Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Protest planned for reconfigured Avenues

[Image via Neighborhodr]

The reconfigured First Avenue and Second Avenue (bike lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian islands, etc.) have been a popular topic in recent months... and now an LES resident is organizing a protest about the changes...

As you can see from the flyer above, there's a protest planned for Friday, Oct. 15... I contacted Leslie Sicklick, whose name appears on the signs. She's helping organize the event...

Her background:
I was born and raised on the Lower East Side. I am a third-generation Lower East Sider. My dad's parents came here from Russia and lived on the Lower East Side since the 1920. My mother's mother came to the Lower East Side also in the 1920s. Unlike many people, my parents did not move and raised me and my brother down on the Lower East Side. I grew up in the bad days of the 1970s, so I have seen the neighborhood change. I have also been a driver since 1995, often taking my mom, who is handicapped, shopping.

On why she's doing this:
My father raised me to get involved and, if you don't like something, take a stand, which is what I am doing. My biggest complaint is, because of the bike lanes, New York is becoming impossible for drivers. I used to go to 1st Avenue for dinner, shopping and was able to park my car. My other complaint is with how dangerous some bike riders are and how nasty they are. I was walking across the bike lane on 1st Avenue and was almost hit. I was yelled at — that I should get out of the bike lane. Who the hell are these bikers? They probably have not even been living in East Village for very long. What are my rights? I have lived here all my life.

Also, there are fewer spaces for businesses to deliver food, packages. Do bikers bring in business to the City? No they don't, and many stores are losing business because there is less space for people to park and come into the stores.

What she hopes to accomplish:
I guess what I hope to accomplish is to get the message out there to Mayor Bloomberg to change bike lanes so they are not against the sidewalks where people are trying to cross. Bikes don't stop like cars do for lights — they keep going. Bike lanes also attract people on rollerblades, skateboards, runners ... I am not saying all of them are bad.

By Mayor Bloomburg, the idiot, doing this is punishing drivers and rewarding bad behavior of bike riders. Bike riders never stay in bike lanes. Also, how many bike riders are out there compared to drivers? I'd also like to know what is going to happen in the winter when there is snow and ice. What a waste.

This is New York, not Amsterdam. I believe Mayor Bloomberg is killing New York, and changed any character it used to have. I don't miss the City being so bad, but at least it had some character.



Jeremiah Moss said...

i have mixed feelings about the bike lanes, but one thing is true--the bicyclists use them with a sense of entitlement that puts pedestrians beneath them. pedestrians have the right of way.

what needs to happen is for police to enforce the rules of the road on the bicyclists. they need to travel in the direction of the arrow, and stop at the stop signs and lights. but too many treat the lanes as a free for all. they need to get tickets.

have you ever seen a bicyclist obey a stoplight? i haven't.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Jeremiah!

EV Grieve said...

I have mixed feelings about all this too. Maybe we're all guilty. As pedestrians, do people actually sit and wait for the "walk" sign when there isn't any traffic?

JM said...

I think I'm in love. Leslie, where have you been all my life?

Anonymous said...

This is definitely tough.

I do believe bike lanes are a positive step forward, as they provide incentive to people to use alternative eco-friendly modes of transportation, as well as promoting healthy living. Also, countless amounts of bikers have been hurt and killed over the years in traffic accidents, and a separate lane minimizes the risk.

That said, too many bikers ignore the fact that they are bound by many of the same traffic laws as other vehicles. They weave in and out of traffic, ignore stoplights, and don't yield to pedestrians.

No ideal solution, other than maybe keeping the lanes, yet increasing enforcement of those who don't abide by the law.

Anonymous said...

As a sometime cyclist, guilty of probably every infraction cited, I too have mixed feelings. Cycling through Manhattan Streets is simply dangerous, and Cyclists have become agressive and angry in guarding their own safety from drivers who are best indifferent, and at worst hostile to cyclists. I don't think the lanes are the right answer as they seem to create at least as may new problems as they intended to solve. I would love to see Manhattan become more bike friendly, and to see far more people cycling than driving. Perhaps if this protestor had grown up in a less bike hostile city she would cherish the pleasure of biking to dinner on first avenue from her home on the LES, rather than driving (wtf?).

Anonymous said...

No, Grieve, we don't wait for the walk sign if there aren't any cars in the road that will hit us, but bikes are different. They're harder to see, less predictable as to what direction or place they're coming from and as Jeramiah points out, riding with a sense of entitlement instead of obeying the laws that say the pedestrian has the right of way.

Pedestrians have been protected on our streets and sidewalks for (probably) a hundred years. We're not going to give up those rights now, and this new generation needs to understand that they're pushing the envelope on what the citizens will tolerate.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 8:22

You can't presume that everyone is fit to ride a bicycle. That's WTF.

I can't wait until some of you are over 50 or 60 and face yet another new generation that starts to give you shit about your right to live peacefully and safely in NYC.

Mykola ( Mick) Dementiuk said...

How many bicyclists are struck by cars or trucks? In a one day trip into the city last April I saw two, one on 13th Street and 1st Avenue the other on 13th Street and 6th Avenue. Proves there are many vehicle and bicycle collisions.

Red said...

Felix Salmon has a good (though maybe too long unless you are really interested in this stuff) article, "A unified theory of New York biking."

The gist of it is:
1. New York City hasn't yet evolved a system of informal rules governing cycling behavior.

2. Right now, nearly everyone treats cyclists, at some level, as if they are pedestrians (including the cyclists themselves). This is a problem:

Cyclists, who feel as vulnerable as a pedestrian but have a damage-causing potential closer to a car, run red lights and some go the wrong way. These are activities that are completely harmless while walking but dangerous to others on a bike. (which is why "pedestrians jaywalk!" is not a proper defense for bike or auto wrongdoing.)

Drivers think bikers have no right to the road and treat them that way by opening doors in their path. (As well as general rudeness and disdain from some drivers.)

Pedestrians don't bother to look for bikes when they are crossing the street (honestly, people, just look both ways and you will never be surprised by a bike "that came out of nowhere" again.)

Anyway, I am glad Leslie is at least not protesting the bus lane. I guess transit riders count as "us," and bikers don't.

Anonymous said...

Why does a resident of the LES feel the need to drive to first avenue for dinner? Take a bus or walk and then you won't feel the need to complain that a few parking spaces have disappeared.

Lets not forget that the real benefit of this re-alignment will be the faster bus trips for the thousands of people who don't own a car and rely on them to get around the city (once the system is up and running of course)

Red said...

@Anonymous 8:44 - there is nothing in Anonymous 8:22's statement that "presumes everyone is fit to ride a bicycle."

I could criticize you for presuming no one over 50 can ride a bicycle, but I would rather not mis-characterize your comment.

Red said...

Grieve, really sorry about the multiple comments. Just wanted to add one more thing:

As humans, we tend to remember things that confirm our beliefs. It's what psychologists call the "confirmation bias." So, Jeremiah, I find it hard to believe you have never seen a bicyclist stop at a stoplight. You probably just don't remember.

I see cyclists obeying the law every day. I'm not suggesting those are the MAJORITY of cyclists! But try to keep an eye out for the law-abiding, Jeremiah. Maybe write them down in a notebook. Didn't Grieve devote a blog entry to a civil interaction between a cyclist and an elderly pedestrian just a few days ago?

For what it's worth, I have never biked in New York (except on Governor's Island where there are no cars). Too dangerous!

Anonymous said...

Again with this same debate.

As a sometimes biker (who actually follows the rules) I'll admit I've yelled at pedestrians. Every single time I get on my bike I almost hit a pedestrian jaywalking through an intersection (usually on their phone or texting) who does not even care to look! And I'm not saying look both ways . . . that is definitely too much to ask. Just look ONE way. I move WITH traffic only when the light is green, and yet still pedestrians cannot look.

Bikers are not the only ones who need to change behavior.

And to protest a new system of public transport that will make it faster for everyone in NY? Who cares if the few with cars can't park. Most of us rely on public transport, and know that taking a bus these days is not so much faster than walking.

nygrump said...

"and this new generation needs to understand that they're pushing the envelope on what the citizens will tolerate."

this is happening on so many levels - from landlords replacing age old thick soundprof walls with paperthin chinese-made drywall to the incessant yap yap of the cell phone culture to the nearly intolerable product being sold to us as food - the modern world gets worse and less tolerable.

There is no bus lane - its a new taxicab drop/pick up zone. The bike lane is actually an added ROAD, now pedestrians, without warnng or educating, whao are crossing 1st Ave are crossing TWO ROADS, the bike road and the car road. But the bike road goes both ways while the car road is only one way.

C Merry said...

Why can't she and her mom take a bus and help reduce pollution? I see all kinds of people even those in wheelchairs and mobile units using the buses and the drivers help them on and off- people vacate the seats needed to provide them with the seating area. If they can why can't she? Why is she complaining she can't just drive her car where she wants when she wants when there are alternatives many other people use. For all the money her car costs her she could also use a cab from the LES where I also live and I am also partially handicapped and do not have a car. How does she know only car and truck drivers bring in revenue? How does she know how long bike riders have lived here and why should that matter? I have lived here for almost 3 decades that is less than her and I ride a bike sometimes too so I don't matter because she has been here longer? How does she know businesses are losing money to bike riders? Fact is reducing polluting private cars will increase the air quality and help in general to improve the condition in all areas around here not just NYC- that will help new generations actually grow up healthier (and spend in businesses) and not blame us for their lung cancer because we were too lazy to not use public transportation and bikes. She just seems to want what she wants now and doesn't seem to care about long-term benefits to others.

Anonymous said...

@Red (you said)
"@Anonymous 8:44 - there is nothing in Anonymous 8:22's statement that "presumes everyone is fit to ride a bicycle." "

and Anonymous 8:22 (said),

"Perhaps if this protestor had grown up in a less bike hostile city she would cherish the pleasure of biking to dinner on first avenue from her home on the LES, rather than driving (wtf?)."

So Anonymous 8:22 is cursing out the poster (the use of the inappropriate "What The Fuck ?") for driving their car. Let's get one thing perfectly clear. She HAS THE RIGHT to drive her car anywhere it is allowed to be driven, and while you can suggest that it might be more ecologically sound to walk or bike, you cannot ASSume that walking or biking is an appropriate means for THAT person.

