As a follow up to a NYTimes editorial of 12/17/10 headed "There Oughta Be a Law" on problems with cyclists in NY City as well as the items in my earlier Email being forwarded, the 12/23/10 issue of the NYTimes includes five (5) Letters to the Editor. (No direct URL seems available; to access such letters, one would have to go to the NYTimes website and follow links.)
The most interesting letter from Louise Hainline et al should be read to apply it to the situation with the BU Bridge when the work project is completed. Here's a portion of a paragraph:
"When new bike lanes force the same volume of cars and trucks into fewer and narrower traffic lanes, the potential for accidents between cars, trucks and pedestrians goes up rather than down."
The BU Bridge project when completed will be reduced from 4 to 3 motor vehicle lanes with the addition of two bike lanes.
Another point raised in the letter:
"Furthermore, the D.O.T. data's lack of credibility is reinforced by our own videotapes. These show that the Prospect Park West bike lanes are used by half the number of riders the D.O.T. says, and that cyclists are not riding to commute as originally contemplated but are recreational users who could be better served by enhancing the existing lane 100 yards away in Prospect Park."
There are extensive bike lanes on the Boston side along the Charles River where no motor vehicles are allowed. Many of the bikers do not have cars and could use public transit. Many bikers in the area of the BU Bridge are college students at BU, whose biking may be for economic and other convenience reasons. This is truly a really small minority of people. It is far from clear that their efforts will result in any significant reduction of motor vehicle traffic. But it seems clear that motor vehicle traffic will be adversely impacted, with traffic issues leading to environmental issues. This is why I used the "tyranny of the minority" reference in the Email forwarded herewith. The problem is that motorists and pedestrians are not as well organized as the minority of cyclists. But this is changing in NY City. Perhaps like weather patterns, such concerns will come here.
Ed: Prior posting is at: http://charlesriverwhitegeeseblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/bicycle-oddities.html