Monday, January 14, 2019

L-train non-shutdown fallout: Bike lane battle shaping up along 12th and 13th streets

[Photo on 13th Street near 4th Avenue from early January]

The newish unprotected bike lanes on 12th Street and 13th Street have become a battleground following Gov. Cuomo's sudden cancellation of the L-train shutdown.

The lanes arrived back in late October and early November, part of the city's plans to help move people when the L-train was to shut down in April 2019 for 15 months for Sandy-related repairs between Eighth Avenue and Bedford Avenue.

Now, though, the 14th Street Coalition is asking the city to remove the bike lanes and the newly painted dedicated bus lanes on 14th Street. (The Coalition also sued to stop the bike lanes and busways in October.)

Streetsblog was first to report this past Thursday that someone spread broken glass along parts of the bike lanes on 12th Street and 13th Street on the west side. Per Streetsblog: "[C]yclist Jonathan Warner noticed that the lanes on 12th and 13th streets were covered in patches of broken glass, which he believed was an intentional attack on cyclists."

Gothamist has a good recap at this link. Read Streetsblog's follow-up report here.

At the same time, Transportation Alternatives launched a petition drive to retain the bike lanes (as well as the 14th Street bus lanes). Per the petition:

With M14 buses traveling at barely above walking speed, 14th street sidewalks fill to the brim with pedestrians, 12th and 13th street bike lanes adding a safe way for people to bike crosstown and upcoming infill expansion of Citi Bike, these improvements were needed before the announcement of the shutdown, are going to be needed during the partial shutdown, and will be needed after the repairs are finalized.

These improvements will help provide faster, safer and more efficient modes of transportation for New Yorkers to travel crosstown and alleviate congestion in our streets.

There were also signs up along the bike lanes... an EVG reader shared this photo from Thursday night on 12th Street between Fifth Avenue and University Place...

Per the EVG reader: "Funny thing is, the NYPD does a shit job of policing the lane so there were, as usual, many cars parked right in the green stripe on several other blocks, rendering the bike lane unusable. But that’s normal, whereas broken glass and nasty NIMBY notes are a little more novel."

The arrival of the broken glass and signs drew a strong response from city officials...

In a statement to Streetsblog, the 14th Street Coalition said they "had no involvement in, nor condoned, the defacing of bike lanes."

Meanwhile, also on Thursday, someone painted "Bring back our parking" on 13th Street just east of Avenue A...

The DOT painted over the message on Friday morning, as these photos via Steven show...

Last Tuesday, Andy Byford, CEO of the New York City Transit Authority, told attendees of CB3's Transportation, Public Safety, & Environment Committee meeting that the fate of the bike lanes is up to the Department of Transportation while the future of the 14th Street Select Bus Service will be a joint decision.

In other post-L-train-shutdown developments... residents are asking what impact Cuomo's new plan might have on the construction on 14th Street between Avenue B and First Avenue.

One longtime 14th Street resident, who has spoken out on the numerous quality-of-life issues the construction has created in the past year, told me this:

"We're not sure if this will affect us at all much. We do hope, however, that the pols will call for an immediate stop to the night time and weekend work. There is no need to subject our neighborhood to these hours now.

Also, the MTA needs to be pressured to finish [the new entrances on] Avenue A. There is no reason it can't be finished now. They were just stalling the use it as the entry/exit for their infrastructure. An exit doesn't take three years to build."

Town & Village has more on this story here.

T&V also noted that workers removed some of the L-train renderings from 14th Street after Cuomo's announcement. A few remain for good measure, though...

The MTA is now holding an emergency public meeting tomorrow to discuss the L-train's reconstruction future.


Choresh Wald said...

Grieve, I expect you more than this “there’s a movement afoot to remove “... there is no movement: there is Arthur Schwartz and his fellow town house owners on west 12 and 13 street who have sued the city BEFORE the bike lanes were even installed. Parking spots were never “ours “ and whoever is afraid of “other people “ using the street they are living on might be interested in the big beautiful wall the republican partly is working on building across the border, same rhetorics. The only movement afoot in this neighborhood is of rolling wheels of bicycle riders using the bike lanes safely (unless they are blocked by delivery and utility vehicles).