I've lived on the LES for my entire life. I owned a racing bike and biked an average of 35 miles a day in Central Park. In the 1960's and '70's, I felt very safe biking on the streets of NY. Today, I wouldn't venture onto ANY congested road with a bike, because drivers, cyclists AND pedestrians have become less concerned with everyone's well being, and now the city is making the streets even narrower, and the problems even worse.

King Bloomberg would like the right to tell people if they can walk, bike or (not) drive. If anyone deserves a WTF?, it's him.

glamma said...

I fully support the Bike Revolution for all the obvious reasons. Think about the planet. Think about BP. Try to get outside the confines of your own little worlds just for a few relevant minutes, and think.

Bowery Boogie said...

with the shrinking avenues for these bike lanes, i worry about emergency vehicles and first responders having more trouble getting to the scene. it's hard enough on streets without the new lanes.

Morgan Tsvangirai said...

This woman is fucking crazy. New York doesn't need to be made easier for cars, it needs to be made harder.

Also, I've seen ambulances ride down bike lanes (the ones with the buffer and then car parking) Bowery Boogie so there's a another positive from them--dedicated emergency lanes.

Anonymous said...

@glamma said...

"Try to get outside the confines of your own little worlds just for a few relevant minutes, and think."

You presume that everyone lives in YOUR world. They don't.

elkue said...

Who cares how long someone has lived in the neighborhood if she's an idiot?

I could cite x generations, x years, blablabla, but it doesn't help your case when your whining about bike lanes when drivers are the real killers in the city.

Anonymous said...

Bikes are recognized world wide as a positive mode of transportation. It is NY and NYers that need to adjust and adapt to what has been happening in the world for centuries.

In some respects, it is safer to cycle in NYC than other places because cars and taxis are USED to seeing a lot of cyclists. When the pedestrians wise up and start paying attention too then it will be better for all.

I used to never use a bike lane in NYC because they were essentially death traps. They are still dangerous, but much better than the old ones.

Recognize, cars and pedestrians, that it's a BIKE lane - a road specifically designed for bikes. Pay attention, don't walk in it or walk into it without looking, keep your car out of it. Look before you open your car door and stop the incessant complaining. This is not a hazard unless you make it so. Simply bitching because you feel inconvenienced and are reluctant to change is your problem, get over it. The bike lanes are here and are not going away. YOU must adjust.

Regarding cyclists not following the rules (how many cars do really, really?) most often are survival based. You say we all must follow the rules, but I'm on the road and I'm not a car that can accelerate 0-60 or is encased by metal. I cannot be treated as such. In essence, cyclists are pedestrians that can get places quicker - not cars.

The bike hate is ridiculous.


Linda said...

I'm a responsible bike rider who does stop at traffic lights! I ride with traffic as it is legally traveling. Pedestrians fail to look into the bike lane before they cross it while they are at a stopped red light. Should cars just stop for pedestrians because they just want to cross the street then? They would end up hit and injured, the same easily happens via a bike. The bike lanes provide some safety from the traffic for us riders, I personally ride more often on the avenues with these upgraded lanes, previously a serious danger. Since the lanes were installed I have had more run-ins with pedestrians than I have in the last two years of me ridding a bike in the city. When are the pedestrians taking responsibility for themselves? If the light is red, make sure you look before crossing the bike lane into the median area to wait for the traffic to clear. It's common sense.

Yes there are a good deal of bad bikers out there who make the rest of us look bad. Police do write tickets to unsafe bike riders, although not very often. Responsible riders are overlooked. In a world where it makes more and more sense to create our own transportation why are some trying to increase the use of powered vehicles? I ride my bike year round, as do many NY'ers, even in the snow. It's a fast, economical, ecological way of getting around.

This city is for all of us... if we each take some time to be courteous to everyone around us we would all be happier and safer. Take responsibility for yourself and not be selfish.

3DB said...

I'm gonna ride my bike to the protest. Leslie, please don't run me over while you drive there.

Anonymous said...

This woman can stuff it. I also grew up on the LES and ride my bike to work every day, and then I ride my bike when I go out after work, and I ride my bike on the weekends wherever I go. I love the new bike lanes. But apparently her right to drive one avenue block and park (!?!) trumps my right not to get hit by a cab. People need to be more aware and more respectful, regardless of their mode of transportation. As Bike Snob put it, whether you walk, bike or drive (and many people do all three in a single day) you are either an inconsiderate asshole or respectful. I break some traffic rules, but in my 20 years of riding a bike in Lower Manhattan, I have never hit anyone or caused anyone to get hit. There are many more like me. This woman says New York is not Amsterdam. Would she rather it be more like Dallas? Sorry, but the density of Lower Manhattan just doesn't allow for everyone to have a car to drive a block.

Anonymous said...

@Morgan Tsvangirai said...

"I've seen ambulances ride down bike lanes (the ones with the buffer and then car parking) ... so there's a another positive from them--dedicated emergency lanes."

There already were dedicated emergency lanes on 1st and 2nd Ave, they were clearly marked center lanes that drivers were (by law) obligated to yield right of way. And all of those drivers who didn't yield will be the same one's who will now block the bike lane. BTW, you'll also need a second ambulance following the first as it mows down pedestrians stepping off the curb.

And I'll gladly join the "fucking crazy" woman in her protest on the 17th, as I'm in complete agreement that this entire initiative has been bungled from the start.

If the city would put some effort into education and enforcement, making everyone behave responsibly, I venture that nobody would hardly object to any bike lanes.

Anonymous said...

I'll add that I don't have mixed feelings about the bike lanes. It's a city of 8 million people for chrissake - there are good and bad - be they pedestrians, motorists or cyclists.

The biggest outcry seems to be from pedestrians who are the ones generally "not following the rules". Don't stand in my bike lane and don't walk in it or I will act badly and I will be in the right in the end. See you in court with your broken hip.

Anonymous said...

I am with Leslie on this. I love to bike ride, but I don't do it in NYC. It is too dangerous, and I don't think the city should accommodate cyclists the way it does simply because it is too difficult to ticket them when they break the rules. Time will tell, but I won't be surprised to hear a year from now about more pedestrians being injured by cyclists.

Erin said...

I was hit by a biker crossing the sidewalk when I had the light. He didn't stop, he didn't apologize, nor did he look back to see if I was OK.

I've had a number of near misses with cyclists who run red lights and think it's acceptable to "sneak by" because they for some reason think they don't have to obey the same rules as cars.

I'm sick of having to double and triple check to make sure I'm not going to be assaulted by some biker whizzing down the street at top speed who thinks they can go anywhere at any time with total impunity.

Not sure what the solution is, but I understand the frustration.

And for bikers who respond that pedestrians sometimes jaywalk, that's apples and oranges. You are driving a hunk of steel and rubber at high speeds. I am not. If you're going too fast to stop when someone's jaywalking, perhaps you should slow the hell down. You aren't on a country road, you're in a city. There are strollers, old people, crazy people in the middle of the street, car doors opening up - you have to be prepared for the unpredictable.

Krista said...

I'm all for bikes lanes...but the reality is that bikers are bigger asses then the drivers.

Nearly every day when I am trying to cross 1st AVE on the light, some fixie with no regard for traffic regulations come barreling through his red light and nearly knocks me over.

If bikes want equal share of the road they need to obey the traffic rules...and bikers just don't seem to give a crap if they are supposed to be stopped at a light or if they are even going the wrong way down a one way street.

LiberationNYC said...

The bike lanes are a disaster. Everyone and their mother seems to have a bike now and they treat the city streets as if the were a boardwalk by a beach. They don't pay attention, frequently yell at people who are simply trying to cross the street, and now have kids in tow on training wheels. And that's on top of the skaters, scooters, and the best yet - a Vietnamese lady walking her pushcart full of cans in the bike lanes.

I walk up and down First and Second Ave almost daily and I am still confused by the reworking of the streets.

Mayor For Life needs to stop catering to the suburbanite transplants and take care of the New Yorkers.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:10, I am sorry you feel it's too dangerous, but many of us don't. And these bike lanes are making it safer. Like it or not, but a bicycle is the main mode of transportation for thousands upon thousands in the city, and it's only growing because (1) it's trendy all of a sudden, for what it's worth (2) there is a positive feedback loop, where the more that do it, the safer it becomes, which pulls even more people in. Plus, what do you mean by it being too difficult to get ticketed? Most of my cyclist friends have gotten one kind of ticket or another. I once got one for not having a bell on my handlebars.

Anonymous said...

@anon 11:10

"I don't think the city should accommodate cyclists the way it does simply because it is too difficult to ticket them when they break the rules."

So license them ! Make them just as responsible as motor vehicle owners !

If I hit someone with my car, the first thing someone would do is write down my license #. It's discriminatory and wrong to not hold other vehicles (bikes) to those same responsibilities.

The city has cameras that photograph the license plates of cars that don't stop for red lights. If bikes had licenses, they could be fined as well. Great revenue stream for Mayor Mickey.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:10 am

Because we now have better bike lanes there are going to be more pedestrian/cyclist accidents? How is this a logical conclusion? MAYBE because of more people cycling because they feel safer? It's the only sense I can make of your statement.

Also, no one is accommodating cyclist 'the way they do' because ticketing is hard, you make no sense.

I secretly hope there are more ped/bike accidents to bring awareness. I guarantee 97% of the time it will be the pedestrian at fault.

Anonymous said...

Ironically your photo of the bike lane shows a jogger - jogging in the bike lane!!

and the problem is bikers??

Anonymous said...

"Mayor For Life needs to stop catering to the suburbanite transplants and take care of the New Yorkers."

Care to substantiate this insinuation? Almost all of my friends who grew up in Manhattan ride bikes. A far smaller percentage of my transplant friends do so, specifically because their suburban upbringing prevents them from taking the plunge (for them biking is not about getting around, but something they did as kids for on an empty street.)

Look, despite the grumbling, what's happening is pretty evident:

Despite the fact that biking is WAY up, injuries are down. The more people that bike, the more pedestrians and drivers will become aware of cyclists and the better all of these issues will get.

BTW I fully support ticketing cyclists for running red lights etc, even if it will likely be bad for *my* bottom line.

