Backlash for Bicyclists or Blown Up Bolstering

In a recent article by the New York Times they described a situation in New York City that was, to put it a nice way, bike resistant. In truth is this really what is going on?

Let’s take a step back and explain the information. Bicycling in NYC has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years mainly due to the various bike advocacy groups in the city as well as the director of the DOT who seems to be bike-friendly. For some reason people are now getting up in arms about the biking lanes being put into the city, but how big is this. The article makes it seem like there is a growing movement of people who are fighting the bike lanes. Today I received an e-mail that read:

Frankly, the backlash is often baffling. A new protected lane on Prospect Park West has produced a ridiculous uproar. Last week, the New York Times gave top billing to an anti-bike rally despite a turnout that could fit in a taxicab. “Opposition to the city’s agenda on bicycles,” the Times reported, “is gaining increased attention.”

It seems by the amount of people that actually show up to protest bikes that the movement is dead in the water compared to the amount of people the bike advocacy groups have.

On the Spokes blog on the NYTimes site there was a post asking for comments on this issue. You can read through them all but, trust me, it takes a while. There are anti-cyclist comments 0n the post and some of them make good points about bikers not following the rules of the road and things, but you won’t find many that talk about bike lanes as a detriment. If you take this as a sampling of the city itself I think they will be alright in terms of keeping their bike lanes.

We talk about other cities a lot here on the ABC blog, and that is only so that we can learn from the happenings going on there. So what can we take from this? Well for one we can see that people will not always see things our way. We have to have the support of the community at large to get things done and keep them that way.

What do you think?

Written by Chris Belsole

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