Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Second Avenue bike lanes: What do we think so far?

Well, the bike lanes have been up now for long enough on Second Avenue, complete with a line of parking that's meant to add protection to the cyclists ... for me to hear some grumbling... Not really any kind of cyclist vs. pedestrian thing... but more of a safety issue. Trucks and cabs abruptly pulling over into the bike lane... pedestrians standing or walking into the bike lane... oh surely there are other offenses... soon enough, the First Avenue lanes will be a go (not to mention the dedicated bus lanes for the M15 on First Avenue and Second Avenue)...



So what do you think so far?




The makeover includes a line of parking that's meant to add protection to the cyclists...




Previously on EV Grieve:
Green day: Second Avenue getting its bike lanes

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Putting it right on the edge of the street was a bad call; it's impossible to bike/blade the day after it rains, and it's picking up sewage and dirt like no other bike lanes in the city. Oh well, it's better than nothing (cough cough 2nd ave above 14th)

Anonymous said...

I live on 2nd Avenue. I have been almost run over 3 times in the past 2 weeks by UPTOWN cyclists blowing through lights at high speed. 2 times I was in the crosswalk, crossing with the green. The last time, I was in the middle of the street crossing with the light, but the cyclist still blew the uptown light at a high rate of speed. I guess it is my fault for not checking for uptown traffic when crossing with the green.

Anonymous said...

The lane is better than nothing, but it won't work as well as it can unless people use it properly. Cabs stop in them at corners, pedestrians, including me, cut through or walk in them, and cyclists often go the wrong way in them. One of the larger problems with the lane is the parking nightmare that it causes.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with anon #2 - most cyclists think they own the road. When will they learn to abide by traffic signals?

marjorie said...

Agreed -- the cyclists going the wrong way in them can be really terrifying. My only consolation is that so many of them don't wear helmets. Oh Darwinian theory, have your way with these douchewads!

blueglass said...

it can be confusing.
bike lane.
parking lane.
there would be fewer problems if cars and bikes obeyed the lights and traffic directions.
i guess having a bike lane could mean no more bikes on the sidewalk.
i wish.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't this lane be protected like the one on eighth ave? As it stands, it's effectively just a strip of green paint running down 2nd Ave, no? People can't be trusted, they need physical barriers.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, would have appreciated the same treatment the west side received. I believe the Uptown issue will be resolved once they finally finish 1st Avenue. What's the status on that? They ripped up the roads weeks ago.

As a friendly cyclist, I really appreciate the new lanes. It's going to take cyclists, peds and drivers all following the rules to really make this work.

baker said...

Ive been biking 2nd ave for years and really liked the older version of the bike lanes. The new ones (with the parked car barrier on the right) make me more nervous while riding because I can't see whats happening on the street beyond the parking. People have been crossing in front of the parked cars, cabs have taken sharp rights at the intersections, etc. I DO think its great that the city is working to improve the bike lanes.

PS- been following your blog for a few months now and love it.

EV Grieve said...

Hi Baker — Thanks for the comment... and for reading EVG!

Goggla said...

My only problem (as a pedestrian) is I can't see the bikes racing at me if I'm crossing from west to east. The line of parked cars blocks my view until I'm nearly at the curb and that's when the bikes mow me down. This happened last night and I've had a couple of other close calls in the morning. I guess this wouldn't happen if they obeyed the RED LIGHT, but it still felt safer when the cars parked along the curb.

melanie said...

I agree with Goggla--it is dangerous--they should obey the traffic-if it is uptown--go uptown--if downtown--go downtown--going in both directions is crazy-and dangerous-

Anonymous said...

As a cyclist and a pedestrian, I think these lanes are overly complicated and overkill (would expect nothing less from NY city planners)

Oh well.

John M said...

I've ridden a bike in the city for 25 years...irregularly, but still. they seemed like a good idea at first, but everyone here is right. dangerous for walkers, for bikers, and even car drivers, really. plus, there are too many moron cyclists in general now to give the moron drivers a run for their money. really, I don't think they should be encouraged with all this coddling--which doesn't make it safer on the streets, anyway, no matter what anyone thinks. I liked it better in the old days, when you stuck to the side of the street and paid incredibly close attention to avoid death and severe injury. this kept the manhattan biking population down to people who knew what they were doing, for the most part. now, there are too many of the others. besides, it's new york. bike lanes? another symptom of the suburbanization psychology, imo.

