Bike Share and Bike Lanes in New York City

Dual use of roads may present hazards to more cyclists

In May 2013, the Citi Bike bike share/rental program was inaugurated. Already, it has increased by thousands the number of bike riders who take to New York’s streets and more than 300 miles of bike lanes.

Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson supports the bike share program as a convenient, cost-effective and green way to commute and get around the city. However, we fear a substantial increase in bicycle accidents will result as greater numbers of bicyclists try to coexist with car and truck drivers. Cyclists and motorists may not be prepared for the dangers posed daily.

Helpful or hellish?

Funded by a $41 million grant from CitiBank, Citi Bike brought 10,000 bicycles to Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens for riders to share for short treks in the city. More than 100,000 people signed up for daily, weekly or annual rides in the first month of Citi Ride’s operation. That is an enormous increase from the estimated 19,000 daily cyclists the city typically saw.

It all sounds grand until you consider that these riders must navigate congested and chaotic city streets, poorly marked or adhered-to bike lanes, and frustrated, rushed and careless motorists.

According to the NYC Department of Transportation, 755 bicyclists were injured and three were killed in the last three months of 2011. The prospect of that number skyrocketing with the new influx of bikers is disturbing.

What’s more, casual bike users, such as Citi Bikers, tend not to wear helmets as often as regular bicycle commuters. Wearing a helmet reduces the chance of a brain injury. These riders also are more likely to be novices not accustomed to riding, let alone riding on extremely congested streets.

What you can do to stay safe

Bicyclists should always wear a helmet and obey all bicycle laws. Use bike lanes whenever possible, but even when doing so, keep a sharp eye out for errant motorists or road hazards. Avoid riding when visibility is low, such as in the rain or when it’s dark.

If you are injured in a bicycle accident in New York, our attorneys can help you obtain the medical care you need to recover. We also pursue wrongful death cases against motorists whose negligence claims the lives of bike riders.

Do not hesitate to seek our legal advice

Our lawyers talk to you free and can quickly assess your options. An injury can make your life so difficult. Let an attorney at our firm see if we can help. Contact Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson online or at 844.302.8312. Do not go through this alone.