A recently-released study [pdf] conducted by Hunter College students posits that—are you sitting down?—"a large number of cyclists routinely disobey many traffic laws." But wait, didn't these Hunter kids already alert the public to the scourge of cyclist scofflaws back in November? Indeed, they did, but according to City Room this new report is "a rigorous and scientific version" of the previous observational study, which monitored 3,000 cyclists chosen at random at 69 locations. The new version used a wider sampling compiled of 5,275 observations of riders at 45 randomly generated intersections across Midtown from First to 10th Avenues and 14th to 59th Streets. According to the study:

  • 37% of the cyclists observed blew through red lights
  • 28.7% of riders paused and then ran the light.
  • 10% rode against traffic
  • Only 29.8% of the riders wore helmets.
  • 91 percent of the riders observed were male.
  • 3.7% of the cyclists were observed riding on
  • 29.3% did not use the designated lane when there was one.

The release of the study happens to coincide with the launch of Biking Rules, Transportation Alternatives' campaign to promote "civic-minding riding" on NYC streets. On National Bike to Work Day, the group handed out thousands of booklets to cyclists, introducing a new 'Street Code' encouraging riders to yield to pedestrians and respect traffic laws. The group says they've got 250 volunteers who'll help promote the campaign directly to bikers in all five boroughs.

And just like last year, Transportation Alternatives spokesman Wiley Norvell was not impressed with the Hunter College study, telling City Room, "They picked probably one of the only areas of the city that is bereft of bike lanes. It makes no mention of bicycling infrastructure. It’s like we’re talking about this in 1995 and they haven’t been paying attention for the last five years."