Poll Finds Majority of New Yorkers Support Bike Lanes

By Mathew Katz on August 9, 2011 7:57pm 

The DOT is extending bike lanes along First and Second avenues between 34th and 59th streets. Roughly two-thirds of those polled in a recent survey say they support bike lanes in New York City.
The DOT is extending bike lanes along First and Second avenues between 34th and 59th streets. Roughly two-thirds of those polled in a recent survey say they support bike lanes in New York City.
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DNAinfo/Mary Johnson

MANHATTAN — Roughly two-thirds of New Yorkers think that bike lanes in the city are a good idea,  according to a NY1-Marist poll released Tuesday. 

The survey found 66 percent of New Yorkers support bike lanes in the city. Slightly more than a quarter of those polled said they oppose them, and six percent said they were unsure.

Bike advocates hailed the poll's results.

"In all five boroughs, support for bike lanes is strong and growing," said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "With nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers citywide in favor of these street safety improvements, bike lanes are now undeniably an integral part of life in the Big Apple."

Significantly fewer people, however, said that the lanes helped traffic. 

Forty percent of those polled claimed that bike lanes make traffic worse, and only a quarter said bike lanes improve traffic.

Less than half — 44 percent — said that the number of bike lanes in the city was on target. More than a quarter wanted to see more lanes, while 23 percent called for the number of lanes to be reduced.

Of the nearly 800 people polled, 13 percent were bicylists, according to the data.

The New York City Department of Transportation hopes to double bicycle commuting by 2015, and has added hundreds of miles of bike lanes to the city in recent years. The DOT estimates an average of 17,500 cyclists entered Manhattan's central business district on any given day in 2010.

A 2009 Transportation Alternatives study found more than 230,000 bicylists riding city streets each day.

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