In this chapter of New York City bike lane wars, a recent study found that a majority of New Yorkers actually support bike lanes, or according the poll question, they approve of them “because it’s greener and healthier for people to ride their bicycle.” The Quinnipiac University study released last week also found that 39% of New Yorkers were against bike lanes “because it leaves less room for cars which increases traffic.” 6% of respondents either did not answer or had no opinion.
Although cycling advocates probably peed their pants at those numbers, the results should be taken with a grain of salt since the poll question was a bit too narrow. Still, New York’s future as a bike haven seems assured as voters between 18 and 49 years old were the strongest supporters of the lanes.
Among the boroughs, support was strongest in Brooklyn and Manhattan, with most voters in Queens disapproving of the lanes, albeit by a small margin (3%). It’s no wonder that Queens residents — including their most famous politician (see below) are less pro lane. I mean, would you really want to go biking down the Queens Boulevard?
Of course, the poll comes at an interesting time for bike lane debates. Within the past month alone, serious movements against cycling advocates have made some headway: remember that one time the State actually considered requiring licenses for all bikes? Or when potential NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner — who, ahem, is also from Queens — reportedly told Mayor Bloomberg he was going to “tear out” bike lanes? (Update: he sort of apologized on Twitter).
Just in time, however, City Hall released a report yesterday detailing exactly why bike lanes are a good idea. Apparently, injuries to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians decrease significantly when bike lanes are installed. Who would’ve thunk?