Jeremiah Moss said...

i've noticed that bicyclists seem much more aggressive since they put in these lanes. makes it worse to be a pedestrian.

prodigal son said...

The funny thing is, bike lanes were tried during the early 1980s and just didn't work. Motorists ignored them and they were removed.

There is much more effort now in creating bike lanes AND WE REALLY MEAN IT. But I suspect if the city wants to encourage cycling it should look at bike trails, not bike lanes. Take a handful of streets and avenues completely out of circulation for passenger cars (trucks making deliveries still allowed at certain times) and turn them over to the cyclists.

I also agree with the above comments about yunnies-on-bikes not really being much of an improvement as yunnies-in-cars. I've even seen at least one cyclist using a cell phone while biking.

Anonymous said...

I'm just worried that all of these bicycle lanes mean I'm going to see more people in bicycle shorts and not many people can pull them off.

Nigel said...

What @baker said. I appreciate the effort by the city to promote biking. But as someone who bikes to work daily, I think the logistics of the new lanes make things more dangerous for all involved. You never know when someone will step out from the pavement, from between parked cars, when a delivery truck or taxi will decide to pull over into the lane to stop, etc.

I hope they do some re-thinking before implementing the 2nd ave.-style bike lanes all over.

Anonymous said...

I almost got hit by two cyclists today as I was crossing 2nd Avenue. Neither were using the bike lane and they completely ignored the red light. Not only do I have to look out for cyclists running me over on the sidewalk, I now have to watch out while crossing the street (while also avoiding the cars trying to run me over).

Anonymous said...

I think bike lanes in general are dangerous. I ride my bike all the time and I avoid streets with bike lanes whenever I can. I havent had a chance to try the new bike lane yet but it seems like a step up from what they have now. And as for the people complaining about almost getting run over by people on bikes... My mother taught me to look both ways when crossing the street and to cross when the light is green. Most pedestrians who get in my way when I am biking are jay walkers and those who are wearing their headphones or are texting on their phones. Oh and lets not forget those who jump onto the street to hail down the cab who might run me over to get to you....

Anonymous said...

I understand what you are saying, Anonymous, about looking both ways; however, the only reason I haven't been by a bike or car is because I'm paying attention and anticipating cars and bikes running red lights, making illegal turns, veering across lanes, etc.. I walk most of the time and feel like I'm in one giant game of Frogger.

Anonymous said...

I am tired of hearing about the dangerous bikers. As if those on foot obey traffic lights, don't cross inbetween cars or the middle of the block, don't stand in bike lanes, and are blameless innocents-
Most pedestrians are not the law-abiding individuals that they insist bikers should be, so until everyone obeys traffic laws, quit whining!

Anonymous said...

Nice fallacy, dangerous biker anonymous! "Until everyone obeys traffic signals, I don't have to." So because there are jaywalkers, bikers don't need to go the right direction on one-way streets, or stop at lights. Thanks for that!

Anonymous said...

I don't have to look both ways when I cross the street anywhere else in the world or New York City, yet now I have to do it on Second Avenue or risk getting hit by a bike? Nope, sorry.

Anonymous said...

It's horrible. Has anyone noticed that between 24th and 23rd on the left side going downtown, NO parking spots are available! What?!

And further down on 20/21 same thing!

Instead, there is a dedicated bike lane and a pedestrian island with presumably some grass and a tree.

Not to mention that the I have in the past week almost hit 3 cyclists going the Wrong Way on the bike lane!

sigh.

Israel said...

Bikes and pedestrians don't mix well. As a bicycle commuter of over five years now, I think bike lanes belong in the street. This is not Copenhagen and it may never be, and that's okay. The problem crosses all lines, cycling is a good thing, but it needs to be integrated into the existing system. We have yet to engage in a healthy, meaningful debate regarding the benefits and limitations of cycling as a form of urban transportation. Incidentally, red lights exist because of cars, not bikes. For cyclists red lights should not rigidly apply. However, braking for and yielding to pedestrians should not even be a question. It is the suburbanization of our city because suburban cyclist don't know what to do with traffic or pedestrians, as they are unfamiliar with both in a cycling capacity.