At the end of 2018, 20.9 miles of protected bike lanes were added to NYC streets. Despite over 170 miles of bike paths, bike lanes and Greenways in the Bronx, cyclists are still being hit. In 2017, there were over 450 bicycle accidents in the Bronx.
Take the example of Carlos Vasquez. He was killed last year while riding his bike on Webster Avenue. A box truck driver struck him late in the evening and fled the scene.
Now, almost a year after his death, Vasquez’s family is fighting for safer bike lanes. Webster Avenue, where Vasquez was killed, has a lot of room designated for motor vehicle traffic, but no areas for cyclists. His family argues this needs to change.
Biking on the Rise
In recent years, biking has become more popular. NYC reports that over 750,000 New Yorkers regularly ride a bike. Since 1980, the number of people who bike to work has more than quadrupled.
This can be attributed to many factors. First, business and congestion of roadways has turned many people away from driving. The same can be said for public transportation as subways and buses are increasingly crowded. Additionally, people are becoming more environmentally conscious and bike riding allows them to reduce their carbon footprint.
As the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) attempts to keep up with this trend, new bike lanes are being created.
Types of Bike Lanes
Studies show that having bike lanes increases the safety of cyclists. DOT reports that streets with them have almost 40% fewer crashes. With more bikers on the street, cyclist safety is very important. Therefore, DOT has pushed the initiative to improve and increase the amount of bike lanes. There are three different types of protected bike areas that have different rules.
- Protected Bike Lanes: Green paths separated from traffic. Often, there are some sort of dividers that separate riders from drivers including plastic posts, bollards, curbs, planters, raised bumps or car parking spaces. Pedestrians or cars are not permitted to use these lanes.
- Conventional Bike Lanes: White bordered paths next to motor vehicle traffic. Here there is no separation between bikers and drivers.
- Shared Bike Lanes: Shared roads represented by a white bicycle periodically painted on the pavement.
Other than bike lanes, NYC does have some protected paths and Greenways. These paths are completely separated from all motor vehicle traffic. Additionally, certain bike paths have special hours deciding when they can be used.
Bike Lanes in the Bronx
Here are some roadway locations in the Bronx that have recently implemented protected bike lanes:
- 2.4 miles on Broadway
- 1.8 miles on E 133rd Street, St. Ann’s Avenue and Willow Avenue
- 1.9 miles on Food Center Drive
- 1.1 miles on Willis Avenue Bridge
In 2018, a new protected bike lane was constructed alongside Van Cortlandt Park on Broadway. This two-way bike lane is popular among both young and old cyclists. Despite narrowing the traffic area by thirty percent, the road has become dramatically safer and speeding has decreased.
Besides these locations, there are many other roads that have bike lanes.
NYC Biking Rules
When bike riding in NYC, it is incredibly important to follow the biking traffic laws. Bicyclists must obey all traffic signals, signs and pavement markings. Additionally, biking is only permitted on streets, not sidewalks (except for riders under 12 years of age).
Follow these NYC rules to ensure your own and others’ safety while biking:
- Bikers must have at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
- Cyclists must use designated areas when riding unless turning, accessing roads, etc.
- Bikers cannot wear more than one headphone while riding.
- When biking, riders must ride on a permanent seat and have their feet on the pedals.
- Bikes must be equipped with working brakes and reflective tires or other reflective devices.
- If riding when dark, bikes must have a white headlight and red taillight.
- Bikers must ride in the same direction of traffic.
- Bicyclists must use hand signals when turning or decreasing speed.
- Riders under 14 years of age must wear an approved helmet at all times (although experts suggest all bikers wear helmets).
It is also imperative for drivers to obey laws pertaining to the bike lanes. Obstruction of bike lanes by a vehicle is strictly prohibited.
Were you Injured in a Bike Lane Accident?
Biking accidents can happen for many reasons and cause many types of injuries. Although most bike accidents involving vehicles may be out of the biker’s control, there are some precautionary steps that can help avoid injury.
However, if you were injured in bike lane crash, you may be eligible to compensation.
For example, No-Fault benefits may cover medical bills and lost earnings if all the required information is filed within 30 days of the accident.
Also, a cyclist hit in a bike path or lane may receive compensation if a driver is proven negligent. In other words, you must prove that the driver caused the accident. To do so, it must be shown that a driver violated their duty of care not to injure others. This is made easier if the driver is caught disobeying traffic rules at the time of the accident, such as speeding or driving in a bike lane.
After showing negligence, you must prove that you sustained a qualifying injurybecause of the accident. This requires obtaining proper medical proof.
If you or a loved one was injured in a bike accident while in a bike lane, our experienced attorneys can help. For inquiries about the compensation you deserve, contact our attorneys by email or by calling (718) 364-4000 for a free consultation. You may also fill out one of our case intake forms, and one of our attorneys will get back to you as soon as possible.