Where NYC Cyclists Are Most Ticked Off at Drivers for Blocking Bike Lanes

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September 13, 2018

It’s a sight all too familiar for New York City cyclists: drivers blocking bike lanes.

In November 2016, the city’s 311 complaint hotline added a category (it’s under “illegal parking”) allowing cyclists to complain about such offenses. Localize.city, a website that provides insights for every New York City address, found there were eight hot spots for bike lane complaints over the past 12 months.

Localize.city’s data science team analyzed 311 complaints from Sept. 4, 2017 to Sept. 4, 2018. To qualify as a hot spot, an area must have had at least 25 complaints within an 82-foot radius.

Cyclists filed 4,230 complaints about blocked bike lanes over the past year. It represented 1.4 percent of all parking complaints.

“This is a relatively new 311 category, and some cyclists may not even be aware that they can file such complaints. Many are likely unable to call, text or email when they are pedaling,” said Localize.city data scientist Michal Eisenberg. “But there are still some areas with a critical mass of complaints where cyclists are feeling especially frustrated when drivers block their lanes, potentially causing them to swerve into dangerous traffic.”

Advocates also warned of the dangers of bike lanes that can be so easily encroached up by drivers.
“When a city prioritizes convenience for motorists above safety for bicyclists, drivers block bike lanes. That’s not just annoying — it can also be deadly, as it forces people on bikes to merge into other lanes with mixed traffic,.” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “The best way to keep cyclist rights of way clear is to design streets so that bike lanes are located between the parking lane and the curb.”

Here are the hot spots:

  1.  Long Island City
    Vernon Boulevard and 44th Drive: 72
    + Vernon Boulevard and 45th  Road: 40
    Total: 112
  1. Bay Ridge
    Around 220 and 221 72nd Street: 94
  1. Downtown Brooklyn
    Smith Street and Fulton Street: 38
  1. Downtown Brooklyn
    Jay Street and Chapel Street:  36
  1. Astoria
    Vernon Boulevard, between 34th and 35th avenues: 31
  1. Battery Park City
    Between 65 to 69 West Street: 30
  1. Crown Heights
    900 Bergen Street: 30
  1. Prospect-Lefferts Gardens
    Around 115 and 122 Lincoln Road: 28
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