Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycle Safety

New York Post Bike Bile: Deliberate Lies or Pure Ineptitude?

1:12 PM EDT on May 26, 2011

It's getting to the point -- probably well past the point, actually -- where the non-stop cyclist hate spewing from the New York Post has attained a level of self-parody. So free of fact and full of bald-faced vitriol is the paper's latest editorial, praising Ray Kelly's NYPD for a marked increase in cyclist summonses, that it's tempting to dismiss it as unworthy of thoughtful response.

Basically, the editorialists at the Post believe that everyone on a bike in New York City is an outlaw who has at one time or another endangered the life of a pedestrian. No surprise there. But things get hairy when they aim to support their position with what seems to be an attempt at empirical fact:

Even Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan's ubiquitous bike lanes haven't made the streets any safer.

Whether the Post is ignorant of safety gains brought about by bike lanes, or simply chooses to pretend they don't exist, this is unadulterated crap. Here are a few actual facts to the contrary:

    • Since the installation of the protected bike lane on Ninth Avenue in Manhattan, injuries to pedestrians are down by 29 percent.
    • The protected bike lane on Grand Street has reduced pedestrian injuries by 21 percent.
    • A 2008 traffic-calming project on Skillman Ave. and 43rd Ave. in Queens, including bike lanes on both streets, resulted in a "65% reduction in the number of crashes involving injuries to pedestrians on the corridor," according to city data.
    • On First and Second Avenues in Manhattan, injuries to all users are down 8.3 percent following the installation of bike lanes.
    • A city study released last summer found that citywide, controlling for other factors, serious crashes on streets with bike lanes were 40 percent less deadly than on other streets.

It could be that the Post is inept at the whole pedestrian safety thing because the paper is so new at it. After years of blaming the victim and doing its damnedest to tear down street designs that have saved lives, it will take a while to turn the ship around.

Unfortunately, the Post has plenty of material to work from. As Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson pointed out on Twitter, over the last five years 766 city pedestrians have been killed by drivers, along with 98 cyclists, while three pedestrians died from collisions with cyclists. Now that the Post editorial board has taken up the cause of street safety, we await a commensurate response. That'd be one motorist-bashing editorial a day for the next two-plus years. And counting.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

We Have the ‘End of Days’ Flooding Pics You Need Right Now

It's bad out there. How bad? Here is a citywide roundup from our staff ... and our friends on social media.

September 29, 2023

Labor Gains: Judge Tosses App Giants’ Suit to Stop Deliverista Minimum Wage

Justice Nicholas Moyne cleared the way for a long-delayed wage hike for workers who brave dangerous roads to bring food directly to New Yorkers.

September 29, 2023

Fed Up Bronxites Tell Mayor To Forget About Bus Ride Invitation After Fordham Road ‘Betrayal’

"I really would think that our mayor would be a little bit more active and speak with us, because he hasn't really made any time with riders. We're not the enemy. We just want better bus service."

September 29, 2023

City Pays $150K to Settle Suit Over Cops Who Harassed Man Who Reported Police Parking Misconduct

Justin Sherwood and his lawyer will pocket $152,000 to settle his federal civil rights suit against the city and several officers who harassed him following his 311 calls.

September 28, 2023
See all posts