Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Post discovers that cyclists often run the light at 1st Avenue and St. Mark's Place



From the Post today:

For New York cyclists, red lights means go almost 80 percent of the time — despite an NYPD crackdown and the recent deaths of two pedestrians hit by bikes, The Post has found.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, reporters at three busy intersections observed 1,006 cyclists encounter a red signal — often with pedestrians in the crosswalks — and a staggering 796 of them passed through before it turned green.

As your can see from the graphic, First Avenue and St. Mark's Place was one of the intersections where a Post reporter hung out for 8 hours watching.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Time for far more enforcement and ticketing. Important for safety and can be a source of revenue.

Yesterday I was nearly run down by a cyclist going the wrong way on a bike lane, through a red light, and...wait for it...texting. Death wish perhaps? If he wants to kill himself, he should find a way that does not risk others who may have the foolish desire to continue living.

- East Villager

Anonymous said...

This data set is incomplete. There should be several options to track cyclists at a red light.

-Those who run the red light without stopping.

-Those who come to a complete stop and then proceed when they confirm no car or pedestrian traffic is coming.

-Those who completely stop and wait for the light to change.

-Old Chinese ladies with a shopping cart full of recyclables blocking the bike lane

blue glass said...

yes, let's pick apart every action folks take. and let's also examine intent. like does stopping first show less intent than rushing through? and does it really matter?
red lights are there for a purpose. it is not up to the biker/driver to decide when it's safe to disregard a red light.

anonymous 12:50 are you an in-a-hurry biker or an attorney? you obviously don't walk around a lot.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, NY Post hates cyclists. They have never run a positive story about bike lanes, citibike or cyclists.

Giovanni said...

I saw the cops ticketing cyclists again on 2nd Ave last night, and the crackdown in Central Park this weekend was intense.

In the park last weekend there were police at most crosswalks and stoplights, cruisers barking orders to the Spandex Ballet guys who act like they are in the Tour de Lance, but they still blew through the red lights and packs of pedestrians anyway. A lot of people didn't seem to even know a woman had been killed there by a cyclist just a few days before. Or else they just didn't care.

Now, thanks all to the idiot cyclists and the NY Post, the crackdown is in full swing. In the Village its pretty bad, with tons of riders going the wrong way, especially the delivery guys. Riders are texting and on the phone. I'm constantly dodging those elderly Chinese women who collect bottles on 1st Ave. Last night I noticed many riding without lights, some going so fast and wearing all black that they are almost invisible until they are right on top of you. At rush hour it is a madhouse out there, the bike lanes turn into a race course.

It won't be long before the city starts requiring bike permits and insurance. Believe it or not, it felt much safer to rie in the city before the bike lanes and all these cyclists started rampaging in all directions. And you better get out of East River Park before the hundreds of afternoon joggers make it almost impossiible to ride without contstantly braking and swerving to avoid them.

That giant meteor headed towards earth cannot get here soon enough...

Anonymous said...

Those numbers are totally without context. There's a big difference between running the light because you're an idiot and running the light because it's perfectly safe to do so. As always, the Post gives no fucks about your facts-based context.

Anonymous said...

The Post hates bikes because it means one less person burning petroleum fuels. Bicycles in their collected conservative minds are only used by bleeding heart liberals so they cannot be any good. Common sense the rarest sense of all is seldom used and common courtesy is almost extinct.

Anonymous said...

Oh so much derp. Okay:

1.) Yes, some cyclists are assholes who ride the wrong way and/or blow through red lights without so much as a glance and/or fail to yield to pedestrians. Those cyclists should get tickets but probably won't, because the cops like to pluck the low-hanging fruit and ticket the conscientious cyclists that stop at red lights and look both ways before proceeding through them.

2.) In much the same way as pedestrians disregard jaywalking laws because they're absurd bullshit devised to benefit the automotive industry, cyclists disregard the law that says they must function just as cars do with regards to red lights. Because it's totally fine for them to stop, look and proceed if no vehicles are coming and there's nobody in the crosswalk.
3.) That last bit -- "there's nobody in the crosswalk" -- is important. Lots of cyclists disregard this and they are assholes.
4.) The fact that there is a citywide crackdown on cyclists centered on bike lanes because of a couple of deaths in Central Park, a totally unique environment where a certain subset of cyclists (that ride in the street anyway when not in Central Park) rides way too fast, is ridiculous. Two deaths in five years. Both in Central Park. Once again, the pols, the cops and the press are focusing on a nonexistent problem while letting the crisis of automotive killings slide.

nygrump said...

