Stringer Cites ‘Chaos’ in Bike Lanes

Scott Stringer at Bike Lanes News ConferenceRobyn Baitcher Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer called for more measures to protect cyclists in bike lanes.

Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer held a news conference this morning on the corner of St. Marks Place and Second Avenue where he revealed the findings of a three-day observational study on the safety of bike lanes in the city.

The results?

“Unfortunately, chaos reigns in bike lanes across the city,” Mr. Stringer said.

Data collectors for the study cited a multitude of infractions involving bike lanes, Mr. Stringer said. They included instances in which cars encroached onto bike lanes and unmarked police vehicles cut across the lanes in non-emergency situations.

Mr. Stringer said that he chose St. Marks and Second for the news conference because it was the site of 173 traffic infractions involving bike lanes during a two-hour period. That figure makes the corner one of the most active locations for bike lane infractions in New York City, according to the study.

The intersection of 14th Street and First Avenue was also noted as being a particularly dangerous location; it tallied 76 infractions.

According to the study, the 22 hours of observation revealed over 1,700 infractions, including over 275 cases of motorists blocking bike lanes. But observers for the study reported that they only saw two tickets issued.

Mr. Stringer, who also called bike lanes “unpredictable and unprotected,” issued a set of recommendations designed to help make the lanes safer. Those steps include an awareness campaign about the perils of open car doors and creating reserved parking spaces to facilitate deliveries to businesses.

Tell us about your experiences with bike lane safety in the East Village.