I love New York. I am also a bicycle lover. I have ridden and raced over 200,000 miles over the past twenty years, brushed elbows with many pros, Olympic riders, amateur riders, people touring, Boston, Vermont, the Hamptons. Twenty years ago there were no bike lanes in the city. The paths along the West Side Highway are new to the city. Before they were built, there was no complete way to ride the length of Manhattan. To have a full smooth ride to the George Washington Bridge is heaven.
This city takes action, I respect that. They heard the call from bicyclists for alternative transportation routes and they built them. In fact, they are still building them. The newest improvement was just announced, protected bike lanes crosstown on 26th and 29th Streets. Protected lanes are far safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers than painted lanes. Looking to the L train shutdown in April 2019, the city will add a two-way protected bike lane on 13th Street. More crosstown protected bike lanes are proposed for Midtown.
Some of this new bike traffic is due to the CitiBike program where people can rent bicycles by the hour or with unlimited monthly passes. I thought this was a great idea in the beginning, but a lot of people use it who don’t know how to ride in New York City traffic. Guys in suits going to work, trying to manage in rush hour craziness. I have seen them get angry, yelling at drivers or pedestrians. Ideally, a bicycle rider should be going through traffic like salmon upstream, nice and smooth, not too much braking, almost sneaking through cars. Maybe separate bike lanes will help these riders who aren’t good at mixing with traffic.