The City is half assed about the bike lanes. They are additional travel lanes. You may have noticed the lack of sidewalks on 1st Ave, especially on the east side, so you are forced to walk into the bike lanes, but there is no sign, no signal, no emergency flashers. And the entitled bikers don't realize they need to share the road. I know what bugs me about bikers, its the way they all dress up in little synthetic fibre uniforms covered fake ads like they're pro racers.

Anonymous said...

Yes of course the Post sucks- the fact that its THE IDIOT ENTITLED CYCLISTS who are the ones killing people seems to be an afterthought to the commenters and the cyclists. The fact that this crackdown might save people from being injured or killed doesn't matter a bit. The post was anti citi bike as were a lot of people here. Guess that part has been forgotten. And 'running the light when its perfectly safe to do so' that's the bikers attitude. yes its all about using petroleum fuels- you sir are an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to NY Post for [possibly] doing something constructive for once. Anyone who does any amount of walking in the East Village knows it's become downright scary. We've all had close calls with bikes that come out of nowhere at 40 mph. WHY DON'T WE PEDESTRIANS START PUSHING THEM OVER? They need to know that they are vulnerable, too.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I'm not a cyclist, but there has to be some compromise here between pedestrians and cyclists. My cyclist friends feel that it's absurd to stop for every red light (presuming there are in pedestrians in the crosswalk)--to do so would defeat the purpose of commuting by bike, as it would take almost as long as walking. Their position is that it should be "yield" at red lights, not stop. But if this is to go into effect, I think it should be codified, not just some kind of tacit assumption. And I am all for licensing cyclists and bikes themselves with license plates.

As for those who bike the wrong way either in a bike lane or on the street, they should be ticketed with heavy fines. I mean heavy. $500 or $1000. Pedestrians should never have to look both ways when crossing a one-way street, and the most a lazy cyclist would have to do to avoid this situation is to go one block out of his/her way in order to ride in the correct direction.

Anonymous said...

It's weird, but I have had a few scary close calls with cyclists (one was riding the wrong way down a bike lane) since the installation of bike lanes in recent years. Back in the day when there weren't bike lanes I never had any problems with cyclists as a pedestrian, and I never had any problems getting around safely as a cyclist myself. I think the accommodations--meaning the bikes lanes--have made cyclists lazy about following the rules of the road, and something needs to be done. Ticketing is a great idea, and the city should launch a campaign to let cyclists know they aren't going to get away with not following the rules. I am more afraid of cyclists than motorists these days.

Anonymous said...

There has been a huge increase in the last couple of year of riders and delivery people on bicycles and electric/battery powered scooters and bikes in the East Village. And with that an increasing number of riders and delivery people who ignore red lights, ride both ways in the bike lanes, the wrong way down one way streets and on sidewalks. This makes things particularly hazardous for pedestrians. I now look four directions whenever I come to an intersection and even as I'm crossing. And the bike lanes add an additional challenge. It's not safe.

Anonymous said...

How about this, pedestrians can push over the above clearly described asshole cyclists and cyclists can in turn drive-by kick asshole pedestrians that stand or walk obliviously in from t of them. If that's agreed upon you fucking ass holes who stand halfway in the street at corner of Astor and Kmart at the Citibike station better watch the fuck out.

What we need to agree in is there are a lot if entitled selfish assholes all over this city and you (and probably me) are one of them. So doing some inner soul searching and in the meantime shut the fuck up. I bet every one of you commits some selfish offense on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised when my fellow cyclists say that it is okay for them to go through red lights as long as they slow down and take a look first. Are you kidding me? What if cars did that? It creates chaos. It isn't going to kill anyone to stop at a red light. If you want to ride free, take your bike out of the city on weekends and ride the trails.

Giovanni said...

Another issue for cyclists is all the Kidults riding their longboards in the bike lanes. Most of the Kidults can't even ride, and those longboards are hard to steer. The ones who can ride think its OK to practice their little board tricks that they never quite seem to master, and when their board goes flying it creates another hazard for cyclists.

These are bike lanes, not skateboard lanes, not practice-my-trick lanes,and they are not walking lanes or an extension of the sidewalk, yet you see people walking in them as if there is no danger from all the bike traffic whizzing by.

As for CitiBikes they create a whole other category of hazard for cyclists, from the slow or inexperienced bikers, many of them texting or talking on their phones and taking selfies.

In Central Park the problem is mostly from the Spandex Ballet speedsters, but in the bike lanes its the Yunnies and Kidults who don't know how to behave unless their nanny is around to instruct them.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised when my fellow cyclists say that it is okay for them to go through red lights as long as they slow down and take a look first

Okay, look, the reason this is different from cars is because 1.) cars can accelerate much, much faster than bikes. From a standing stop at a red light, I can get up to like 2mph by the time I cross a street, while a car can get up to 25-30 in that distance;
2.) Cars weigh anywhere from a quarter to a half a ton and can smoosh you, whereas my bike could scarcely smoosh a waterbug.