Another observation: the worst offenders (going the wrong way on a one way for example, which is REALLY dangerous) are usually delivery guys, not fixie hipsters. And there are far more of them, still. Additional bike lanes will hopefully seclude these cyclists even more.

blue glass said...

if every one would just stick to the facts and get off their own particular political positions (why doesn't she take a bus? what does it matter how long she lived here?, etc.) and look at how the new lanes have affected everyone we might be able to solve many of the problems.
the bike lane is right next to the driver side of the car where, even if they look before they open the door, it is likely they will smash into a biker going what appears to be 70 miles an hour (they now have their own lane and no speed limit).
many drivers do not understand these lanes. i watched a backing up car almost run into a bicyclist. she came pretty close.
and while pedestrians do jay-walk they are slower than cars and bikes and are more visible. if they hit a car or a bike they cause very little damage and certainly don't kill.
here are my solutions:
educate bikers to traffic laws, license them, and then ticket them. (including riding on the side walk).
put the parking lane back next to the sidewalk and the bike lane into the traffic (after all they are moving vehicles).
ticket cars that double-park (many times in the moved bike lane) or run a red light or make an illegal turn.
ticket pedestrians that present potential dangerous situations (jay walk, etc).
this would give the city a lot of $$$s.
DON'T MAKE ANY "IMPROVEMENT" that requires a map, long illustrated directions or other means of translating these new rules.

Anonymous said...

All new improvements take time to get used to. For instance, why are there no "LOOK" decals on the pedestrian crosswalks in the EV the way there are on the Allen St. bike lanes in the LES? This way pedestrians know to look for bikers as well as cars when crossing the street.

I am beyond insulted by the entitlement of the poster who insinuates that someone who has lived in the EV for "all her life" has more rights to quality of life than someone (like me) who chose to live in the neighborhood over many many others. There is always a compromise that can be reached and bikers, newcomers, drivers, and long-time residents all have the right to express their opinions about the neighborhood- I just disagree with this poster's virulence and obvious inability to see other sides of the story (like those of us who think the city is clogged with cars and are sick of breathing car exhaust).

elkue said...

blueglass - That's not politics - those are practical questions that people who drive should probably ask themselves, especially when they live in this neighborhood. Your suggestions are interesting. You should send them to the mayor's office.

"that requires a map, long illustrated directions or other means of translating these new rules."

Who are you worried about? Drivers? Because in America, drivers have to get licenses. This requires a written test, road test, and filling out paperwork. If they can't understand a new parking layout, they probably shouldn't be driving.

Leslie Sicklick said...

I don't appreciate being called an idiot or mad woman because I don't agree what other people think. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

There are millions of drivers who don't agree with some of East Villagers. Many drivers are mad at bikers because they don't look at what they are doing and ride up against cars. I am a safe driver — never had a accident, but many bikers make me cringe by how they go through traffic. Many bikers get hit by car doors because they ride up against them, which is dangerous.

Also, many elderly cannot ride bikes — should they be punished for that? Also families that have cars that come into the City from other Boro's or from outside NY. Many bikers go down streets not for bikers and go there and many are nasty and feel entitled.

Sean said...

That's like saying, 'let's get rid of roads because cars are dangerous and there are irresponsible drivers out there.'

Every pedestrian in NYC should use caution when crossing the street - walk sign or no walk sign. There will always be reckless bikers in the streets whether the city removes the bike lanes or not.

Bicycling is a healthy, cheap, and eco-friendly alernative to our broken and increasingly expensive public transit system.

The added lanes are great for the East Village for the aformentioned reasons. This is plain common sense to many, yet seems to elude some.

ckdozi said...

I am a pedestian, biker and driver. When I do any of these it requires 360 degree awareness. And be on the defense at all times. Be kind and cautious.

When biking over the bkln bridge bikes going like it's the grand prix yelling and belling. Get out of the way - here slow down work together, its a narrow bridge.

On street bike lanes the same - we are sharing the streets and our safety, no one owns the lane. Common courtesy we all want to arrive safe.

The streets have an increasing air of Amsterdam a dream to me, bring with that courtesy, awareness and caution.

There's a lot going on around us whether walking, biking or driving we get distracted, so be the eyes for the other when something is in your way to insure safety for all.

elkue said...

Hey Leslie, many people are probably annoyed by being called law-breakers because you've seen SOME people breaking the law.

Dan LD said...

I'm so tired of people living under the impression that they have some sort of additional privilege by right of having lived in the neighborhood for 30 years. Congratulations. I haven't lived here for that long, but I pay my rent just like you do, support businesses in the neighborhood like everyone else does, and do my best to be a good neighbor and good citizen of the East Village.

And I'm still going to run traffic lights on my bike.

Doll said...

As per a taxi driver last week (who hates it too) they are going to put cameras to catch people driving in the bus lanes and ticket them. $$$ for the city. And it will never be changed back.
As a driver and a pedestrian I have to say it seems to make it more dangerous for everyone.

elkue said...

"Many bikers get hit by car doors because they ride up against them, which is dangerous."

Many cyclists get hit by car doors because drivers ILLEGALLY open their doors into moving traffic. Do you understand that? Did you know it's illegal (and stupid) to open your door into traffic?

Just that statement alone exposes your inability to understand this situation from anything but your windshield perspective.

The "little old ladies are getting run down by evil bikkers" left and right thing is so cheap and so easy, while the same is actually true for cars.

Anonymous said...

I've lived on the Lower East Side my whole life and ride my bike to work in midtown every day. I hate the new lanes on First and Second and never ride in them.

Sadik-Khan is an out-of-control lunatic, and she needs to be stopped.

Anonymous said...


Bikes have always been here. You've obviously never liked them, and that's fine, but it's only gotten better, not worse. The bike lanes aren't going anywhere.

It is many people's OPINION that you are a mad woman or an idiot - we/they are entitled to our opinions too.

Bikers, like all people be they car drivers or cyclist or peds, can be nasty and not follow the rules. To single out one group is small minded. You will have very little support at your protest. Sorry. People don't like cars in an urban environment such as Manhattan. Cars kill people, bikes do not. You look to see if you're going to get smacked by a car when crossing the street right? I mean cars run red lights and don't signal and speed and crash through coffee shops and the drivers yell at people.. right?

be reasonable.

Anonymous said...


Somehow you have construed that this is a discussion about bikes being good or bad.. it's not.

Most everyone agrees that bikes are ecologically sound, healthy for their users and a benefit to the city, WHEN THEY ARE USED RESPONSIBLY.

The discussion is about the design of the bike infrastructure and it's obvious incompatibility with the usage habits of both cyclists, pedestrians and drivers, as well as the government's ineffective approach to implementation and introduction of the designs.

elkue said...

For anonymous @ 1:05 PM, refer to the previous EV Grieve post on "types of bicyclists" - you will find him pretty quickly. He or She likely runs red light in addition to flouting the traffic law requiring cyclists to use the bike lane.

Anonymous said...

Best ever comment day for EV Grieve?

btw, stop the bike hate

blue glass said...

in response to RatherBeBiking
there is a politics to biking but let's not digress.
and if we lived in a less selfish me-first world where folks considered others we would not need these comments.
the fact is that most people are inconsiderate and that's dangerous behind the wheel of anything moving faster than 5 miles an hour.
when the signs first went up on 1st & 2nd everyone was standing around trying to decipher them (drivers, bikers, store-owners, pedestrians) the positive was that everyone was talking to each other, friendly like.
the engineers that created these directions probably don't walk or drive. they probably have chauffeurs.
so, who i am worried about is the folks, license or not, that can't follow these confusing, color-coded no less, directions that make it even more complicated, and i think more dangerous for everyone. all of those folks (including me) standing around talking to each other about the confusing directions.

EV Grieve said...

@ anon 1:20

Getting there on the comments.... one of the noise posts got 102...

Wonder what a post on a new EV bar called Bike Lanes would do...

glamma said...

i wonder how much of this is just growing pains since the bike lanes are so new.

Anonymous said...

If the city is going to accommodate bikers with all of these bikes lanes (and I am fine with that), they should also license bike riders in the same way drivers of cars are licensed, and bike riders should have to have plates on their bikes so that they can be identified in the event that they hit someone and take off. That's really the problem here. Someone driving a car is accountable. Someone riding a bike recklessly isn't. As a cyclist, I would be fine with going through a licensing process and even taking a class on how to ride in the city.

Anonymous said...


There are NO LAWS in NYC that dictate that a cyclist MUST use a bike lane.

Jeremiah Moss said...

okay, i will throw this in the ring--what about all the bicyclists i see every day who are BIKING AND TEXTING?

while i know the "bad" ones are not the majority, they are out there and the lanes seem to have increased their bad behavior, as if giving permission for it.

the bike lanes may be akin to legalizing marijuana--now that bikers aren't "outlaws," perhaps some regulation is in order. the idea about licensing is interesting.

elkue said...


RCNY § 4-12 (p) Bicyclists should ride in usable bike lanes, unless they are blocked or unsafe for any reason.

Anon 2:02pm - You may be trying to make a point, but if you are pulled over and issued a citation for not using a bike lane, and try to use this to argue with the cop, you will only make more problems for yourself.

elkue said...

blueglass said :
"so, who i am worried about is the folks, license or not, that can't follow these confusing, color-coded no less, directions..."

I too, am worried about them.

Anonymous said...

As a person who lives in the neighborhood, the bike lanes are taking some time to get used to. However, I find myself staying on the sidewalk (and out of the bike lane) while waiting to cross the street. I think it's decent progress that NYC sees a future for bikers here, though I wish (now that they have lanes) that bikers would STOP riding on the sidewalks! Kudos to whomever suggested licensing cyclists so some more rules can be set forth to manage these new vehicular arrangements. I'd love to get a bike too, but riding in NYC seems too risky (still).

Anonymous said...

As a long time NYC biker (and driver) I find the second ave lanes (and 1st) problematic. They don't seem to work as well as they do on 9th ave. Part of this is the density of people/stores on 1st ave. Key problems:
A. removal of parking for cars: I think the design goes too far in taking away parking spots, there was NO turn lane before, so why now?

B. Poor marking of danger areas where pedestrians walk out between the islands and block the bike lanes. Add to this jaywalkers and people walking in the bike lanes.

C. Bikers not obeying rules riding the wrong way and not stopping at lights. (I do this! : ) )

Actually I felt safer riding without the lanes, as people avoid cars and thus bikes.

All in all it's a positive change, we just need to adapt and improve what is not working. I think Slickricks attitude is a poor one and I'm for enforcement and improvement not reversal.

Anonymous said...


You can't read what you have posted? Where does it say it is REQUIRED. It says should and I can argue all day long in court if need be about a bike lane being unsafe FOR ANY REASON and I'll win.

Your posting that just clarifies what I was getting at. It's a misnomer to believe that they must. If bikes are to obey traffic laws why can't they ride on the road?

