Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Fridays rehash: The Second Avenue bike lanes — What do we think so far?

Hey, we're digging into the EVG archives for these next few summer Fridays... We first posted this one on July 1, 2010...

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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

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the lane and use it a lot. I'm sure someone will chime in soon with some contrarian remark about how the bike lane is actually the most dangerous possible place you can ride your bike but that is just not true. Try riding down Broadway below 14th street if you really believe that. The bike lane at least makes the motorists more aware that there might be people on bikes sharing the road. Yes its true that trucks will sometimes park on it, sleep-walking pedestrians will step off the sidewalk on to it w/o looking but its still better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

i love it. i bike to work every day and have for 15 years and it feels so much safer. granted...i've run down a handful of woolgathering pedestrians who seem to like to wander aimlessly into traffic. i try to be nice about it though. i'll pick 'em up, dust 'em off, and ask 'em what the hell were they thinking just wandering into the street like that.

the cabs honestly aren't bad at all, i've only had a handful just pull over into the bike lane and it's usually cabs offloading into beth israel on 1st and 15th.

i'd feel better about it all if they added some sort of physical barrier between the bike and car lanes. even a tiny "bump" of a curb just to let cars know they've gone too far.

g whiz said...

Hi I'm here to provide the contrarian remarks. This bike lane is horribly set up. Cars as dangerous as they may be are WAY more predictable than people. You can watch their tires, they can only drive in one direction, you know when a taxi will crash 3 lanes to pickup a fare but pedestrians are unpredictable. NYC nature is people wait for the light on the street not the sidewalk, this makes every corner a death trap. People blindly pushing their baby strollers into the bike lane, homeless people with their giant shopping carts filled with cans, mopeds, skateboarders, drunk people. At least when the bikelanes were on the street side of the parking lanes people were used to turning their heads to check oncoming traffic, now they blindly step off the curb into you. Not to mention the reduction of parking spaces and all the extra pollution of cars circling looking for parking and the added congestion

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should get 5th st to be turned into a dedicated bike lane...

My Bike is Legs said...

I think it's unfair bikes get their own lane! Where' the lane for Roller Blades, Razor Scooters, Skateboards, and Wheelchairs? Why are the bicyclist the only ones allowed to indulge their superiority for keeping additional cars off the street and saving the environment??? I smoke e-cigarettes, can I get a lane for that???

g whiz said...

Will that be the smoking or non-smoking bike lane sir?

Smoking please and send down one of those handlebar mounted ashtrays

Shawn Chittle said...

I love the bike lane, it's a real- life arcade game of "Paperboy" from 1984. Who remembers that?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paperboy_%28video_game%29

Hey19 said...

The First and second ave bike lanes are great. Yes pedestrians get in the way, but usually you can predict them and yell before they really get into danger. I have had very few run ins with anyone, cars, peds, bikes, segways, etc.

BT said...

I hate them.

Sure, if I rode a bike I appreciate the little bit of protection they afford, but I don't ride a bike.

For years I felt safe crossing the street in the EV... until the bike lanes showed up. Now I can get hit from all directions at any time. And when the cars are parked in the "protection zone" I can't see past/around the SUVs so I can't see (or don't see out of the corner of my eye) the oncoming bikes.

I'd bet the lanes have CAUSED more accidents than they have prevented. As the poster above has says, "I've run down a handful of... pedestrians". The sanctimonious attitude is common among bikers.

A warning to that biker... if it happens to be me you "run down" you will find an elbow crashing into your nose as you do it. You will absorb more of the blow of contact than I will, I promise you. And I may or may not "dust you off" afterwards.

Pumpkin Patch said...

@BT Sometimes bicyclists rush through lights, causing a potential hazard for pedestrians.

But the vast majority of problems I've seen (coming from a non-bicyclist) has come from pedestrians jay-walking and/or just stepping out into the bike lane. Jay-walking is the norm in NYC, but by doing so we give up some level of safety. Getting run over by a car/bike while jay-walking is the cost of doing business.

Anonymous said...

"Yes pedestrians get in the way"

where do you supposed pedestrians cross the street. The bike lanes are just another privileged for the self-entitled. Note to bikers: red means stop; and yield to those who have the right of way. Just because you have your own bike lanes doesn't mean the traffic signals or courtesy doesn't mean anything to you and you can just run through whatever gets in your way.

And as a pedestrian, I too can but usually predict these rogues self-entitled bikers who think they're racing in tour de france, and yell at them before they really get into danger. Anything to pacify Bloomberg's self-entitled kiddies.

Anonymous said...

BT, I hope you get hit by something much larger and faster moving than a bicycle and that NYCDOS has to "scrape" you off.

Anonymous said...

In theory the bike lanes are great, but it seems that no one actually uses them and all the "cool bikers" just jut in and out of traffic in whatever lane they feel like, in whatever direction they feel like!! it scares the hell out of me when Im walking/in a cab/on the bus. In my limited experience, the majority of bikers in nyc make their own rules which dont include using designated bike lanes

Anonymous said...

Bike lanes are great, but as a previous commenter said- they are set up horribly- the bikes are so insulated from traffic that there is a disconnect between going with the flow- the placement next to sidewalks is silly as people constantly wander into them and crossing the street is precarious for everyone- and we lost hundreds of parking spaces for those turn lanes- I feel that a shared lane (with bikes having priority)adjacent to the cars would be most efficent and could be used by cars as well on those days or times when there is light bike traffic and would keep bike riders alert to the big picture of traffic flow etc.

Anonymous said...

Bike lanes are a great idea, but they should be on the traffic side. It's far more dangerous to pedestrians as they are set up now, and looks very silly with cars parked out in the street.

As for the bus lanes, that is a truly excellent idea. I hope these are simply an interim move and that at least some will eventually be converted into light rail (or trolley or streetcar) lines, which are much faster, smoother ride, quieter, and less polluting.

- East Villager

nygrump said...

After seeing it happen several times, I am convinced these are stealth 'police only' lanes - they use them for emergencies or when they need to get to down a block against traffic.