Bicyclists face many problems in New York City mainly because bike riders, drivers, and pedestrians are often uninformed about proper bicycle safety laws. These problems are particularly prevalent in a Manhattan neighborhood called Hell’s Kitchen, where there are many bicycle deliverymen for ethnic restaurants. Hell’s Kitchen only has bicycle lanes on its eastern and western edges, which encourages the deliverymen to ride in an unsafe manner. Even in places where there are bicycle lanes, pedestrians and drivers often block the lanes. The problems with bicycle traffic in the New York City area have gotten so pressing that at least one local lawmaker has suggested licensing bicycle riders.
Another problem with cycling in N.Y. is bike thefts (N.Y. is ranked #1 city for stolen bikes). People are not at liberty to leave a bike simply locked up. Tires, seats, lights, etc need removing and even then people can tamper with frames and components. “In the 1992 City Cyclist survey, the 839 respondents reported a total of 860 bicycles stolen in New York City, an average of 1.03 thefts per cyclist.”
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