Sometimes it feels like there are two types of New Yorkers: those who support bike lanes, and those who oppose them. While we have long been a part of the former group, we are pleased to see that we are not alone. In fact, according to a new NY1/Marist poll, 66 percent of all New Yorkers are in the bike lane supporting group with us. Hooray!
During a phone survey, the Marist poll asked 808 New York adults, “In general, do you support or oppose bike lanes in New York City?” The poll’s 66 percent level of support was a bit higher than a recent Quinnipiac survey that found a 59 percent level of support. Quinnipiac worded its question differently, saying, “As you may know, there has been an expansion of bicycle lanes in New York City. Which comes closer to your point of view: A) This is a good thing because it’s greener and healthier for people to ride their bicycle, or B) This is a bad thing because it leaves less room for cars which increases traffic.”
Streetsblog points out that the Quinnipiac poll also survey registered voters, who are statistically more likely to own a car than unregistered voters. Wording of the question and the difference in participants no doubt played a large part in the polls’ different findings.
The Marist poll also found that just one in four people think that bike lanes improve traffic in the city, and a surprising 40 percent think that they make traffic worse. Other interesting findings show that 72 percent of New York’s Latino population and 70 percent of New Yorkers earning less than $50,000 support bike lanes. When it comes to respect on the road, an unsurprising 78 percent of New Yorkers think cabbies are disrespectful, 53 percent believe the same of all drivers, and 46 percent think cyclists are disrespectful. Even 44 percent of people think that pedestrians are disrespectful, which may seem extreme, but we’re sure you can easily recall the last time you jaywalked.
Obviously the 800 people polled is a teeny tiny fraction of New York’s population, but it’s an interesting and encouraging statistic nonetheless. Considering that New Yorkers are willing to sue each other over bike lanes, any hint of a favorable majority can only be a positive sign for the future of our transportation.