Sept. 13, 2018 By Tara Law
Cyclists are more likely to report blocked bike lanes along parts of Vernon Boulevard than anywhere else in the City, a company that analyzes city data has revealed.
NYC 311 received more reports about blocked bike lanes on Vernon Boulevard between 44th Drive and 45th Road in the last year than any other part of the City— 112 in all, according to the data analysis service Localize.city. Of these complaints, 72 were made about the area near 44th Drive and 40 were made about 45th Road.
A section of Vernon Boulevard in Astoria— between 34th and 35th Avenue— had 31 reports, the fifth most reports in the City.
Localize data scientists analyzed 311 data from Sept. 4, 2017 to Sept. 4, 2018 to come up with the complaint rate, according to the company.
Cyclists have been able to report blocked bike lanes since 311 added the category in October 2016, according to a report by Streetsblog.
Localize.city data scientist Michal Eisenberg said that the 311 data may not reflect the extent of the problem, because it is unlikely that every cyclist reports blocked lanes.
“This is a relatively new 311 category, and some cyclists may not even be aware that they can file such complaints. Many are likely unable to call, text or email when they are pedaling,” said Eisenberg. “But there are still some areas with a critical mass of complaints where cyclists are feeling especially frustrated when drivers block their lanes, potentially causing them to swerve into dangerous traffic.”
Cyclist filed a total of 4,230 complaints about blocked bike lanes in the last year, according to Localize.city. These reports made up 1.4 percent of all parking complaints to 311.
Paul Steely White, executive director of advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, said in a statement that blocked bike lanes can be very dangerous for cyclists.
“When a city prioritizes convenience for motorists above safety for bicyclists, drivers block bike lanes,” said White. “That’s not just annoying — it can also be deadly, as it forces people on bikes to merge into other lanes with mixed traffic. The best way to keep cyclist rights of way clear is to design streets so that bike lanes are located between the parking lane and the curb.”