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Bike Lane Obstructions in Manhattan, New York City: Implications for Bicyclist Safety

  • Corey H. BaschEmail author
  • Danna Ethan
  • Charles E. Basch
Original Paper

Abstract

Over the past 5 years, the number of regular cyclists in New York City (NYC) increased by ~ 140,000 to over 800,000 regular riders. Aiming to promote safe cycling, NYC has developed over 1000 miles of planned commuting and recreational bike paths across its five boroughs. Bike lane obstructions pose a safety risk to cyclists but the extent of such obstructions is unknown. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to document the frequency and rate of obstructions in protected bike lanes throughout Manhattan, NYC. During the fall of 2018, bicycle obstructions were observed in ten zones of Manhattan, NYC. Three kinds of obstructions within the bicycle lanes were coded: object, pedestrian, and vehicle. A total of 233 obstructions in the protected bike lanes were observed in this study. Obstructions per zone ranged from 11 to 39. The most common type of obstruction was objects, which accounted for 53.2% (n = 124) of obstructions and ranged through zones from 2 to 22. People were the second most common obstruction, which accounted for 28.3% (n = 66) of the obstructions, with a range of 1–22. Vehicles accounted for the remaining 18.5% (n = 43) of the obstructions with a range of 1–9 throughout zones. Findings of this study indicate that, even in “protected” lanes, bikers may be forced into traffic or to approach parked cars, increasing the risk of being “doored.”

Keywords

Bicycling New York City Obstructions Bike lanes 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public HealthWilliam Paterson UniversityWayneUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Sciences, Lehman CollegeThe City University of New YorkBronxUSA
  3. 3.Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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