City’s Solution to Influx of Bikers? ‘Don’t Be a Jerk’

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Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

By some estimates, the number of New York City residents who ride their bike every day has almost doubled since 2005. The city's streets are now home to 482 miles of bike lanes with 1,800 miles planned by 2030. Yet there's one group that hasn't yet adjusted to change: people. Drivers complain about bikers' sense of entitlement. Meanwhile, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who recorded 1,700 infractions by drivers, bikers, and pedestrians over just three days, says, "We've got seniors who think bike lanes are walkways. We've got police cars using bike lanes as a quick way around town. We've got taxicabs pulling up so close to the bike lanes that a passenger gets out and actually doors a cyclist." Unlike cities like Chicago and Portland, Oregon, there's been insufficient effort to educate people about the new rules of the street. Enter the Department of Transportation's new "Don't Be a Jerk" campaign, which will feature prominent New Yorkers, like Mario Batali, preaching proper etiquette. It's true that nothing motivates New Yorkers to rally around a lost soul in the subway more than the idea of sending someone home thinking we're nice people. Surface-side, however, it's still every jerk for himself.

Cycling's New Rules of the Road [WSJ]