With an ever-increasing bicyclist population in New York City, a new study by Hunter College found that many disobey traffic laws that riders must follow. Almost 50 percent of observed cyclists, which includes recreational and delivery bicyclists, do not wear helmets. Over 70 percent of delivery workers ride without a helmet. Also, bicyclists were seen not following traffic laws: as over half of bicyclists observed rode through red lights. However, only 13 percent of cyclists were seen riding on sidewalks, and 13 percent were seen riding against the flow of traffic. Wiley Norvell, communications director for Transportation Alternatives, took issue with the study, noting that safer street conditions drop the rate of bicyclist scofflaws. "It's our experience that better streets give us better behavior," Norvell said. "On streets that make no accommodations for bicyclists we see higher rates of infractions." And, Norvell noted, there are an equal number of people who use traditional means of transportation and disobey traffic laws. "These are New York City streets," Norvell said. "It's the wild West." The study was conducted by three professors from Hunter's Department of Sociology and Urban Affairs and Planning with the assistance of Hunter students. The results are based on the observation of 2,928 bicyclists at 69 different locations throughout the city.
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