Cyclists in Manhattan are taking better care of themselves and possibly of pedestrians too, according to a recent study from Hunter College.
More bike riders are stopping at red lights. Fewer are riding against traffic. Citing articles saying that there have been only two dozen minor injuries involving Citi Bike riders and no fatalities, the report suggests that this is because Citi Bike share riders are more cautious and rule-compliant than other cyclists.
Here are some other findings:
• The number of female cyclists has increased by 9 percent in the last four and one-half years, possibly because of the bike-share program that began last May.
• Almost three-fourths of commercial cyclists now wear helmets, three times as many as in 2010. Nearly half of male “general” cyclists now wear helmets, up from 32.2 percent in 2009.
• Nearly sixty percent of commercial cyclists wear “upper body apparel” identifying the name of their business, as required by law, twice as many as in 2011.
Graduate and undergraduate students of professors Peter Tuckel and William Milczarski observed 4,316 bicyclists at 98 different locations in central and lower Manhattan. Comparison was made against a study the professors published in 2011. Kudos to them and to Hunter College for developing data on something all New Yorkers have opinions about.
The report Bike Lane + Bike Share Program = Bike Safety predicts that safe cycling in New York City is likely to increase. It is true that the delivery guy who nearly cycled into me while I was walking down the sidewalk was wearing a helmet, so I am prepared to hope, if not yet to be convinced.
How about helmets for pedestrians. I can’t tell you how many cyclists out here defy the law and run along the sidewalk and yell at me to get out of their way. R