De Blasio Announces Bike Lanes Extension


Anna Letson

In a busy city like New York, safety is a biker’s biggest concern. In hopes of a good solution, many NYU students anticipate Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new plans for biker safety.

Sierra Jackson , Contributing Writer

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to extend the current bike lanes on 8th Street from Astor Place to Sixth Avenue on Sept. 13 as a continuation of his Vision Zero project to improve safety conditions for cyclists.

Amongst NYU students, there is a pre-existing need for more bike lanes. Many students, like CAS graduate student Kilian Breathnach, believe that biking, skateboarding and blading save both time and money compared to traveling by subway, cab or bus.

“Biking is the superior mode of transportation here,” Breathnach said. “I live six to seven miles from campus, depending on the route I take, and it takes me around 30 minutes to bike it whereas the subway takes at least 35 to 40 — and that’s with no delays.”

Citi Bike, which offers unlimited 30 minute rides for a day at the price of $12, and NYU’s no cost BikeShare program, also serve as viable options for those searching for cheap means of transportation.

However, Gallatin freshman Ingrid Apgar said she believes these alternative traveling methods can spell danger for students who must face New York City traffic.

“Biking in New York is nerve-wracking because so much of your safety is in the hands of other people and their choices, rather than it being completely on you to reach your destination uninjured,” Apgar said.

In fact, this year there have already been 17 fatalities involving a cyclist and a motor vehicle. However, these stats don’t seem to deter New Yorkers as more than 250,000 people ride a bike regularly, according to NYC’s Department of Transportation.

CAS freshman Matthew Park is a competitive cyclist and finds New York City roads too dangerous for his cycling training. He often travels far distances to search for level roads and clearly defined bike lanes.

“In general New York is not a safe place to ride at all and I have to cross the bridge to New Jersey in order to ride my bike properly,” Park said. “The roads in New York have a lot of potholes and [are] just never properly paved so it’s not ideal. I noticed that pedestrians do not care about the traffic lights at all and the bike lanes here are pretty much non-existent.”

People who get around campus on wheels, such as Apgar believe that although bike lanes are a step in the right direction, more change must roll into the city.

“I do think the new bike lanes will be helpful and give bikers better access to a safe route, but I do not see it fixing the attitudes of the people who drive,” Apgar said.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 26 print edition. Email Sierra Jackson at [email protected].