclists:

    * Much of the animosity toward cyclists (and the statistics about traffic) coming from CBS’ Marcia Kramer and the NY Post are manufactured by an astroturf group called Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes (NBBL), a NIMBY group of upset Prospect Park residents against the bike lanes that includes Charles Schumer and his wife Iris Weinshall (a former NYCDOT commissioner with a grudge toward Bloomberg). Here’s an article http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/11/16/the-nbbl-files-weinshall-and-steisel-manufactured-anti-bike-coverage/

    * The city HAS to get more commuters on bikes–in Bloomberg’s plaNYC (unveiled back around 2004-2005), it was determined that the city’s commuter routes are all at or above capacity. In order to create transit infrastructure for the estimated 1 million new residents the city would have by 2025, there would have to be some $30 B in new transit infrastructure investments (new train lines under the East River, new subway tunnels in midtown, etc). If NYers were biking to work at the proportions of, say people in Portland, OR, spending on new infrastructure could be phased in much more slowly. In Portland, 5.4% of all commutes are by bike; NYC is under 1%. Interesting that this was reported by Bloomberg’s news service…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-22/portland-is-top-bike-to-work-city-as-lawyers-hit-street.html

    Lots of issues surround the roll-out of NY as a more bicycle friendly city.

    1. Thanks for reading this post Dan! I appreciate you adding some facts to this piece. I think more people should bike around the city, but it is often dangerous and I sympathize with that.

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