Majority of NYC residents support bus, bike lanes, poll shows



A majority of New York City voters support bus-only lanes and protected bike lanes — even if they come at the expense of parking spots, according to a new poll.

The Siena College poll of 805 Big Apple voters — commissioned by transit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives — found support for bus and bike lanes at 58 percent and 68 percent, respectively, with majority support for both even from car owners.

Pollsters specifically asked respondents whether they would support changes in their own neighborhoods, emphasizing the potential impact on parking if the city were to build bus lanes or widen sidewalks.

Respondents still largely answered in the affirmative.

“There is pent-up demand for streets more focused on people and less for cars,” said Philip Miatkowski, research director for Transportation Alternatives.

“We see it across every borough. It’s really deep.”

Nearly every demographic interviewed also showed majority support for protected bike lanes — which have run into opposition across the city when actually proposed.

Pressed on whether they would still support the lanes if they replaced parking spots, two-thirds of bike-lane backers said yes.

Conversely, half of bike lane opponents said they would reverse their positions if bike lanes did not impact parking.

Unsurprisingly, bike lane support was highest among voters under 34 years old, at 78 percent, but dropped to 57 percent among voters 65 and older. Seniors also tend to be less enthusiastic — showing just 33 percent “strong” support, compared to 60 percent among voters under 34.

Meanwhile, the city’s COVID-19 pandemic programs — which repurposed street space for recreational activities and restaurant dining — earned high marks, with over 60 percent support from voters.

Of all the groups surveyed, only Republican voters expressed a majority opposition to the proposed street changes, which all take street space away from automobiles.

But Republicans expressed a willingness to lose parking spots for restaurant seating by a slight majority — 50 percent, compared to 48 percent opposed.

Advocates said they hope politicians take note ahead of this year’s municipal elections.

“The poll reveals that a clear majority of New York City voters want streets that prioritize people over parked cars,” said Transportation Alternatives spokesman Cory Epstein.

“People who are standing against progress on our streets, better commutes and open streets are not speaking on behalf of their neighbors. They are simply a very very loud minority.”


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