Citi Bike trips hit an all-time high one day last week with more than 70,000 rides taken in a single day. With more and more commuters turning toward, the Department of Transportation has announced plans to increase the city’s stock of protected bike lanes by 10 miles, while adding 50 miles of regular bike lanes annually thereafter, reports Crain’s.
In an effort to make conditions safer for cyclists, the DOT also plans to designate “priority bicycle districts” in areas that have seen a high number of accidents or fatalities involving cyclists. So far, these will be located in seven Brooklyn neighborhoods and three places in Queens where its not uncommon for the number of cyclists to outnumber motorists.
Last year, Mayor Bill de Blasio and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg set out to add 75 miles of new bike lanes as part of the mayor’s Vision Zero plans to expand the city’s protected bike network but critics argued that it wasn’t enough. This time around, people are beginning to complain that the city has become too cyclists-friendly, prompting what the New York Times is calling a “bikelash.” The argument here is that bike lanes and Citi Bike docking stations take away from already scarce parking space.
“You’re turning Manhattan upside down and inside out to accommodate a handful of bicyclists and activists,” said one real estate broker to the Times.
Nevertheless, the city argues that by increasing bike lanes, they are in fact saving lives since about 90 percent of fatalities involving cyclists happen outside of bike lanes. “We want to be sure that every single person who gets on a bike, especially children and senior citizens, feels safe,” said City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez.