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Bike fatalities declining in New York despite no dedicated lanes

New York City has seen a significant increase in bicycle riders from 2005 until today. In 2005, there were just 170,000 people that were reported to ride bikes in the city. Today, with all the bike rental options that exist throughout the city, there are some estimates that there are 450,000. This equates to one in every five commuters citywide.

With the uptick in bike riders in the city, it's caused a bit of concern among area residents and community leaders alike. Many report that bicyclists not only run red lights, but speed, get distracted on their phones with calls and texts, drive the wrong way down streets or to drive up on sidewalks alongside pedestrians.

Frustrated residents and community leaders have also noted that the city's bike craze has led to even-more clogged roadways. This has made it even more difficult for motorists to find parking or simply drop others off.

In Manhattan and Queens, despite proposals to regulate biking in these boroughs, the initiatives have largely been abandoned. In the country's other major cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago, special paths have been carved out to ensure bicyclists know their place and are protected. At 45,057 daily bike commuters, the most of any American city, critics argue New Yorkers can do more.

Despite the delay in creating special pathways along which bicyclists can ride, it hasn't stopped proponents from doing their part. The Vision Zero initiative was recently launched in the city with the aim of reducing traffic fatalities. Its creators hope to do so by investing in adding an additional 50 miles in bike lanes throughout the city each year.

New data released by the city notes that there were just 18 bike-related fatalities in 2016, a significant decrease from previous years. The city notes most problem areas continue to be 10 different areas, primarily in certain portions of Queens and Brooklyn. These are where fatalities have been the highest.

If you've been either seriously injured or have a loved one that's been killed in a bike-related crash, then a Queens motor vehicle accident attorney can help you file either an injury or wrongful death claim in your case.

Source: New York Times, "More New Yorkers opting for life in the bike lane," Winnie Hu, July 30, 2017

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