No harm meant to you, but you aren't making a lot of sense.

EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS (RCNY 4-12 is right there as well)§+4-12&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari

Anonymous said...

elkue said...

@ Anon

Unfortunately, it is absolutely open to interpretation. Many tickets have been issued for that offense and many of them have been paid. Sorry.

And increasingly, it will be tougher and tougher for you to make your case. In many parts of the city, the bike lanes are often free of cars, pedestrians, etc. for blocks at a time. Sounds crazy, but I see it quite often. You just have to know where to ride.

Chris said...

Seriously, Jeremiah? You've NEVER seen a cyclist stop at a red light? Come on. You're better than that.

I could go on about how Sicklick believes drivers should have privilege at the expense of the safety of the large majority of her neighbors, but after 60+ comments, I think I'd just be repeating everyone else.

Anonymous said...

We should license all cyclists? Okay, then. Who will pay for it? What will the fees be? Who decides when children on bikes should be licensed? Should we force 2-year olds to take a test before they get on a tricycle? Will licensing cyclists do anything to change the NYPD's lack of enforcement of any traffic laws - for bikes or cars? Will drivers be aware of or respect bikes any more with little license plates on the back?

Most importantly, will licenses do anything to keep people from endlessly whining about cyclists on the Internet? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah, you should be all over this woman! I mean, she wants to drive her car one block, and park it! Like some Midwestern suburbanite! Oh, but she's been here for thirty years, so of course she can't be to blame. Only white upper middle class transplants make NYC worse.

Seriously though, this woman's case is absurd. Just think what the East Village would resemble if *everyone* who lived here (or if everyone who's been here for 20 years, or whatever the arbitrary cut-off is for "mattering" under her logic) did what she did? It's impossible! It'd be gridlock traffic 24/7 and we'd need to demolish tenements and build sky high parking towers. Oh, but she just wants to be able to do it herself, that's nice. On the other hand, if *everyone* started riding a bike, well, that would work just fine, after some growing pains. Just visit any Asian city. So... whose activities should be encouraged by city policy? Sicklick's or the cyclists'? Seems like a no-brainer.

Anonymous said...

Bikers should be respectful, but the WORLD needs fewer cars, even if it's inconvenient to conceive.

Anonymous said...


Sigh. Unfortunately It's YOUR interpretation that is the problem and in touting it, you are spreading mis-information.

From the bicycle defense fund:

Bike Lanes
You are NOT required to ride in the bike lane.
—34 RCNY 4-12(p)(1) states that bicyclists should ride in usable bike lanes, unless they are preparing to turn, or are avoiding unsafe conditions (including but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, motor vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, pushcarts, animals, surface hazards).

Q: Isn't this an overstatement of the law? It seems to me that the law says that bikes have to stay in bike lanes.
A: No. If you look at the full text of the statute it clearly grants cyclists the discretion to ride in the bike lane or not, according to whether the cyclist deems it safe. As safe, usable bike lanes are extremely rare in New York City, cyclists are not required to endanger themselves by riding in unsafe bike lanes.

Q: But- but- aren't you saying that cyclists can ride wherever they want whenever they want? That's crazy!
A: No. Cyclists are still required to follow all other applicable traffic laws, such as riding the right way on one-way streets (VTL 1127(a)), and exercising due care (VTL § 1146). They are not, however, required to ride in the bike lane if there is any reason not to.

Please stop trying to change what the law actually says and what litigation has proven. This is not an interpretation issue. It is at the sole discretion of the cyclist if they deem the bike lane fit or unfit.

Also, where is your information coming from 'many tickets have been issued and many have been paid'? Back that up with other than your opinion.

I won't say that I'm a lawyer and I won't say that I am very involved in the court, traffic and transportation system in NYC. Don't you try to, because it's obvious that you are not and just spouting heresy.

I know that we are on the same side, but you're wrong and people need to know facts.

Anonymous said...

Ok-I degress but--Mother and two small children riding scooters on a very narrow street during rush hour-one child trying to hit the other and me while I am walking--I stop cause I want to see how far the little twit will go to hit me and so he doesn't-I tell the Mother who says"This is not illegal" and gives me the finger. Maybe being on the street with scooters is legal BUT being an asshole and giving her children the same right seems aggregious to me. Nasty stuff coming fro m Mother and youngins. Fuck them.

elkue said...

I'm almost ready to accept a license at this point to get people to just SHUT UP about it already.

elkue said...

WTF are you talking about?

elkue said...

Oh and Ms. Sicklick :

"Many bikers go down streets not for bikers and go there and..."

Which streets?

Anonymous said...

The licensing makes sense to me. First of all, cyclists could be charged fees so that they pay for these bikes lanes that the rest of us are paying for right now (imagine how much the city could rake in even with just a $10.00 yearly licensing fee?), and it would give pedestrians at least some chance of identifying someone who is involved in any sort of hit and run situation.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was recently trying to bike legally down the new Columbus Ave. bike lane, and there were two people having a conversation in the bike lane. A car would hit you if you were doing this in a traffic lane. But a bike has to stop, right?

Bowery Boy said...


No one should be blaming anyone. These new bike lanes are a big adjustment thrust upon us, and it's going to take some time. Everyone just chill.

I'm not a biker, and I've been spat on by one racing past me, but bikes are a much better thing than cars. Even Bloomberg deserves credit for making the city less polution-friendly.

Drivers, Cyclists, and Pedistrians are all going to need to learn to do a simple few things differently going forward. But we can do it. And in the end, this City will be better for it.

Just like national politics, we all want Change that we can believe in, but then when we get it, it's hard to break previous habits.

Let's not protest eachother. We're probably on the same side on most other issues. Let's plan community meetings to discuss how each side make this work, so that one day cars in the city will be few, the skies will be clearer, and wrecks of any kind will be rare.

Change is a bitch, but we've taken worse around here, and we can make this work. It's a good thing!!

wow, 75 comments! Is that an EV G record?

blue glass said...

Anonymous Dan LD said...
And I'm still going to run traffic lights on my bike.

there you go, the problem in one sentence. and an arrogant sentence at that.
no license, no rules, no tickets, no respect for others. so keep on running red lights and you'll come up with your counterpart on wheels and you can both take each other down. what an anti-social attitude you have.

if the bikers are not required to use the bike lanes why have them? same as the right turn lanes. if you make it from the left you get a ticket. why should any vehicle have different laws from others. you are all driving in the same traffic. and of oourse, if a lane is blocked, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know you can't use it. bus, car, bike, scooter, how basic does the law have to be so people will respect it?

there is no more right person in this argument. bikers continue to cloak themselves in the religiuous aspect of biking. drivers that really do not need to use the car cloak themselves with their rights. pedestrians can only shout at bikers to get off the sidewalk, go the right way, etc. and scamper out of their way.
i have a bum knee (for 20 years) from being knocked down by a bike.
as a child my now grown son could not learn to ride his bike in this neighborhood because it was too dangerous. now grown-ups say it's too dangerous.
this is a problem for everyone. loud yelling and insults do not mean you are a winner.

grieve, the number of folks responding (and the anger displayed) is overwhelming and interesting.

Anonymous said...

I think this has been a really interesting discussion. Hopefully people are willing to open their minds to change because one thing is for sure - the bike lanes are here to stay.

I've been impressed by all of the intelligent back and forth today. Well, except for BlueGlass. That one will always be too close minded to accept change.

Blueglass:"bikers continue to cloak themselves in the religious aspect of biking."

Best argument of the day! Let's go pray to the bikes tonight, shall we? Or maybe we'll just commute home. Aw, shucks.

Nathan said...

I haven't ridden a bike since I was 12 or so, and I don't own a car, so I don't have a particular dog in this race (although since I'm not a third-generation LES resident I suppose that means I have no right to speak).

I agree with the idea that the police need to step up enforcement on bikers, and hold them responsible for following traffic laws. However, even when bikers don't follow traffic laws, I haven't found them to be much of a menace. I try to stay aware of my surroundings all the time, whether I'm on the sidewalk, crossing the street, crossing a bike lane, etc. If a bike is oncoming, I yield to them, whether they have the rightaway or not. Why? Because they move faster than I do, so it's far more efficient for me to slow down my pace momentarily and let them pass than for them to stop, wait for me to clear, and then restart.

It seems to me that if everyone just extends some courtesy and is aware of everyone around them, it's pretty easy for us to all get along. There are assholes in cars, assholes in cabs, assholes in buses, assholes on bikes/skateboards/rollerblades, and assholes walking. This isn't a problem of "bikes" or "car", it's a problem of "some people are rude". If we all make an effort to be more polite, we can contribute to the solution rather than being part of the problem.

EV Grieve said...

I echo anon 5:48. This is an interesting discussion. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Anonymous said...


Nailed it.

blue glass said...

since anonymous picked me out i must respond to his
"I've been impressed by all of the intelligent back and forth today." "Well, except for BlueGlass. That one will always be too close minded to accept change."
Blueglass:"bikers continue to cloak themselves in the religious aspect of biking."

Best argument of the day! Let's go pray to the bikes tonight, shall we? Or maybe we'll just commute commute home. Aw, shucks.

your response to my comment shows how little you understand what i said. i am not against change, i am against stupid "improvements" that cause more problems than they solve. what is solved with the new bike lanes? that the driver will necessarily open their door into the bike lane? that pedestrians now have a harder time crossing the street? that delivery folks can't deliver? that stores are losing customers? it's all been said before.
as for the cloak of the religious aspect of biking - it is the better than thou "saved by the ecological goodness" of biking, the self congratulatory pounding of one's own back in satisfaction of their worthy and sacred place on this earth while they disrespect all the rules and everyone else's right to be here too.

elkue said...

blueglass -

Can you please, please take 5 more seconds next time and not say a bunch more stuff that is flat out incorrect? Thanks!

elkue said...

I can't believe earlier today you were talking about 'sticking to the facts'. Are you actually just trying to confuse me? Well played. I am totally pathetic for even bothering to ask you to correct yourself.

OneWhoRemembers said...

I knew her dad growing up..He was a great caring person. Sounds like she is more of the same. I agree with her. This bike lane atrocity was foisted on New Yorkers by people in-charge who do not have a clue about how wicked and inconsiderate everyone here is ESPECIALLY THE BICYCLISTS. This MAyor needs to go back to Boulder Co or Portland OPregon where people know the meaning of mutual respect. This city aint it..Thos bike lanes are going to cause more injuries/deaths than ever in this wacky town.

