Friday, October 15, 2010

Who's going to the bike lane protest?

The bike lane/etc protest is at 5 today at 14th Street and First Avenue.... Looks like EV Grieve will be stuck at work... so if anyone happens to be there and wants to file a brief report... we'd very much appreciate


Anonymous said...

Someone with the name "Sicklick" does have a reason to protest.

Traveler said...

I would have posted this comment after the first blogpost about this event but there are 150 comments there already.

I am 54 years old and have lived in NYC for two years. My residence is in Staten Island and I commute to work in Manhattan three days a week. I have never lived in a city anything like the size or density of New York but I find myself smitten with the Big Apple. I envy those of you who have lived here all your lives and have known the city in other eras. Every day is some kind of adventure here.

I am a pedestrian, straphanger, cyclist and driver. Like all of you my needs are to get from point A to point B as pleasantly, efficiently and safely as possible. I use whatever mode of transportation meets those needs the best on any given day or trip. It is my observation that the mechanical advantage given to me by the machines I ride in or on also tempt me to abuse that power. I admit I have broken laws using every mode of transportatio, including my feet.

When I walk I cross against the light if it is safe. When I ride I will cross against the light after making sure no traffic or pedestrians will be inconvenienced. There have been times, particularly when I was a new cyclist in NYC, that I rode too fast and put myself and both pedestrians and drivers at risk. I learned not to do that.

Each of us has rights and power on the streets. We each also have responsibilities. The traffic engineers are trying to find a way to construct the street environment so that we may be less tempted to abuse our power and find it easier to exercise our responsibility.

My first question is; Do the painted bike/bus lanes achieve this? There are statistics that support a ‘yes’ answer. My experience riding on truly separated bike lanes like those in Hudson River Park argues that painted lanes are only a partial solution. Since lines on the pavement only nominally separate the various uses and do not physically prevent those who abuse their motive power from encroaching on others’ spaces we still fight over our rights to real estate on the street.

My second question is; Is there a forum for users of the street to work out their differences and to help the traffic engineers devise better solutions? I don’t think that hurling insults at each other on blogs or in rallies is much help.

Whatever your complaints about bicycling in Manhattan, its been the best riding experience I’ve ever had. This is because the space on the street is intentionally designed to make room for everyone. Let’s all try to share with respect for each other’s need for safety, efficiency and pleasure while moving through the city.

Alan Kindler said...
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Alan Kindler said...
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Alan Kindler said...
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Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Ms. Slicklick's complaints were too broad based and didn't focus on the core issue which is that the safety of pedestrians on our streets has been drastically decreased.

This entire problem exists for one very simple reason. Cyclists (et al.) have no fear of being penalized for bad behavior because the city refuses to devote resources to enforcement of existing laws.

And with all due respect for those that DO cycle responsibly, all of your good work is completely overshadowed by those who disregard the social and civic compacts.

Our borough president got it right. Let's hope his investigation leads to involvement of the NYPD to address the issue.

C Merry said...

Hardly the vast numbers she claimed had contacted her.

Tom said...

I hear next week she's organizing a group to re-institute Prohibition and also have the Gummint shut down that Internets that the kids are on. No sense embracing change when you can spend an afternoon bitching and moaning about it.