Public transportation has been one of the most affected services during the pandemic in New York City. During the peak of the outbreak in the city, subway ridership suffered drastically and fell to 25% of what it used to be. When the city opened up, commuters were still awry of the public transit system and chose to bike instead.
Surge in cycling in New York
New Yorkers took to new hobbies to get through the pandemic and biking was on top of the list. New cycling enthusiasts sprung up in all boroughs. In fact, the number of cyclists counted this year were the highest ever recorded and here’s data from the DOT to explain it:
- ~25,000 cyclists crossed the city’s four East River bridges on an average weekday from July through October
- Weekend bike trips almost doubled this October, when ~ 22,439 people biked over the East River
- On the Queensboro Bridge, weekday bike trips were up a whopping 56 percent from 2019
Challenges due to the surge
While biking is a great way to reduce emissions and definitely has numerous health benefits, the city’s infrastructure is not equipped for this sudden and large surge. Narrow streets and bridges are often overcrowded with bikers and tourists scrambling for space. On the Queensboro Bridge, drivers have access to nine lanes but cyclists only get half of a single lane. The bridges between Manhattan and Brooklyn are also a bottleneck for inter-borough cyclists.
For many years, cyclists and street-safety advocacy groups have been spreading awareness about the dangerous conditions for bikers. Their pleas to create more room have fallen on the deaf ears of DOT and Mayor DeBlasio. With the recent resignation of DOT Commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, any positive changes are bound to be further delayed.
These delays in scaling up biking infrastructure for the city have not come cheap. The city was forced to settle after an attorney at Kings County District Attorney’s office was thrown off her bike due to a tourist strolling into her bike lane. The victim, Carolea Goldfarb, fractured her arm and required surgery. The settlement was worth $75,000 because the DOT admitted that they were aware of the dangerous conditions on the bridge.
Goldfarb’s injury coupled with 22 cyclist deaths as reported by the DOT so far this year, indicate that cyclist conditions are a growing concern in New York City. Currently, Staten Island is the only borough without a bike-share program. In March, they plan to launch a 350 bike program on the North Shore which will only exacerbate the crowding problem.
What happens if a biker meets with an accident?
Bikers suffering injuries are owed compensation by the city. A personal injury attorney will be able to represent your interests in this situation. Accident attorneys are able to make difficult legal matters much smoother for victims.
If you or someone you know have been injured in a biking / cycling accident and need a winning law firm, contact Siler & Ingber today. Call us on 1-877-529-4343 or complete our online form on this page to schedule a case evaluation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. Our consultation is free and we do not charge a fee unless we win your case.