Expansion of Bike Lanes in City Brings Backlash

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Over the last four years, the streets of New York City have undergone a transformation: More than 250 miles of traffic lanes dedicated for bicycles have been created, and several laws intended to promote cycling have been passed.

The efforts by the Bloomberg administration have placed the city at the forefront of a national trend to make bicycling viable and safe even in the most urban of settings. Yet over the last year, a backlash has taken hold....

New York has a long relationship with the bicycle, with the first bike path in the country running along Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn as early as 1894.

Interest in better bike infrastructure was revived under Mayor John V. Lindsay in the 1970s. The first separated bike lanes, similar to those that now exist on sections of Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Manhattan, were installed by Mayor Edward I. Koch in 1980 on Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue — though they were quickly removed amid fierce opposition.

“What we did was on such a small scale,” Mr. Koch said recently. “What’s being done now is on such a large scale.”...

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