Moreover, as with jaywalking, this is one of those "The city wouldn't function if everyone followed it to the letter" laws basically built around the primacy of the automobile.

Anonymous said...

IMO if everyone just had enough sense to yield right of way, we could all get along. But people come to Manhattan, observe that jaywalking and running reds is tolerated by the law, and then conclude that they have been given a license to cross whenever the hell they feel like it. Believe it or not you can jaywalk or run reds without being an asshole about it. But this is lost on most people--walkers and bikers alike. This is one instance where I am in support of NYPD handing out more citations. It should make a difference in theory. Too bad they are too wishy washy about it--they make a meek effort for a couple weeks, and then forget about it completely. They are assholes too.

Makeout said...

@ Anon 2:35- Ha! I'm not betting you!

@ Giovanni- "spandex ballet"- I love that band hehehe...

Anonymous said...

@2:18

"Anyone who does any amount of walking in the East Village knows it's become downright scary. "

I love how there's ALWAYS somebody to make a comment like this... do you walk around drunk or with your eyes closed? Or am I some sort of super-human for being able to navigate the tricky waters of the dreaded East Village?

Anonymous said...

Heeeyyyy!!! I'm WALKING here!

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:40, you have super human powers. I have them too. It's called the powers of common sense

Anonymous said...

Yes let's have a big legal crackdown on the everyday bicycle rider because of some extreme crazy moron driving like a lunatic. Let's make it next to impossible for me to get my pain meds because some moronic kids like to gobble them down to catch a buzz. Lets make it against the law to buy a big soda pop because some fat fools sit around eating fried food and watching tv all day. Let's give out tickets for jaywalking East 6th Street on a quiet morning because some jackass gets hit by a car trying to jaywalk Queens Boulevard where it is a virtual highway. Let's make it next to impossible for a law abiding citizen to get a firearm because ghetto thugs like to shoot each other with guns always acquired illegally and underground.

Gotta love the libs.

Tho I will admit the Post is an unusual ally with the libs on this one.

Anonymous said...

Ban fixies and brakeless bikes. Who the fuck rides a bike without brakes. they just want evryone to get out of their way.talk about self-absorbed.

Anonymous said...

And two words, license plates Rogue bicyclists are getting away with it because they speed up once they've committed the infraction. but if a camera or a witness can get their plates, they'll be less rogue.

Anonymous said...

I don't drive and never had a license so I am pretty much a "seasoned" pedestrian which means I will jaywalk when it is safe to do so. I don't cross an avenue unless it is clear of traffic for at least 3 blocks. I also try my best to be aware (do not text while walking and never have ear plugs in) when on a sidewalk. Occasionally I find myself in a taxi and from that perspective I am always shocked to see how many people cross an intersection with the light against them while never once looking at the taxi I'm in heading right for them. It is a wonder more people don't get hit every day. Bicycle drivers(?) share the same percentage of assholeness as pedestrians and those driving cars. It comes down to the person and not the means of transportation, Do you think its important to follow the rules for your and other's safety or not. Tickets and fines may help make getting around less hazardous, I guess time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I really wish de Blasio would rip out every last bike lane (and those idiotic "pedestrian malls" on B'way as well) and restore the streets to being normal streets.

Anonymous said...

The bike lanes and pedestrian malls are never going away, they're part of a larger global effort to make cities more livable. You might as well get used to them.

As far as running red lights on my bike, I don't defend it, but I do sometimes do it. I have also jay-walked, and occasionally I drive faster than the speed limit (on highways). Oh well.

Anonymous said...

""Anyone who does any amount of walking in the East Village knows it's become downright scary. ""

Maybe scary is too strong a word; but I would certainly say it's become more stressful.

- East Villager

Anonymous said...

I also agree the problem seems to have become worse, not better, since the installation of the bike lanes, particularly the ones placed between a line of parked cars/SUVs and the sidewalk so you can't tell while crossing on the green light what might be speeding towards the cross walk without intent to stop. I grew up riding bikes throughout this city but gave it up years ago; as a pedestrian I feel like I now have multiple dose calls every day crossing Bway, Fourth, Third and Second between 8th and 14th streets--riders of every kind race through red lights, ride on sidewalks and ride the wrong way both in and out of bike lanes--many, many riders don't bother to use bike lanes where they do exist so they're really coming at you from every conceivable direction--and the delivery guys on electric bIkes are a particular menace. Headphones and texting-while-riding add a whole other dimension to the issue. I am all for this ticketing crackdown and would love to see the delivery guys at least required to wear numbered vest so their places of business could be fined for their infractions. But a ticketing blitz, if the city can muster the requisite manpower to sustain it, seems to me the most expedient means to the necessary mass behavior adjustment.

