Though lawsuits and terse letters from neighborhood groups may make bike lanes seem controversial, a new survey from The New York Times finds that the majority of New Yorkers actually support a separate lane for bicycles.
When asked if bike lanes were a good idea or a bad idea, 66 percent of those polled said they were a good idea, with a majority in all boroughs backing the lanes as well.
The lanes make “for a cleaner, safer, more inviting, more interpersonal city,” Barrie Cassileth, 73, of Manhattan, told the paper in a follow-up interview after the poll.
Twenty-seven percent of residents called the lanes a bad idea, and 7 percent had no opinion or did not answer, according to the Times.
Gloria Tingue, 41, an occupational therapist in Brooklyn, believes that the bike lanes aren’t well planned and that cyclists often ignore the rules of the road. “I know it’s environmentally sound, but you have to think about how to do it so everyone can participate in a safe manner.”
And though bike lanes have their support, the poll found that most New Yorkers aren’t even riding regularly. A third of adults in the city said they owned a bicycle, and nearly half said nobody in their household had one. Of those who do own a bike, about half said they rode once a week or more.
The Times polled 1,026 adults, between Aug. 10 to 15 using landline phones and cellphones, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.