Anonymous said...

I have a MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM with the hoards of people (mostly seem to be NYU kids) who cross the streets of the east village without any regard for whether the traffic light is red or green. I drive and bike and I have never wanted to hurt someone the way I do when I get into my car and have to constantly slow down or stop on the green so that a bunch of middle American suburban brats can cross against the light while texting their mom back in Ohio. WHY DOESN'T SOMEBODY COMPLAIN ABOUT THAT!!!!

HippieChick said...

I will be there at the protest with bells on and a nice thick 2x4 to use on bikers who are too oblivious, selfish, heedless and entitled to be allowed to live.

Frankly, I wouldn't weep salt tears to see any of them come off the worse in an encounter with a car. But that's just me.

Listen. If bikes are going to be given special vehicular treatment, then they need to get it all the way. License them so we can take down the numbers when they, well, take us down. Maybe make food delivery people wear jerseys with the name of their establishment on, so we know where to complain. No riding the wrong way or on sidewalks.
And for God's sake how about some LIGHTS on bikes??

I've taken to yelling at bikers running lights, salmoning or otherwise committing traffic violations. Yes, bikers have officially turned me into a Crazy Old Hippie Lady (here since '68). And they'd better watch out or they'll get an umbrella jammed in their spokes. Or up their asses.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it but the problem is the THRILL.

Bikes can go REALLY REALLY FAST and it is a huge rush to ride like an idiot through the streets of Manhattan. Almost as good as on a motorcycle. If you haven't done it, try it.

Instead of trying to crush that, I honestly think some sort of bicycle audubon with no speed limits or rules would satisfy people and keep the NY spirit.

I agree that it is wrong to ride aggressively around pedestrians.

NYC taxi photo said...

Holy shit, this blog has gotten popular, jesus! anyway, I'm on the fence about his too, I used to ride my bike quite often, but hey now i'm a cab driver, and I still like to feel advocation for both sides.

I feel this women has turned her argument a little too much on the car-centric side. there are only a few issues I see with this, the loss of maybe 2 or 3 parking spots if even that, per block, and the extra blind spots that bikers and pedestrians can come out from at the last moment. My biggest problem with the lanes as a driver are the plants, there not many, but some spots on Allen Street mostly where there are huge plants at intersections where drunk idiots can emerge from right into on-coming traffic. it is down right dangerous, and I recomend not driving at all on allen street. Rather, you should drive on Essex, the light pattern is better, and there isn't any visual hindrance of the driver's peripheral vision.

however on the pro bike side of things, these lanes add much more comfort especially at night providing a safe space where you won't get hit by cars. As for the traffic lights and bikers not obeying them, as a life-long new yorker i don't believe a biker should obey such traffic signals, a red light in the shape of a bicycle? that's stupid and a waste of money. what we need is more alert bikers, more alert pedestrians, and more alert drivers, it's that simple, and no law, and no new street configuration can fix that. As a biker, I would never stop unnecessarily for a traffic light, what i'd do instead is switch over to the middle of the street and ride around the cars that are turning. part of the joy of bicycling is thinking intuitively rather than stopping at lights like a pawn, a sheep of the system.

another note needs to be addressed with that accident where a taxi drove into the coffee shop that night at first avenue and 3rd street. he injured two bicyclists and also sent an old man to the hospital in serious condition. If that bike lane with all of its sidewalk concrete weren't there, perhaps the damage would've been greater, and perhaps the injuries would've been worse?

NYC taxi photo said...

damn, I had a huge comment for this, but alas it was too large. damn! I'm not typing it all over again, oh well.

Anonymous said...

"NYC taxi photo said... As a biker, I would never stop unnecessarily for a traffic light, what i'd do instead is switch over to the middle of the street and ride around the cars that are turning. part of the joy of bicycling is thinking intuitively rather than stopping at lights like a pawn"

My latest observation of such "intuitive" riders is watching several cyclists cut off cars turning westbound from 1st Ave by leaving the bike lane and riding into the pedestrian crosswalk, endangering us pedestrians and themselves, just because they didn't want to either yield or pass the car on the traffic side.

This is all lunacy, and this contingent of rogue cyclists must be taught to behave themselves.

Anonymous said...

I am not for or against the bike lanes. I don't care either way. But I am with the people who suggest licensing bike riders so they can be identified in the event of a mishap. It would also make sense for them to pay a fee to cover the building and maintenance of these bike lanes which are really for a select few. Most people don't ride bikes in Manhattan. It is really a minority being catered to. Again, that doesn't bother me as long as they are footing the bill.

Chris said...

Again: someone answer my questions about your brilliant "let's license cyclists" plan.

Who will pay for it? Who will test them? Will four-year olds on training wheels have to take the test in order to ride in these bike lanes?

If that's the case, let's license pedestrians, too! That way, if one steps into the bike lane when I have the right of way on a bike, I can phone them into the police!

Licensing won't solve any problem. A larger proportion of drivers speed in New York than cyclists run red lights. Drivers have licenses... when was the last time you saw the NYPD pull a driver over for speeding?

Anonymous said...

Man, I just hope that I don't know a bunch of you people already. It would really suck to find out that friends of mine come here and talk about taking a 2x4 to bikers or whatnot.. akin to finding out a good friend of yours loves George Bush.

The rage is out of hand. What has a biker ever done to you really? I have yet to hear of anyone, since the change to the bike lanes that has been injured from a biker that wasn't their own fault. Completely out of hand.

Recently I was threatened with a lethal weapon (car) on a bike and honked at and yelled at and called "a menace!" when I was doing absolutely nothing wrong - the asshat in the car just didn't see me right away. He charged me with his car several times and cut me off and slammed on the brakes. Pussy wouldn't get out of his car though. Wish the NYPD was there.. (can't believe I said that, but would have been nice to see him tased and go to jail).

Anonymous said...

@Chris asks (the obvious questions):

"Who will test them?"

The NYS Department of Motor Vehicles is equipped to do that, just as they license and test motor vehicles and their operators.

"Who will pay for it?"

Just as the above pay fees to license themselves and register their vehicles, cyclists would do the same.

"Will four-year olds on training wheels have to take the test in order to ride in these bike lanes?"

Of course not. Just as current law exempts small children riding tricycles from the laws prohibiting riding on the sidewalk, and requires children under 14 to wear helmets, there should be an appropriate age where a person will need to prove their ability and commitment to responsible bike riding.

"If that's the case, let's license pedestrians, too!"

That's NOT the case, we're talking about licensing VEHICLES and their operators, just as we now license MOTOR VEHICLES and their operators. Pedestrians have the right of way on the streets. Your point is moot.

"Licensing won't solve any problem. A larger proportion of drivers speed in New York than cyclists run red lights. Drivers have licenses... when was the last time you saw the NYPD pull a driver over for speeding?

I highly doubt your assertion, but urge you to post legitimate numbers to back that up. In any event, neither action is legal, and both should be ticketed by NYPD, who BTW run regular enforcement sweeps of drivers breaking V&T laws. I see that happening regularly on West Street and at the FDR exits.

Hope that I've answered most of your questions.

Anonymous said...

Chinatown is bad

Leslie Sicklick said...

The remark about 30 years was not said as entitlement but to show how I have seen area change over the years. I am not totally against bikers, but believe that parking should be near sidewalks and bike lanes put back to the left. I used to be a biker myself. I chose to go to Central Park that has great views and safe lanes. I know many people use bike as transportation. I understand that and a better bike lane should be set up for them. I also have read many people saying to license bikers because they are not pedestrians.

I think this is a great idea too — bikers not following directions should get ticketed just like cars.

Anonymous said...

The word is bicyclists or cyclists, not bikers. Bikers have motorbikes. Bicyclists or cyclists have bicycles. Jannette Sadik-Khan is a foolish puppet of King Bloomberg, and together that have taken this city's transportation network two steps forward and three steps back. Classic cart before the horse bullshit. The city has spent not a dime educating ALL the users of our roads , paths, sidewalks how to get along. This administration is as much to blame for the acrimony between the people engaging in rude or reckless behavior on our streets. By making so many major changes to roadways and adding bike lanes without education, information, or enforcement for the public the "transition" to new transportation is all the more dangerous and hostile.

Chris said...

"I highly doubt your assertion, but urge you to post legitimate numbers to back that up."

Gladly! A 2009 speed survey of cars on Houston Street by TA (you'll pointlessly bash this source even though the methodology is sound) revealed that more than 70% exceeded the 30mph speed limit. Other studies on other streets have netted similar results. While that's not definitive proof that the same is true city-wide, it's hard to believe that one-way avenues wider than Houston don't suffer from the same problem.

Contrast that with a 2008 Hunter College study of cyclists in New York, which showed that 53.6% of cyclists stopped or yielded at a red light before proceeding (the same way a pedestrian would wait for a break in traffic before jaywalking).

While it is from 2001, a report by then-city Comptroller Alan Hevesi estimated that 1.23 million cars run red lights each weekday in New York City. It led to the recommendation of installing an embarrassingly small number of new red-light cameras, which are now at a whopping 1% of all intersections in the city.

I love that you cite the FDR as a place where the NYPD enforces speed laws. Data revealed a few years ago that 95% of the speeding tickets the NYPD issues are on highways - where the only danger speeding poses is to motorists protected by two tons of steel. Meanwhile, cars that speed on residential streets with unprotected pedestrians are free to endanger lives as they please.

Based on the statistics the NYPD publishes on moving violations, you could drive over the speed limit every day in New York City for 35 years and never get a speeding ticket. The NYPD sits on its hands while licensed drivers get away with bloody murder.

Licensing cyclists will do nothing to solve the problem of cyclists breaking the law. It's a strawman argument when the real problem is selfishness on the part of everyone - drivers, who speed with reckless abandon, cyclists, who routinely ignore laws due to a lack of education, and pedestrians, who, by the way, don't "have the right of way on streets." The law states they have the right of way in crosswalks. Based on your wording, you suggest that pedestrians have the right to step out into bike lanes. They simply don't. It's illegal. That same self-serving attitude permeates the cyclists you criticize.

Chris said...

I am not totally against bikers, but believe that parking should be near sidewalks and bike lanes put back to the left.

Leslie, I find a very hard time believing you have ever ridden a bike on a city street in New York.

