The majority of New Yorkers (54%) are in favor of bike lanes, according to a poll released by Quinnipiac University, with younger people, Democrats and Manhattanites strongly in favor and Republicans, seniors and those from Queens against.
Those who don’t want the lanes say the poll question was loaded–who would say no to the question ”Do you think bike lanes are a good thing because it’s greener and healthier for people to ride bicycles?”
Pollsters agree that the wording of a question is the key to the results. When the question was rephrased this was indeed found to be the case. Here are the results of each question, brought to you exclusively by NewYorkGritty:
1) Some say many bike riders don’t obey the rules of the road. If a speeding, careless bicyclist ran down your mother and put her into a coma, would you be in favor of a) more bike lanes, or b) less bike lanes?
2) Modern European cities have more bike lanes that New York City. Should we be modern, healthy and trim like them? a)Yes or b) No?
3) In China, more people ride bikes than cars. Should New Yorkers be a) more like Chinese Communists, or b) less like Chinese Communists?
4) More cars equals more oil consumption, which means more dependence on oil from Middle Eastern despots that support terrorism. Do you support a) terrorist car lanes, or b) freedom-loving bike lanes?
5) Bike riders are attractive, trimmer and better lovers than blubbery motorists who rarely exercise. With that in mind, who would you rather date? a) a bicyclist, or b) a motorist?
The results were 1-b, 2-a, 3,-b, 4-b and 5-a.
The Quinnipiac Survey also found that New Yorkers strongly disapproved renaming the Queensboro Bridge for former Mayor Ed Koch. Once again, rephrasing the question produced surprisingly different results. For example, when people were asked “Would you prefer to name the Queensboro Bridge after a) Ed Koch, b) Charlie Sheen or c) Momar Qaddafi?”, Koch won in a landslide.
A similar poll substituting Mayor Bloomberg’s name for Koch’s resulted in a three-way tie.