Plan to increase bike lanes

December 9, 2010 2:28:17 PM PST
It is the latest balancing act in the city as bicyclists, cars, and walkers battle over control of the streets. It is what brought Rosalie Friend to wait on a long line outside a public hearing on the subject in lower Manhattan. She does not own a car, does not get around as well as she used to and is in favor of a city with fewer speeding cars in it.

"The cars cause quite a bit of problem. They keep running into people and killing them," said Rosalie Friend.

Upstairs, the city council transportation committee met to weigh the benefits and pitfalls of expanding bike lanes throughout the boroughs. Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to put the city at the forefront of a national trend has been met with applauds and opposition.

I think if we can all agree there is too much traffic, then we can agree we need more bike lanes," said Sproule Love, a bicyclist.

The department of transportation says efforts to encourage more bicycles on the road as translated into 109% increase in their use over the last 4 years.

The result: the department of transportation system a pedestrian on a street with a bike lane is now 40% less likely to be hit by a car because drivers are more cautious. However, now some are more worried about get hit by a bike.

You have to look both ways, two times. You have be careful which way your going," said Kenneth Burke, a pedestrian.

That is not the only complaint. From complaints of increased congestion to them reducing neighborhood parking, the city has a challenge ahead of it. However, in the end, the department of transportation is determined to expand its bike lane program with the help of everyone involved.