The very reason that the bike lanes have been moved is to protect cyclists from speeding traffic, double-parked cars that force bikes into mixed traffic, and dooring incidents. If you've ever ridden on a bike in the old Second Ave. bike lane, you'd know that the current layout, while flawed, is a vast improvement over the constant dodging of delivery trucks and motorists who used the old lane as a parking and passing lane.

I invite you to get on a bike, just once, to see from our perspective. You are perfectly welcome to go back to driving, and I'll understand why. But at least try to see what someone on a bike is up against before you rail against the design of the lanes.

Anonymous said...

Gee, I thought it was just me that was pissed off at the whole situation.

Maybe that protest will have some legs ?

Anonymous said...


I apologize for misreading one word of your original post that said:

"A larger proportion of drivers speed in New York than cyclists run red lights."

Of course that would likely be true, I read it as drivers run red lights, not speed. And as far as pedestrian right of way, the entire discussion has been about cyclists who don't stop for red lights and don't honor the pedestrian's right of way. I'm not arguing that someone who steps off a curb into a cyclist's path in the bike lane or street has the right of way, but under the V&T law, while the pedestrian must YIELD the right of way, the operator of the vehicle or bicycle must use reasonable care to avoid the pedestrian. Anyhow, the vehicle and traffic laws are pretty complex, and I'm not making a career of studying them to argue your points.

Speaking of which, most of your points are totally off the topic of reckless cyclists, but you would rather make the issue reckless drivers. You can argue against cars all you like, but I think bicycle/pedestrian accident numbers will rise when they get around to doing another survey in 5 or 6 years. Even bike advocates say that those stats are under reported.

Why do you object to cyclists bearing the same legal, social and financial responsibilities as drivers ? I pay $7,000 a year just for the privilege of OWNING a car in Manhattan, almost $1000 of that in taxes and fees. I carry liability insurance if someone is hurt by my vehicle. What happens if a bike hits me while I'm walking down the street and the operator tries to avoid responsibility ?

All of your advocacy points are belied by the fact that there are many, many responsible drivers, just as there are cyclists. The problems we are discussing here have obviously been brought about by poor city planning. It's not about hate, it's about responsibility. Maybe you should concentrate on that issue.

ahd said...

"Who the hell are these bikers? They probably have not even been living in East Village for very long. What are my rights? I have lived here all my life."

Insert anything in place of "bikers," and you'll have the crux of every whiny EV resident's argument in any given situation.
Here's the answer to your question Leslie: your rights are the same as everyone else's.

JM said...

I think the point Leslie raised that makes me like her is that the bike lanes are like many other changes to the city in the past ten years. It's simply de-New Yorkifying New York. Yet people will cry about the loss of Mom and Pop shops, about old buildings torn down in favor of bland, mind-numbing glass boxes, about the lawn chairs in Times Square, and still be in favor of the bike lanes.

It boils down to this for me. If I wanted bike lanes, I would have lived somewhere else. Now, I guess that is becoming true of my home of the past 25 years, New York. Street traffic, delivery habits, pedestrian protocols....all of these things are part of the fabric of the city. You screw around with them, and you screw with the personality of New York.

Nothing ever stays the same, and maybe it was inevitable that the city would turn into something I didn't really love anymore at some point. For me, and for thousands of others...maybe hundreds of's just sad to see it happen. It's like going to a wake: you can still recognize the person, but they're definitely altered and the life force that you knew is gone.

I road a bike for a lot of years here, but I don't do it much anymore. There are too many 'Sunday driver' bikers now, too many hazards in the way other bikers ride. I could always deal with cabbies and traffic, never remember having a problem with pedestrians, and never understood the anguish over car-bike accidents. It's a road. In New York. It's going to happen, especially when bikers and drivers are equally prone to doing stupid or aggressive things.

So, all you folks fight away. It will all become somewhat moot if the economy takes a double dip, a lot of people lose their jobs, and crime increases (which it's already doing). This current discussion could only happen in a city where people feel too safe, and many don't understand how quickly that safety can be shaken.

There were a lot fewer bike riders in the early to mid 80s, and it wasn't because they were scared of traffic. When people begin to feel more vulnerable again, I think some future mayor will stop painting the bike lanes and things will return to pre-Bloomberg norms, anyway.

Anonymous said...

@John M

Count me as one of those who thinks it's time to move on.

And yes, I remember the days when you risked getting mugged for your bike, either in the park or on the streets. This disagreement over civil protocols is clearly driven by an element that just doesn't know any better.

So, so much of the New York I knew and loved has gone. I have that famous Tony Graham "manhattan" print hanging up (you know the one with all the city landmarks, stores and attractions, kind of like a "where's waldo?"). For years I've played the game of "that one's gone now", and when the towers fell, I think that was the turning point for me. I won't be going too far, but I need to be somewhere that's chilled out. All this rage, anger and cultural elitism that I'm feeling here just doesn't cut it for me any more. Gonna go find my peeps and hang wit dem'.

Chris said...

Wait, seriously, people? Bike lanes are the reason you're going to leave New York? No, it's not the gentrification, mistreatment of the middle class, overbearing nightlife, or the loss of neighborhood institutions that will compel you to leave. It's the bike lanes!

Please. Saying that is just as bad as getting angry and worked up about this whole issue. Don't be a drama queen. It's just paint on pavement.

Leslie Sicklick said...

First, I want to say Amen to John M. Thank you for understanding where I am coming from. If you ever want to contact me that would be great. Also, someone here said me and my handicapped mom who can't walk to far should take a bus. Who are you to tell me what I should do? It is my right to have a car just like your right to have a bike. Also, I never said all bikers are bad and criminal. Some of you should learn how to read — I said some were bad. Some said have the police enforce rules — what a waste of money. Bikers should know better. Again, I support licensing bikes and letting them be ticketed just like drivers. When I talk to the TV news and the newspapers. I will mention this

Chris said...

Leslie, much like the rest of your rambling screed, you're not making any sense here:

Some said have the police enforce rules — what a waste of money. Bikers should know better. Again, I support licensing bikes and letting them be ticketed just like drivers.

In other words, you oppose having the police enforce rules because it's expensive, but you support licensing, which will undoubtedly be expensive, and you support ticketing cyclists, which can only be done when the police enforce the rules.

Please clarify the difference between "[enforcing] rules" and "letting [cyclists] be ticketed."

Kevin Walsh said...

When I ride a bike, I ride on the right, stop at lights, and be careful to check for pedestrians.

I support bike lane construction if it makes it safer for cyclists. But I want cyclists to make a special effort to look out for pedestrians, who are mere flesh, blood and bones. Many don't, and the old gag about getting hit with a bike is better than getting hit by a car is played. Both give you a hospital bill.

If you're going to jaywalk look both ways.

If you're on a bike stop for lights and ride with the arrow on one way streets. Peds assume that you're going to do that (I've wised up and look both ways at the green, but I feel like a sucker when I do it).

Anonymous said...


If you think bike lanes are the only reason I'm leaving the city, either your reading comprehension leaves a LOT to be desired, or you're so transfixed on your own needs that you cannot understand the realities of others.

Allegra LaViola said...

This is silly. A total waste of time.

"because of the bike lanes, New York is becoming impossible for drivers."

NYC is not for drivers. It never has been and I hope it never will be. At a time when most cities are trying to get rid of traffic you want to make NYC MORE car friendly??

" I was walking across the bike lane on 1st Avenue and was almost hit. I was yelled at — that I should get out of the bike lane."

If you were walking on your light- you have the right. If you wandered into the bike lane, without looking, expecting that bikes should stop for you- tough luck- you should get out of the bike lane.

"Who the hell are these bikers? They probably have not even been living in East Village for very long. What are my rights? I have lived here all my life. "

Guess what? ME TOO. And my parents and Grandparents etc etc immigrants etc etc- and you know what that means? NOTHING. Things change and just because we are natives doesn't mean we get to sit in the middle of the road and whine about our "rights".

". Do bikers bring in business to the City? No they don't"

Yes, actually, they do. And bike shops do. And bikers shop on their bikes. So...your point, again?

"This is New York, not Amsterdam. I believe Mayor Bloomberg is killing New York, and changed any character it used to have. I don't miss the City being so bad, but at least it had some character."

I'm sorry- but PLEASE. Bikes are going to kill the city? Get a grip!

Everyone can be nasty- pedestrians, drivers, bikers...whatever. Nobody should. But we need to move forward- not back.

Bikes reduce pollution and traffic, are totally "green",cost little enough that almost everyone can afford one of some sort and provide exersise.

Cars are expensive, cause pollution, take up room and make people lazy.

Get rid of your car and start taking cabs or car services. There is no way the amount of cabs you would take could add up to the same cost of keeping a car.

Anonymous said...


Spot on. Nothing more to say. Thanks for being the voice of reason! (not that many people who comment on blogs like to see reason being used :)

WH said...

The only time I ever received a ticket on my bike was from a bike cop. I got it for crossing a red light (true), not having a bell (true, it had been stolen for the fourth time and I had given up buy a new one) and speeding (not true as it's really tough to go over 30mpg on a cruddy city bike going uphill). This was over a decade ago now and where are the bike cops when we need them? I still bike 5 days a week and am appalled at the new breed of bikers out here this summer. It will get better during cold weather but next year might be a big mess. A lot of the problems would go away with a month or two of aggressive bike policing. But I would like to see the idiots walking in bike lanes (on their phones, walking with friends, crossing without looking) ticketed as well. There's a lot of them.

C. Bee said...

I haven't read all the comments but I would like to add that I use the east side bike lanes on my commute to work by bike. If you see me, I will be the one stopping at EVERY stop light BEHIND the crosswalk, 99% of the time waiting for it to turn green (not waiting for it to be clear) before continuing.
I've also found my commute home on 2nd Avenue can be very frustrating unless I ride much more slowly in order to stop for clueless pedestrians that wonder into the bike lane area waiting to cross the street. However, I give them the right of way if they are in motion and ring my bell to alert them of my approach.
To be honest, I much prefer this way of riding over the wild west style before the bike lanes were so common.
I just read WH's comment and I agree! I got a ticket for crossing a red light (I had stopped first and it was clear -- it was a "trap") back when Guiliani was mayor. If the mayor wants to support cycling more, he would enforce traffic laws on cyclists.

Leslie Sicklick said...

