Brooklyn bicycle accidents not reduced by bike lane, detractors argue

March 10, 2011

The New York Times is reporting that some New Yorkers are suing the city to remove a controversial bicycle lane in Brooklyn.

New York City Bicycle Accident Lawyer Nicholas Rose reported in an earlier post to his New York Injury Lawyer Blog that bicycling accident are a growing risk with the ever-increasing popularity of cycling for transportation, fitness and recreation.
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After a year of pamphlets, rallies and dueling petitions a lawsuit was filed regarding the recently installed bike path along Prospect Park West. The lawsuit seeks the removal of this bike path. Bike lanes in New York City had been challenged before, particularly during the Koch administration in 1980.

The lawsuit accuses the Transportation Department of giving the wrong impression to residents about the benefits of the lane, selectively choosing statistics on safety improvements and joined bicycle activists to suppress community resistance.

Residents have complained that the two-way bicycle lane has reduced the room for cars and interferes with the view of pedestrians crossing the street. Government actions deemed to be random or unfair can be called into question, and is the basis of the legal complaint.

Department of Transportation officials had not fully reviewed the lawsuit. A department spokesman said the bike lane has been a success. There has been declines in speeding, crashes and injuries and usage of the path has tripled on weekdays and doubled on weekends.

Opponents argue that safety has not improved, and their suit contends that the department presented misleading statistics. Transportation officials are also being accused of ignoring required environmental reviews and dodging a public review process. Only after the choice was made to make it permanent did they present a full report on the bike lane.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released its 2009 data on bicyclists statistics. Two percent of all traffic deaths (630) and two percent (51,000) of all traffic injuries were bicyclists. Traffic deaths were down 12% from 2008. New York reported 29 bicycle deaths in 2009.

Motorists and cyclists who share NYC streets and corridors are reminded that driving distracted increases your chances of a traffic accident. Refrain from talking or texting on cell phones when commuting on the congested streets of New York City.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident contact New York City personal injury lawyer, Nicholas Rose. Call today for a free and confidential consultation. To schedule an appointment, call us at 1-877-313-ROSE (7673).