After a series of polls showing big majorities of New Yorkers favor expanding the city’s bike lane network, the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute has turned its attention to a wider range of bike issues. It turns out that with 58 percent support, bike lanes aren’t even the most popular bike program the city is undertaking. That would be bike-share, which has a staggering 72 percent approval rating (23 percent are opposed).
Literally every demographic surveyed by Quinnipiac expressed majority support for bike-share. Staten Islanders were the most skeptical, but even in the city’s smallest borough, a slight majority of 52 percent of respondents said they support the program. A full 79 percent of Hispanics, and 87 percent of New Yorkers between the ages of 18 and 34, support the program.
Enthusiasm was slightly lower for the prospect of putting a bike-share station in people’s own neighborhood; 59 percent of people said they’d like to see bike-share near their home, compared to 34 percent who don’t want one.
Interestingly, far more people said they support the bike-share proposal than plan to use it. Only 45 percent of New Yorkers say they’d use bike-share to get around for short trips. Of course, if 45 percent of the city’s 8.4 million residents actually started riding bike-share, the program would probably be too popular to function.
The number of New Yorkers who support the expanded bike lane network remained essentially constant, with 58 percent in support and 37 percent opposed (a Marist poll, using different wording, found 66 percent support for bike lanes). The Q poll results display the classic NIMBY dynamic, however. When asked whether they want to see more bike lanes in their neighborhood, 46 percent of respondents were in favor and 48 percent opposed. Hispanics, Manhattanites and young people were the groups that showed majority support for bike lanes in their backyards.