It seems unlikely there will be any bicycle riders out on New York City streets this week, but if they are they will likely be using at least a few of the new bicycle lanes the city has been adding to the downtown areas.

These new bike lanes were meant to relieve stress between the ever increasing number of bicyclists and drivers in the city. In almost all cases these bike lanes were added by reducing the width of driving lane for vehicles. There are some dividers between the bike lanes and cars, but for the most part the designation is simply a painted line in the roadway. This means less space for cars, more room for bikers, but both are crowded into the same amount of space.

Obviously it has not been a smooth transition from wide open driving lanes to shared space with bikers. Drivers have long complained about the need to share driving lanes with bikers, and when the city implemented the new lanes many drivers were quick to complain about being too “crowded”. Those complaints have continued. Most recently drivers have taken to complaining in writing to the New York Post which has re-printed their letters.

Specifically, a majority of the complaints come from B63 drivers who use 5th Avenue. They say the new bike lanes don’t leave enough room for them to avoid opening car doors and what they refer to as “speeding cyclists.” They say the changes have done nothing to alleviate the problem and in fact have made the situation worse.

This surge in complaints might have something to do with the recent city proposal to extend the Fifth Avenue bike lanes further south into Sunset Park. Although Community Board 7 denied the proposal earlier this month city traffic officials have vowed to keep pushing for more bike lanes wherever they can fit them in.