New Yorkers Are Using Crowdsourcing To Shame Anyone Who Blocks A Bike Lane
The publicly available map provides an outlet for cyclists to vent their frustrations and help build a safer city
Although there are a few clearly marked bike lanes in NYC, it is nowhere near an ideal city to bike around in. Cyclists struggle to make even the shortest trips without something huge blocking the cycling lane. Blockages force cyclists to go into traffic, neck-to-neck with cars, until they return to a clear lane. These frustrating conditions make it so cyclists have to deal with a lot in one trip. Now available for these cyclists is Cars In Bike Lanes, a website that hosts a crowdsourced map on which cyclists can document the worst offenders.
Any cyclist can snap a picture, upload it on the site, list a time and where exactly a vehicle is blocking a bike lane. Users also have the option to write a comment about their whole ordeal and even list the car’s license plate number. Although this website is a way for cyclists to cope, those running the site want to make it clear that it is by no means a replacement for rallying around local representatives to make real changes. It is not meant to just publicly shame someone either. Instead, it is a way to document the dangers that cyclists face consistently.
Although NYC government officials have expressed their intent to make NYC a safer place to bike, there clearly is not enough happening. Vision Zero is a plan that seeks to completely eliminate traffic deaths by 2024, but with the rise in number of bikers in the city, more action needs to be taken. Thus far, over 200 incidents have been reported on the site. Hopefully, the growing number of submissions will push local authorities to see bike safety as a priority in NYC and also get people to think before blocking bike-designated lanes so bikers can stay safe.