@Allegra LaViola Are you kidding me? New York City was designed for drivers. Where have you been? Also, you are telling me to take cabs or a car service. I am not rich. I can't afford that — maybe you could. Drivers bring in more business in the City, so what you go to bike shops I don't even know how you compare some bike to millions of drivers who bring in tons of business to the city. What should happen if we get rid of car producers, who give millions of jobs. What happens to them? I will not stop my protest from happening because the TV stations will be covering it as well as the New York Post, Daily News, New York Times, who will spread what is happening in the City and to millions of NY drivers who are very against someone like you and your views.

Leslie Sicklick said...

A meeting is a waste of time and do nothing that eever helps. I am against Mayor Bloomberg and what he is doing to the city. By doing this protest I have something visual for the TV stations and newspapers to have in term of pictures. Also, when I was crossing through the bike lane near the sidewalk trying to get to street when biker would not stop and cursed at me.

I know of many restaurants that are suffering because drivers, especially on the weekend,s have nowhere to the park and come into restaurants. Also for you who say how are the bikers killing NYC. There are many reasons that New York is suffering — learn to read what the Protest is about. It's not just against Mayor Bloomberg, or as I like to call him, Dictator. I also resent Mayor Bloomberg for bringing in Joel Klein the Chancellor who never taught a day in his own life running NYC Schools like a business when working with children. I used to be a teacher and could get jobs no longer working due to Mayor Bloomberg and his chancellor Joel Klein.

This is just the beginning of Protest there are many other issues I have against Mayor Bloomberg this is the one that is affecting me now

Jeremiah Moss said...

to the point about pedestrians wandering into the lanes, i admit it has been difficult and disorienting to adjust my avenue-crossing habits. for almost 20 years, i have crossed the avenues of the city by first stepping a foot or two off the curb and waiting there at Don't Walk.

who actually stands on the curb while waiting for the Walk signal? i find it very difficult to stand obediently on the curb. it feels like being in California--where nobody jaywalks ever.

anyway, i think this is a subtle but big shift that millions of people are now having to make--for better or worse.

elkue said...

That sounds great Leslie!

Just to be clear, do you understand that you are the one breaking the law when you open your door into a lane of traffic without looking?

fuck smiling said...

the only problem with these bike lanes is that they are improperly placed.they should be on the right side but outside of where you park your car,not inside,like the one they used to have on broadway before they turned it into some moron imitation of amsterdam with the giant potted plants that are a gift to terrorists for planting ieds and dirty bombs(just wait).

the main problem is with behavior of all a messenger I still have old habits of riding on the sidewalks and running lights but for the past few years I have made the effort of slowing down for pedestrians and stopping at the red then proceeding when clear like a stop sign(which the majority of drivers confuse with yield).everyone acts with entitlement because of the "new york attitude",the so-called right of way is always abused,bikers think they are in the tour de france and those dickhead messenger races,and drivers just have either contempt for both or territorial because they use their car as a weapon.

but I agree with the complaints to cease these because they are not compatible with the structure of the citys roads,Because of these lanes,a lot of dopes think its an extension of the sidewalk,which would piss off the virgin mary if she went for a casual ride on them.just stay off of them and when you cant get out of your car because you always have to look out for bikers(which will increase the chances of getting doored by drivers,try to argue that in court when you get thrown off your bike and injured).

all of these lanes could have been painted 15 years ago in every part of manhattan,and i mean plain white bike lanes,what is with the green paint,how much is this costing the city?and why did they redo the bike lanes in union square and madison square?and who is most certainly profiting off of this development?

this city is going down,a hard rain will never wash all the oblivious imbeciles from city hall and that worm of a mayor

elkue said...

I hope you get ticketed next time you're on the sidewalk, cause you're not doing any of us a favor. You only give ammunition to people like Leslie, who think that cyclists are at fault for running into her car door when she opens it without looking.

elkue said...

jeremiah -

You don't have to stand on the curb. In fact, since the new lanes have been installed, you can step out into the pedestrian island behind the parked cars after carefully walking through the bike lane. So now you can wait closer to the other side of the street to cross than before.

Chris said...

New York City was designed for drivers. Where have you been?

Leslie, considering you're such a long-time resident of New York City, I would think you would know better that to say something so blatantly dishonest.

This may come as a surprise to you, but New York City was around for centuries before the automobile. Vast neighborhoods were built even in early 20th century that were focused around a subway line, not their proximity to highways. It was only after World War II, as more and more people left the city and asserted their right to drive anywhere they want anytime they wanted, the city took space away from pedestrians and gave it to cars.

Look at any picture of First Avenue from the early part of the 20th century, and beneath elevated train lines, you'll find vastly wider sidewalks than we have now. Look at any picture of Park Avenue from that era and realize how it got its name - it was mainly a park. Our crosstown streets once had sidewalks wide enough that you didn't have to step aside to let someone pass. The city wasn't designed for the car - it was stripped of its character so we could have five-lane wide avenues for you to drive on.

The density of New York City makes it impossible to design around the car. This city wouldn't exist in its current form if we all drove like you. It would probably look something like Detroit, a city that made every possible accommodation for the car for five decades and has only begun to realize the error of its ways.

Since you think we should have every accommodation for cars at the expense of all other street users, would you prefer that we revive Robert Moses' LOMEX project and tear down half of Lower Manhattan to build a highway? That would have done a heck of a lot more to destroy neighborhoods than a little bike lane ever will.

EV Grieve said...

Hey Jeremiah, When you're standing in the pedestrian island, would you mind pulling a few of those weeds that have sprung up?

Jeremiah Moss said...

good point, RatherBB, it is nice to get further out into the avenue before the light changes, like a headstart.

and EVG, those islands are awfully weedy. or was that on purpose to make them green?

EV Grieve said...

@Jeremiah I think that's Bloomy's Green Thumb. I'm all for green spaces. What do you suppose will be able to grow here with all the exhaust, etc.?

elkue said...

I think the mini-green spaces on 9th Avenue and Broadway are still there. Some of them even have little trees (correct me if I'm wrong) on Broadway between 25th and 33rd...

Anonymous said...

I love how these bike advocates try to spin misinformation for their own benefit.

In fact:

"The first underground line of the subway opened on October 27, 1904, almost 35 years after the opening of the first elevated line in New York City, which became the IRT Ninth Avenue Line."

The Model T Ford popularized the automobile in 1908.

Now tell me, if the rapid transit system predates the Model T by 38 years, why were neighborhoods not designed around highways exactly ??

Nice try at revisionist history.

Chris said...

Now tell me, if the rapid transit system predates the Model T by 38 years, why were neighborhoods not designed around highways exactly ??

Huh? That's the dumbest logic I've ever heard. Did the city not exist before the 1860s? Did the city not experience explosive growth in the 50 years after the first elevated train line was built? Did every single person in New York go out and buy a Model T the day it was released?

Thanks for pulling those two completely unrelated facts off Wikipedia... they were really helpful in bolstering whatever argument you were making!

C Merry said...

@Leslie Sicklick said "Where have you been? Also, you are telling me to take cabs or a car service. I am not rich. I can't afford that"

You own a car in Manhattan, parking insurance gasoline and parking when you get to the restaurants, the charges at the restaurants, upkeep for the car, sounds like you have some money to me. Sell the car. Your personal choice to drive and to pollute and bash people who pollute less is of course your own but you are in the wrong. Your attitude against people's right to better air not having to breathe in the fumes you create when going out to eat is pretty sad.

Anonymous said...

Vast neighborhoods were built around the rail system BEFORE the car was popularized. That is why there were no highways. And Chris, thanks for generalizing the entire sociopolitical genesis of the entire 20th century into your simplistic theories as to why or why not New York City was built and how it evolved. You're trying to make an argument after the fact, and cars have been an integral part of our culture for over a hundred years. If you want to ban them and really think they suck, why don't you buy yourself a political office like our King Bloomberg ? It seems that it's the easy way to effect these changes. Until that happens I'm not selling my car, and I really don't give a fuck what you think.

Leslie Sicklick said...

Hey BB — what are you talking about? You are the one making up things. Of course New York City transportation has changed through the years. I know that I have taken in my Master's a history of New York. I probably know more than you. Also, to the person said I am rich. I am unemployed right now and barely getting by. I have help from my family in terms of car. Yes, I pay insurance for the car and have to up keep it.

I did not always drive a car I took and still take public transportation because it is a waste of gas to get around city. I have a car so I can take my mom who is handicapped around, which is her right also. She is elderly and has a hard time walking or getting up steps on bus. She can not take a train can not get down stairs.

Also, again who are you to tell me to get rid of car because you said so you are what I hate about people in New York. Your attitude that the City should change for you. I am not saying turn City into highway. Let me ask a question — what should the elderly whose only form of transportation is a car should do? Or handicapped drivers should do, or delivery vans do who bring in supplies to business? Or people coming from outside Manhattan that have families?

I am so happy you are the minority in the city there are millions of drivers who would disagree with you. Many protestors are coming to the event to support me. It is not only part about bikers if you read. Also, I see so many bikers not even using bike lanes, driving the wrong way, going through red lights that are for pedestrians, who also resent many bikers and have been hit on 1st Avenue. I look when I open my car door so never had a bike flip over my door. Bikers should not ride right against cars if they get hit by car door it is there own fault.

C Merry said...

"supporting you?" I doubt they will all be there for you or your personal cause. Handicapped drivers have a right to earn a living, how are you helping by clogging the roads, you don't need stairs to get on and off a bus in a wheelchair, how are you helping the buses that do this by creating more traffic and slowing their progress to destinations? There are services that will help transport many handicapped and elderly people to appointments shopping and dr's visits, there are answers and they don't need you honking your horn at them because you can't find parking for your personal shopping and dinner trips. Protest away but the bikes lanes will stay too, you are in the wrong with your personal car causing more traffic, you are not "here" for anyone but yourself and your personal vehicle and personal desires.

elkue said...

Actually, it's illegal for a driver to open their door into a lane of traffic without looking.

Chris said...

Bikers should not ride right against cars if they get hit by car door it is there own fault.

Leslie, once again, IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO OPEN A CAR DOOR INTO A CYCLIST. The only way a cyclist can get doored is when negligence is exhibited by a driver who doesn't look before opening their door.

Chris said...

Anon, you completely missed my point. My simple argument was that New York was not designed for the car, as Leslie contends, but was instead modified for the car at the expense of space for pedestrians, who still make up the majority of street users in New York.

And citing a very obvious trend - that car ownership and commuting distance increased precipitously in the New York area after World War II is merely a statement of fact documented by the US Census, not "generalizing the entire sociopolitical genesis of the entire 20th century."

