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Report: City cyclists getting safer

A woman walks over a foot bridge

A woman walks over a foot bridge in Brooklyn on Jan. 23, 2014. Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty

More women are riding bikes, and more cyclists are following traffic laws, according to a report released Wednesdayby Hunter College.

Researchers observed more than 4,300 cyclists in lower and central Manhattan and tallied whether tthey obeyed traffic laws, wore helmets and used electronic devices while riding.

Despite the pervasive belief that cyclists can pose a danger to motorists on the streets of New York, the report found that an increasing number of cyclists do follow the rules of the road.

For example, 28.4% of male recreational or commuter cyclists -- referred to in the study as "general" cyclists -- stopped fully at a red light when observed, as did 38.3% of female general riders.

In the case of helmet use, 47.8% of male general cyclists wore them, along with 55.7% of women riders.

And while the disparity between the number of male and femaleriders is still large, the gap is closing, the report said. The proportion of female riders has doubled in the last four-and-a-half years to 23.6%. Female cyclists are also more likely to abide by the law, the report said.

The authors of the report said the greater compliance with traffic rules can likely be attributed to bike clubs, advocacy groups and government agencies. But this also may be due to the implementation of Citi Bike, New York's bike-sharing program, and an influx of new riders.


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