To Silence Nay-Saying Slopers, City Starts Bike Lane-Boosting PR Push

03/30/2011 12:28 PM |

Who will speak for the bike lanes?

  • Who will speak for the bike lanes?

Notice how one-sided the bike lane backlash (or “bikelash”) has been lately? It’s all “Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes this” and “Former DoT Commissioner that,” but the city is finally stepping into the fray to fight for their lanes.

Today’s Times reports that the Bloomberg Administration has designated Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson its official pro-lane lobbyist, and for his first act

[h]e composed a communiqué that laid out a sober, data-driven argument in favor of the lanes — the type of bullet-pointed memo more familiar to political spin shops than public agencies — and posted it on the mayor’s Web site.

You can download a PDF of said communiqué here, which includes stats about accident reduction on stretches where bike lanes are added, the fact that most New Yorkers approved of bike lanes and many are installed at the request of the local Community Board (including the one on Prospect Park West).

The memo also reveals the actual numbers regarding the oft-speculated-about case of pedestrians killed in collisions with cyclists:

From 2001 through 2005, four pedestrians were killed in bike-pedestrian accidents. From 2006 through 2010, while cycling in the city doubled, three pedestrians were killed in bike-pedestrian accidents.

Aside from the stats, Wolfson, Mayor Bloomberg and Department of Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan will all be getting more vocal in their support of the city’s 255 miles of bike lanes, which have come under attack from at least one small but very vocal group of opponents.