You seem to have a problem with the facts that I lay out because you know that I support these bike lanes, even though I didn't even mention the lanes in my argument.

And by the way, I don't want to ban cars. Cars hold a useful purpose in this city, but I want an equitable system where the movement of people is prioritized over the movement of cars. That's why I'm so much more concerned with Leslie's opposition to the bus lanes than the bike lanes.

Anonymous said...

I will totally be there.

Not just for the obvious reasons that cyclists have zero respect, but cars have been driving more erratic and taking faster turns at intersection these last couple of months. The only thing I can attribute it to is drivers getting cut off one too many times and no where to park.

Another major reason is my friend the other night was walking home and was crossing the street with the right of way and some cyclist got pissed cut him off, swung at him, and pulled a knife out. There needs to be defined regulations/laws for these idiots.

Leslie Sicklick said...

I never said I had a problem with bus lanes. I use buses to get around the city often. I am also a pedestrian who walks a lot around the city. Please don't put words in my mouth. I have no problem against bike lanes -- just some of the bikers using them as a bike lanes. I also don't believe bikers should not have a lane but be put back to the way they were before.

elkue said...

There was no bike lane on 1st Avenue in the neighborhood before, and the previous bike lane on 2nd Avenue was constantly obstructed by drivers. Maybe if drivers had acted more responsibly, there wouldn't be a push for fully separated lanes.

Chris said...

Leslie, unless you change the signs you posted for your little protest, you imply quite clearly that you oppose the bus lanes, too.

Your sign says you are protesting "loss of parking spots." On Second Avenue, nearly twice as many parking spots were removed to install bus lanes than to install bike lanes.

Your sign also says you are protesting "loss of lanes for drivers throughout New York City." Since the new configuration removed an entire lane of traffic to dedicate to buses, which will be photo-enforced, you imply that you're opposed to these lanes.

And since your entire argument seems to be that the city is taking space away from cars, how many people at your protest do you think will be there because they're outraged about both the bike lanes and the bus lanes?

I'm not putting words in your mouth. Your words are right out there in black and white.

Chris said...

By the way, Leslie, I find it hilarious that you're doing this protest after the amount of ignorance you showed on how these lanes came to be.

You claimed that the city shoved these lanes down our throat, yet the Community Board reviewed the street configuration and had at least a dozen agenda items on these lanes. You had nearly two years to voice your concerns in public meetings and you didn't.

Believe it or not, on other parts of the East Side, changes were made to the lane configuration to address the concerns of local residents. The same could have happened here if you had acted like a responsible citizen and educated yourself on the issue before construction. But you didn't, and now you're pointing fingers at everyone but yourself.

The lanes are constructed, and now you choose to protest? Too little, too late.

Allegra LaViola said...

What? NYC was "designed for drivers"? How very prescient the designers who laid out the grid in 1811!

But really, if you have your masters in the History of New York, you should know that the car was not introduced until quite late in the city. Even my father remembers many horse-drawn vehicles in his childhoodand he was born in 1937!

As someone correctly pointed out, Robert Moses was the real car enthusiast who created all the expressways etc etc and, if he had had his way, we would have had a giant highway running through lower Manhattan.

That God and Jane Jacobs that we do not.

I am not a car owner, and have no desire to be- so I rely on taxis when I need to get somewhere I can't by public transportation/walking/biking. Even if you took a $10 taxi ride every single day of the year you would spend $3650 in taxi rides. From the (admittedly slight) research I have done into car insurance the average auto insurance premium for residents in New York is $2,331 in 2010. This does not include, of course, the cost of maintaining a car, parking a car and gasoline, all of which would easily total over $1000, thus making the idea that taxis are for the rich and cars for the poor somewhat moot. (Unless you have parking included in your building's rent.)

Also, I'm not sure how the leap was made to putting car manufactures out of business...but anyway, we shall see how it turns out when these "millions" of drivers turn out to support you.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday, when a car swerved into my husband in the Ave A bike lane so the driver could avoid stopping behind someone turning left (not a protected bike lane), I thought: "Well at least that guy has a lot of parking spots to choose from after he kills someone!"

And then I thanked god my husband was safe. But parking spots were definitely my first concern, just like Leslie.

Peter said...

Since this debate has splintered in different directions, I still have a question: when are they gonna repave the ease side bike path? It's a disaster! I'd love to form a rally for that cause.

Martha said...

I'm not going to touch the "bikes are good/bad" part of this debate (though I have to say that bad cyclist behavior does NOT mean cyclists shouldn't have rights, just as bad driver behavior doesn't take away rights for all drivers).

I want to point out a pretty glaring inaccuracy in Ms. Sicklick's statements. She says that cyclists don't bring any business into the neighborhood, but drivers do. What? Cyclists don't stop for dinner, pick up things at bodegas, ride to a few stores to shop for clothes? You can argue a lot of things about what kind of people cyclists are, but one thing is certain - they spend money just like everyone. It's ridiculous to assume they don't.

It's funny, it almost seems like she's just making sweeping judgments of an entire group of people without taking the time to actually observe them...

Anonymous said...

Have you heard about the recent
and the
and how your name reads


kristen said...

What if cyclists needed to have a license, just like a driver's license? A written test and a road test must be passed. The license can be taken away. I'm not saying that pedestrians are never at fault, just that a bike is heavy machinery at a certain speed, so people that wish to operate a bike on a busy city roadway should have the same accountability and training required as the driver of a car. Sure, no one would like the paperwork and fees that would be required if this happened, but wouldn't you feel a lot safer knowing that the cyclists at least knew the traffic rules?

elkue said...

Drivers kill people every week in this city and get away with it. They (usually) have licenses. Doesn't seem to make a difference for the people they kill.

Miike Pelletier said...

As a bike courier, I have broken seen everything about bikes, cars, and pedestrians.... and we are all at fault. I bike hard, running red lights, passing cars, and yelling at people... but i'm usually yelling at people to get out of my way because i have a green light, because yes.... on a bike..... i have the right away.

Everyone breaks the rules..... deal with it.

I have NEVER, NEVER, hit a person, and i am constantly biking in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, practically every day.

Unfortunately I've been in 3 accidents. I've been door'd twice due to faulty drivers, and hit from behind because a driver thought she could pass me then turn left in front of me.

If there is ever a bike line, i am guaranteed to use it. No doubt about it, they keep bikers safe..

Its take more than just biker awareness to make a difference in the cities safety.

Josef said...

1. The assertion that bikers don't bring business to the city is completely spurious, but it's unnecessary to rebut in detail because Ms. Sicklick doesn't bother to offer any evidence of her proposition.

2. The assertion that cyclists are nasty is pretty ridiculous when compared to drivers. Just as one example, drivers honk their horns for no reason out of frustration when sitting in traffic, creating a horrendous ruckus without regard to those who live or work wherever they happen to be struck.

3. As some others in this thread have pointed out, Drivers are actually dangerous. How many fatalities in the 5 boroughs are the result of motor vehicle accidents as compared to cyclist accidents? The comparison makes Ms. Sicklick's claims laughable.

4. Cars are horrendous for the world, furthering our addiction to fossil fuels and poisoning the planet with pollution. In most parts of America driving is necessary due to a lack of public transit. Here car ownership is obscene and reprehensible; there is literally no excuse for it, especially with the availability of cabs and zipcar in addition to public transit. By contrast, cycling not only avoid the horrible environmental and injury-causing aspects of driving, but it's good for people physically.

5. Pedestrians do indeed deserve the right of way over both motorists and cyclists. By the same token, cyclists have the right of way over drivers. And for everyone who complains about cyclists breaking traffic rules: how often to pedestrians (myself included) cross in the middle of the street, or against a light? Countless times each minute in this city, of course, just as drivers break the rules of the road constantly (remember all that honking mentioned above? technically illegal), so why do people like Ms. Sicklick single out cyclists?

My conclusion is that Ms. Sicklick is not only wrong but literally evil. This is a person who could take the bus or subway, or ride a bicycle, to shop on 1st avenue but instead wants to drive! She clearly doesn't care about the environment or the safety of others, since driving is detrimental to both. I hope she gets punked by a skateboarder like that jerk who wanted to burn the Koran.

Anonymous said...

These bike lanes just do not work. There was just no thought of how people actually live and use the streets prior to putting these lanes in place. Vehicles need to pull over to unload passengers and goods. Anyone who thinks this is progress is kidding themselves and probably not orignally from NYC. Sorry as a native NYer (from the Bronx) I agree with the organizers of this protest - this is just not NY anymore. How would you like it if you went back to your hometown and some egotistical billonaire who knows better than you trys to turn your charming town into Amsterdam or even Seattle. You know you'd be pissed.

Anonymous said...

what's wrong with Amsterdam or Seattle?

Anonymous said...

First off, bikes are required to take the bike lane, according to the NY Vehicle Code section 1234: "(a) Upon all roadways, any bicycle or in-line skate shall be driven either on a usable bicycle or in-line skate lane or, if a usable bicycle or in-line skate lane has not been provided...."
--To the person that said you didn't have to take the lane, try reading the relevant laws first instead of some third-party, biased source. The NYS Vehicle Code, Article 34, outlines all the bicycle rules.

Second, bikes going the wrong way - those guys are a-holes. Same with blindly running red lights, riding on sidewalks, etc...

Going through the red light after slowing or stopping to confirm there is no one coming, no pedestrians, I'm okay with that.

Now pedestrians need to wake up and stop walking in the bike lane. It is not the sidewalk.

Cars turning left off 1st Ave need to look to their left, down the bike lane, before crossing over the lane. I almost had an accident with a car on 6th Ave when someone did this to me.

And for the complaints about the new bike lanes - do you have any idea what you are talking about? The new lanes are designed in such a way that it is almost impossible to get doored by a driver's side door due to the large space between the lane and the parking area. The bigger danger would be that it's hard to see people turning left because of the parked cars. But I'd rather have the separate lane - keeps delivery vehicles from sitting in the lane, cars blindly changing lanes into you, and being stuck riding close to parked cars.

The blind characterization of cyclists as jerks - give me a break! Plenty of people follow the rules; you only notice the jerks (confirmation bias).

Steven said...

Is anyone still actively protesting these arrogant cyclists, whether from the car or the pedestrian perspective?

At a minimum, cyclists should be required to register their vehicles, wear large readable license plates, maintain substantial insurance, be equipped with approved horns or other warning devices, etc.
Please let me know if there is any activity to which I can lend my support. Thank you.