Localize.city, a website that provides real estate insight for New York City neighborhoods, is following up on its report that identified the city’s 12 most dangerous areas for pedestrians and cyclists with a new report that shows where city cyclists complain the most about vehicles blocking bike lanes.
In November 2016, the city added a new category to its 311 complaint hotline that allowed cyclists to report block bike lane offenses. Analyzing 311 complaints from September 4, 2017 to September 4, 2018, and determined that there were eight hot spots for bike lane complaints over that 12-month period. In total, cyclist filed 4,230 complaints, representing 1.4 percent of all parking complaints.
To qualify as a hot spot, an area must have had at least 25 complaints within an 82-foot radius. Here were the eight hot spots:
Long Island City
Vernon Boulevard and 44th Drive: 72 complaints
Vernon Boulevard and 45th Road: 40 complaints
Around 220 and 221 72nd Street: 94 complaints
Smith Street and Fulton Street: 38 complaints
Jay Street and Chapel Street: 36 complaints
Vernon Boulevard, between 34th and 35th avenues: 31 complaints
Battery Park City
Between 65 to 69 West Street: 30 complaints
900 Bergen Street: 30 complaints
Around 115 and 122 Lincoln Road: 28
Of course, there is no true way of knowing just how many cyclists are confronted with blocked bike paths on a regular basis. “This is a relatively new 311 category, and some cyclists may not even be aware that they can file such complaints. Many are likely unable to call, text or email when they are pedaling,” said Localize.city data scientist Michal Eisenberg. However, Eisenberg notes that areas with a “critical mass of complaints” are dangerous as they may cause cyclists to swerve into other traffic lanes.
“The best way to keep cyclist rights of way clear is to design streets so that bike lanes are located between the parking lane and the curb,” says Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, Paul White.