Many people assume that New York City is an unsafe place for bicyclists. While it is true that the city does have some challenges for people on bicycles, it is safer than most people realize. One thing that has increased the safety for cyclists is that the city has made great strides toward providing a good environment for them. This includes dedicated bike lanes that are gaining more miles each year.
New York City is known for aggressive drivers, but with the number of cyclists sharing the roads, these drivers have become conditioned to watch for bicycles. There are around a half million cyclists in the city each month. This is one of the biggest factors for why NYC is considered one of the safest cities for cyclists.
Vision Zero helps bicyclists
The number of stoplights in the city has increased while the speed limit has decreased. Mayor Bill de Blasio began this program to make the city's streets safer for everyone. The default speed limit for most areas of the city is 25 miles per hour. This means it is easier for motorists to stop when they need to, including when they are near pedestrians and bicyclists. There are fewer car-bicycle crashes due, in part, to these seemingly small changes.
Bike lane safety
New Yorkers were able to enjoy bike lanes in Brooklyn in 1894, and the city has expanded since. Most of the bike lanes in the city are located between the sidewalk and marked lanes for parking. This provides a nice cushion between bicycles and moving vehicles. By offering bicycles a dedicated space to ride without taking away parking spaces for vehicles, the city has decreased the chance that people riding bikes will face dooring incidents. Just be sure to watch for obstacles, such as potholes, in the bike lanes.
Bicyclists are improving safety
Another factor that is helping to improve bicyclist safety is the cyclists themselves. They are paying more attention to common sense aspects of being on the roads with vehicles. Wearing helmets, staying distraction-free and watching what's happening around them are all steps that they are taking to make it to their destinations without incident.
For cyclists who are victims of cars slamming into them, knowing their rights is a priority. They must ensure that they are taking steps to preserve their right to seek compensation for the damages they suffer.