BIke lanes, safeguards for all Letter

02 Sep 2015 | 12:07

To the Editor:

Bette Dewing’s Op-Ed, Older Views and Bike Safety, (Our Town, Aug. 19, and online) claims that city government is not concerned about bike safety and suggests that biking is a hazard to all pedestrians, and old people, as she puts it, in particular.

The facts do not support her views. Some of the relevant facts are the following:

1. Streets with bike lanes are 40 percent less deadly for pedestrians.

2. Bike lanes on Ninth Avenue helped reduce injuries by as much as 58 percent.

3. Crashes with injuries went down by 63 percent on Prospect Park West while bike ridership doubled.

Those who are interested in the facts should go to this page: a841-tfpweb.nyc.gov/dotpress/2013/05/facts-on-citi-bike/

Part of the problem with her opinion is that it scares people for no reason. Bike lanes make crossing the street safer for everyone, and especially so for people who cross slowly, because people can wait at the bike lane island before crossing which shortens the distance across the street. Plus, because more bikers will be riding in the bike lane and not all over the street, pedestrians will know where to look. And it slows down vehicular traffic.

Like many people I meet who have negative things to say about biking, who coincidentally are not cyclists, there is an irrational bias against biking that I cannot understand. Biking is good for health, fitness and the environment, so let’s stop scaring people and bashing it with meritless and unfounded arguments.

Richard Weil