Friday, October 15, 2010

Bike lane extravaganza

A reminder that tonight is the bike lane/pedestrian island, etc. protest on 14th Street at First Avenue...

We all had a few things to say about this here. (147 comments!)


Last Friday, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer held a press conference on Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place to reveal results of an “unprecedented survey of bike lane safety.”

Stringer and company compiled during data during morning and evening rush hours between Oct. 5 and Oct. 7 And he found down here:

• Dooring (car doors opening as a cyclist approaches) – 19 infractions at St. Marks Place & Second Avenue; 77 total infractions

The Lo-Down was at the news conference and has a full report here.

Columnist Michael Goodwin didn't think much of Stringer's plan at the Post:

Cycle of stupidity

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer sent his staff out to stare at dopey bike lanes popping up all over town. They saw all kinds of what he called safety violations, ranging from taxis and pedestrians using the lanes to cyclists going the wrong way and running red lights.

His answer: a bigger bureaucracy and higher costs. Stringer wants better signs, a public-awareness campaign and strict enforcement by cops.

No thanks. The NYPD is cutting back on anti-terror teams because it doesn't have the cash. Further diluting the force by having cops patrol bike lanes makes about as much sense as the lanes themselves, which is zero.


How about using these experimental bike lane spotters like the one here on Fifth Street and First Avenue to crack down on law-breaking cyclists, motorists, pedestrians, skateboarders and Rite Aid shoppers...


There are signs up now offering some directions...


When are we getting lanes for unicyclists! These guys are psychos!


Anonymous said...

I'd be a bigger supporter of bike lanes if everyone was on a Unicycle. That would be fun to watch !

Stedman said...

The bike lanes should be for unicycles only.

Anonymous said...

That "WRONG WAY" bicycle sign is at least an admission by the DOT that they realize there is a problem with cyclists obeying the rules.

My fear is that because it's obvious that Bloomberg wants to force his agenda, there won't be any action (enforcement) that might discourage people from riding their bicycles, responsibly or not.

There was a horrible accident yesterday on the LWS shared lane, where a jogger's arm was impaled by a cyclist's handlebars. This just shouldn't be happening.

elkue said...

9:49 am -

Yeah, funny about that, the joggers there have an enormous area for running, yet choose to run on the path which is marked specifically for bicyclists and roller bladers. Must have been that evil bikkker who did something wrong.

Anonymous said...

What exactly does that orange machine do? Knock people off bikes? Chase them home? Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Is organizer Leslie Sicklick, whose name and ungrammatical sentences appear on the above flyer, in the Tea Party? Her verbiage seems very Tea Party. One would think the world is coming to an end due to these wonderful new bike lanes.

elkue said...

That piece of equipment and ones similar to it have appeared lots of times over the years outside the Indian restaurants there. I have photos of two of them that were there for a few weeks in 2003 and 2004. No idea what they use them for.

Anonymous said...

@anon 9:49: "This just shouldn't be happening."

Really ridiculous statement. Enforcement of cycling laws is coming, don't you worry. However, the idea that this "shouldn't be happening" is absurd, as YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED. Was it the cyclist's fault? Was it the runner's? Do you know? I don't, and I'm heavily involved in all this.

Sometimes, anon, an accident is *just* an accident.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

That crane is being used for construction around the corner on 5th St. Note the bikes going both ways in that photo. What you can't see are all the bikes on the east side of the avenue using the bus lane as well. I know it's an old complaint, but I deal with this avenue/intersection every day and encounter the same problems nearly every time - getting wiped out by bikes in the bus lane and/or going the wrong way. Cars (and cranes) parked where they are block my view of traffic as I'm crossing east, and my view of bikes while crossing west. More signs don't help, they just add to all the distracting crap that's already on the street.

Chris said...

Goggla: And note the pedestrian walking smack-dab in the middle of the bike lane, even as a bike approaches. Misuse of this lane is among everyone, not just cyclists.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

@Chris - Yes, that's true. I've seen peds standing in the bike lane and trucks parked in the traffic lanes. Come to think of it, I saw a car driving on the East River Park esplanade the other night. Perhaps every citizen should be required to take and pass a traffic law test.

chris flash said...

Bike lanes are good in theory, but in practice, they have always been violated by pedestrians, cabbies picking up and discharging passengers, car doors opening, cars making crazy turns and even people eating lunch!!

It's one thing for the city and politicians to act as if they have created bike lanes out of concern for the safety of bike riders, but it's quite another to use the failure of bikers to use those lanes as yet another excuse to arrest and fine folks who aren't hurting anyone. (This scam has been going on for decades through the application of seatbelt and helmet laws. Big Nanny at work....)

I'm a bike messenger and any really good biker knows that the safest place to ride is in the middle of the street, not along a curb where a biker can get taken out by some idiot jaywalking or by a crazy driver