Volume 76, Number 18 | September 20 - 26, 2006

Will bike lanes turn uneasy riders into easy riders?

Photos and interviews by Jefferson Siegel

AT 20TH ST. AND FIRST AVE.

Name: Stella Darveris
Lives: Stuyvesant Town
Occupation: Video maker

Do you support the city’s plan to create 200 miles of new bike lanes, including on 20th and 21st Sts. from river to river? I’m all in favor of bike lanes that are safe. I used to ride a bike, but it seems that it’s too difficult to ride them these days. It’s a better way of transportation.
How often do you bike? Hardly ever. I walk to work.
Would more bike lanes encourage you to bike more? They would. I would like to take the bike out when I have spare time and get around and not worry about traffic, not worry about competing with cars.
If there were more bike lanes, do you think cars would be more respectful of bikes? No, it’s been unsuccessful before, it seems to me, with trucks parking on bike lanes. Don’t just say you’re going to put bike lanes down. Really do something about protecting cyclists.

Name: Ellen Segal
Lives: Peter Cooper Village
Occupation: Secretary

Do you support the city’s plan to create 200 miles of new bike lanes, including on 20th and 21st Sts. from river to river? Yes. Much safer.
How often do you bike? Just recreationally. Once every six months.
Would more bike lanes encourage you to bike more? Probably, I’d feel safer.
If there were more bike lanes, do you think cars would be more respectful of bikes? I hope more than they do now.

Name: Dennis Lacey
Lives: Peter Cooper Village
Occupation: Guidance counselor

Do you support the city’s plan to create 200 miles of new bike lanes, including on 20th and 21st Sts. from river to river? By all means. I support it 100 percent. The more bike lanes, the better.
How often do you bike? I bike but not in the city. I bike Upstate.
Would more bike lanes encourage you to bike more? Yes, because I see cyclists in traffic and it’s a bit sketchy, as far as safety. I’m a good bike rider but I think I’d hesitate if I had a long ride without the lanes.
If there were more bike lanes, do you think cars would be more respectful of bikes? I think it’s more likely that they’d respect bikers more when they’re in the lanes than they do on the street without the lanes. I think they would.

Name: Daphne Gerson
Lives: Stuyvesant Town
Occupation: Social worker

Do you support the city’s plan to create 200 miles of new bike lanes, including on 20th and 21st Sts. from river to river? I do. I think it’s good, because right now everywhere there’s no rules of the road.
How often do you bike? No, but my son does.
Would more bike lanes encourage you to bike more? I think it would encourage people in general. It’s probably a good thing to save gas, energy, [lessen] congestion.
If there were more bike lanes, do you think cars would be more respectful of bikes? I guess they would have to, if it were enforced. And if it was an educated effort on the part of the city to have people know what the lanes were and if it was well thought out.

AT EIGHTH AVE. AND 24TH ST.

Name: Barbara Koller
Lives: San Diego, California
Occupation: Student at the Art Institute of San Diego

Do you support the city’s plan to create 200 miles of new bike lanes, including on 20th and 21st Sts. from river to river? I don’t know how they’re going to do it, but, yeah, I think it’s a good idea.
How often do you bike? At least twice a week.
Would more bike lanes encourage you to bike more? Yes.
If there were more bike lanes, do you think cars would be more respectful of bikes? No, because in New York it doesn’t seem like they respect it now.

Name: Adriano De Gennaro
Lives: Brooklyn
Occupation: Student at Chelsea’s New York City Lab School

Do you support the city’s plan to create 200 miles of new bike lanes, including on 20th and 21st Sts. from river to river? Yes. I think there have been a lot of incidents over the past couple of years where people have gotten really hurt. Just yesterday, I saw some guy get hit by a car on a bike down on 16th and Eighth Ave. So I think it’s very important.
How often do you bike? Whenever I go to visit my grandfather. Maybe two or three times a month.
Would more bike lanes encourage you to bike more? Yes.
If there were more bike lanes, do you think cars would be more respectful of bikes? Yeah, I do. Maybe not taxi drivers.

Name: Tina Ciarabolo
Lives: Queens
Occupation: Nurse
Do you support the city’s plan to create 200 miles of new bike lanes, including on 20th and 21st Sts. from river to river? Yes, because bikers need a place where they can actually be safe from cars. There’s too much traffic.
How often do you bike? Maybe once a week.
Would more bike lanes encourage you to bike more? Yes, because they feel like they don’t have to feel threatened by cars.
If there were more bike lanes, do you think cars would be more respectful of bikes? I hope so, yes.

Name: Robin Osler
Lives: West Chelsea
Occupation: Architect

Do you support the city’s plan to create 200 miles of new bike lanes, including on 20th and 21st Sts. from river to river? Yes. I think they should create more. I think the city should be more bike friendly. It’s good for the environment. The sound in the city is so out of control, it would certainly help defuse some of the aural problems.
How often do you bike? I don’t. My office is across the street from my apartment.
Would more bike lanes encourage you to bike more? Yes. I have biked in the city before and it is terrifying. The system is not set up so the cars respect the bike riders. It’s automatically an antagonistic relationship and that needs to change.
If there were more bike lanes, do you think cars would be more respectful of bikes? No. Unfortunately, I think there would have to be some sort of penalty. I think it would have to be seriously enforced. You can’t change the psychology overnight. It’s going to take some time, but I think this is a really good first step. It certainly would help also in terms of health.

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