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Will Adding Bike Lanes Help Minimize Bike Accidents?

October 9, 2020
street with bike lanes and cars

In response to the unprecedented ravages of COVID-19, New York City’s mayor has added an additional nine miles of bike lanes in its Open Streets initiative. The pandemic – and the need for social distancing it has created – has led to a similarly unprecedented surge in biking, and the City’s response is a dramatic increase in temporary protected bike lanes. Late in June, the mayor announced that the City would be increasing these protected temporary lanes by an additional nine miles. Many, however, point out that there are inherent potential dangers involved. If a negligent motorist leaves you injured in a bike accident, don’t delay consulting with an experienced New York City bike accident attorney.

The Need for More Bike Lanes: A Double-Edged Sword?

In a pandemic that requires social distancing of about 6 feet, mass transit is not a great option. With thousands of NYC commuters heading to work on their bikes in an effort to avoid the dangers of mass transit, the City is experiencing a glut of freshly minted commuters on bikes, who are unlikely to have the necessary experience to safely navigate our very congested streets. As the City continues to move forward with its stages of reopening, traffic is heating up, and many with knowledge and experience in the matter are predicting an upcoming bad run for cyclists. Indeed, early indicators suggest that bike accidents are on the rise.

Pros and Cons

The response to the Open Streets initiative has been so positive in many communities (Jackson Heights in Queens, for example) that some are advocating for the changes to remain in effect permanently. People in some other areas, however, have a different take on the matter. Many of the temporary bike lanes aren’t receiving adequate enforcement, and motorists have even barreled through the wooden barricades in some places. Further, some motorists consistently take it upon themselves to use these bike lanes for parking and standing, which increases the inherent dangers for bicyclists.

The Temporary Protected Bike Lanes

The temporary bike lanes are being created with a mishmash of tools that include:

  • Lane markings and other safety signage
  • Wooden A-frame barricades
  • Road construction barrels
  • Other types of barriers

Many experienced cyclists describe the efforts as haphazard at best. When dedicated bike lanes are well constructed, it can go a long way toward helping to protect bicyclists on our roads.

Make the Call to an Experienced NYC Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

While NYC is dramatically increasing the number of temporary bike lanes throughout its boroughs, this doesn’t mean that they are as safe as they could – or should – be. If a motorist leaves you injured in a bike accident, the experienced NYC bike accident attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman have decades of experience helping clients like you obtain the settlements – and court awards – to which they are entitled – and we’d like to help you do the same. You and your case are important, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 212-285-3300 for more information today.


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