NYC Mayor Bloomberg has added 290 miles of bicycle lanes to NYC since 2002. They are most visible on 9th, 2nd, and 1st Aves, where the bike lanes are ‘protected’. A Protected Lane places the bicycle lane and a 2 foot buffer between the curb and a lane of car parking to protect the cyclists from traffic. After a little bit of market research, I believe these protected bike lanes are costing NYC revenue and parking spaces.
Full disclosure before I go any further. I am a fan of NYC public transportation. I regularly take the NYC bus and subways as well as walk. I take a taxi only when I’m in a rush, it’s late, or the subway or bus will take too long. I also drive to get in and out of Manhattan, but I rarely drive in the city. And I never ride a bicycle in NYC.
I wasn’t an early fan of the bicycle lanes because they took away one traffic lane that could be used by cars and taxis, and the new Select Service (fast) bus lanes on 1st & 2nd Aves also take away one lane of traffic.
But lately, these bicycle lanes feel like they’re doing more harm than good. A few days ago I took these photos of cars parked next to the protected bike lane on 1st Ave in the 60s (photos above). Read more…