Streets are a city’s most prevalent public space, yet they are also among its most contested. Nowhere is this more evident than in New York City, where cars, bikes and pedestrians fight daily for dominance on crowded avenues and narrow side-streets.

The sheer volume of city traffic and a deeply ingrained culture of aggression has never made for easy biking, yet NYCDOT has made terrific headway in recent years by installing on-street bike lanes and signage. These efforts have been bolstered by advocacy groups like Transportation Alternatives and Streetsblog, who have also pressed for greater driver liability and essential amenities such as bike racks and a bikes in buildings bill.  As a result, an ever-increasing number of cyclists commute to work everyday and many more bike for leisure.

While most cyclists obey the traffic laws, conflicts between bikes, pedestrians and cars still occur on an alarming basis. Many cyclists, often bike messengers and racers (though not always) set a bad example by speeding through lights and weaving in and out of pedestrians. An article from this weekend’s New York Times explores these conflicts and offers tips for moving forward.

More information:
NYT: The Wild Bunch

Pedaling a New Protocol in Public Spaces was last modified: March 6th, 2012 by Craig Raphael