Anonymous said...

Spandex Ballet!!! That's hilarious!!

Anonymous said...

It's only stressful for people who walk with their heads down, and don't look where they're going. There are definitely more bikes, but I don't find it the least bit stressful, since I always look where I'm going, and don't step in front of moving vehicles of any kind to show that I have the right-of-way.

John M said...

Bike lanes and pedestrian malls make the city more livable? For who? Besides newbie bike riders and tourists...

Anonymous said...

John M., Google it: Urban planning + bike lanes + pedestrian malls. You might be surprised.

Rachel said...

What is the difference between a pedestrian jay walking and a cyclist yielding then proceeding when the intersection is clear?

Would it be ok with everyone if the cyclist got off their bike and walked it across with the rest of the pedestrians?

Anonymous said...

I don't give a shit about bikes vs. cars, I just want less people injured or killed in traffic accidents. What causes the most injuries and deaths? Cars/trucks, by fucking far. Step up enforcement on bikes, by all means, but maybe concentrate a little bit more on the thing that kills the most people.

2:14 a.m. said...

So true, Giovanni, so true, funny how it seems. Always in time, but never in lane for lights. Dissolve the nerves that have just begun, I know this much is true.

5th Gen. said...

Good. We need a lot more ticketing of cyclists, and I hope licensing is on the way. Here in New York City we have a little thing called the subway. Use it. New York is the only walking city in the United States. Cyclists who speed, run red lights, and salmon erode the walkability of the city. The Post is a right-wing rag, but anyone who lives in the city can tell you that the vast majority of cyclists run red lights.

People who defend running lights with the claim that it's safe to run the light if you slow down first remind me of the suburban transplants who say "If you don't like the noise in [insert neighborhood], move to Jersey!". In New York City, one man's floor is another man's ceiling, so we have developed norms of civility appropriate to dense urban living. You can play rock band at 3 am on a Wednesday in the suburbs because your plot of land is set off 50 feet from the next one. Likewise, you can blow red lights and salmon in the suburbs because there isn't nearly as much pedestrian (or car) traffic; you're not impeding pedestrians who have the right of way from crossing the street or putting them in danger. In the city, there are people everywhere! You need to behave in a way that doesn't endanger and inconvenience everyone else simply because you want to get somewhere faster.

@Rachel the difference is that you're riding a hunk of steel that makes a collision much more likely to cause serious injury. If a pedestrian jaywalks and bumps into another pedestrian who has the right of way, nothing happens. If a cyclists runs a light and hits a pedestrian, both the cyclist and the pedestrian are going to take a spill. You're using a conveyance, and that conveyance makes you more of a danger to others (and yourself). The position that the problem is with people not bikes parrots the "it's not guns who kill people, it's people who kill people!" non-sequitor of the NRA.

Anonymous said...

In the hierarchy of modes of street-level transport in NYC, from buses to taxis to motorcycles to bicycles to walking, it's PEDESTRIANS who are the most vulnerable. As exemplified by the woman who was killed last week by a bicyclist.

Therefore, pedestrians deserve the most consideration and protection, period.

Of course, so many who are avid bike riders today can't imagine that some day they WON'T be bike riders - and when that day comes, they will live in fear of bike riders. Just ask anyone over 65.

If you wouldn't want your own loved one (mom, dad, sister or brother, grandparent, etc.) to be injured or possibly killed by a bicyclist, then think hard about how you ride your bike on the streets of NYC.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9/25 10:17pm - All good points! When I can no longer ride my bike, I will carry a cane, and I will whack any biker who threatens my safety! Come to think of it, maybe I should do that now!

Anonymous said...

Okay. Let's look at the problem. Traffic lights entitle motorists to NOT stop and consequently they run people over. This happens all the time. They then are entitled when they have the light, and are turning, to then, again, run people over in the crosswalk. Only recently has a law been passed reminding motorists to YIELD. This is something motorists are unfamiliar with until recently, and only because of applied pressure from cyclists who had been getting run down and pedestrian's families who have been questioning the insanity of the way traffic lights work.

But the bottom line is motorists and cyclists must yield to pedestrians (and yield, for cyclists at least, because they are more agile and thinner, means passing BEHIND pedestrians.)Motorists cannot do that, so they MUST come to a complete stop.

Yet . . the nonyielding carnage continues . . . and completely ignored by NYPD. There was another death this week of an elderly person because of a motorist not yielding; two weeks ago another death along the East River greenway when a motorist did not yield again. I'm fed up with motorists not yielding, while idiotic news outlets focus on how many cyclists stop for a light. The question should be, how many cyclists yield to pedestrians vs. how many motorists yield to pedestrians.