Neighbor said...

People are such entitled brats.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. It's not the place of a few, with money and leverage, to decide what's best for all. For one thing, the crosstown bike lanes are clearly needed and important infrastructure. Second, why are we in the business of providing free car storage on public streets?

noble neolani said...

I stop riding my bike across town due the lack of safe passage and aggressive drivers. These new bike lanes are fantastic and long overdue for a city which prides itself a progressive place. For decades the streets belonged to car and their owners and all taxpayers subsidize their free parking spaces without much thought. I cannot think of any other situation where individuals are provided with free storage for the private property other than street parking.

I live on 12th street and the changes to the quality of life surprised me. First off there is a lot less trash in the gutters than before. Street cleaning is never hindered by cars refusing to move or are left on street cleaning days. Car owners that like to empty their bottles, food wrappers, bags and debris don't get the opportunity any longer at least on one side of the street.

The biggest quality of life point is a dramatic reduction in noise. The bike lanes provide passing space when a truck or care is semi-blocking traffic and since the new bike lanes I seldom here a car horn. I live an work at home and since the bike lanes the block has a much more livable place for everyone here.

Anonymous said...

Citizens are just sick of repeatedly being almost taken out by bicyclists. Its a fact. deal with it.

Giovanni said...

What kind of idiot vandalizes bike lanes? I’ve never heard of someone intentionally spreading broken glass in a bike lane to protest a bike lane. Do they really think trying to give cyclists flat tires or causing an accident is going to change a city traffic policy decision? And who spray paints a bike lane? Hopefully the handwriting evidence will be used to identify and charge whoever the vandal is.

As for the :”Bike Lane Canceled” sign, how is a bike lane canceled when the bike lane is clearly still right there? This sign is beyond idiotic. And if I was an idiot driver who saw that sign beleieved it, and then parked in the bike lane and got a ticket, I’d be looking for the idiot who posted the idiotic sign.

But the biggest sign of clueless class privilege are the statements “Bike lanes only benefit other people” (which just reeks of classism) and “Bring back our parking.” The idea that the parking spaces belonged to this vandal and his ilk of over privileged whiners is ridiculous.

But the idea that some spaces are for “others” and some spaces belong to “us” is the most gentrified idea of all. This is the same idea that the wealthy use to appropriate public spaces as their own, with their park conservancies and special events that close down parts of Union Sqare, Washington Square Park and Astor Place with thier corporate events and fundraisers.

For some reason it’s not enough for the 1 percenters to push aside people living in affordable housing; they also love to push the general public out of public spaces by claiming them as thier own, and by buying enormous aaprtments and townhouses for their one or two person households that they rarely occupy. Now they want to claim the parking spaces and streets belong to them too?

This anti-bike lane campaign is straight out of that old, tired idea that somehow people who pay more taxes than others have more of a right to public goods than others. But that’s not how democracy works, and nobody gets to decide that others have less of a right to publc space than anyone else.

Anonymous said...

I am a biker and I think the bikes lanes are terrible .. there are constantly cars and trucks in the lanes rendering them unusable

I don't understand why there can't be a compromise .- on 29th street there is a bike lane it is half the width as the ones in 12th and 13th . this enabled 29th street to KEEP the parking on that side of street. This makes bike lane is car free because there is a wall of parked cars protecting the bike lane .
I don't understand why they don't do this on these streets .. it would make the bike lanes safer and give community back their parking .

Anonymous said...

Surprised that the city streets are not littered with the bodies of the nearly-knocked over. Eye roll.

noble neolani said...

Giovanni, as always a well stated and intelligent analysis.

@10:10 AM , Streets are not wide enough to have a bike lane and 2 rows of parked cars. There is no possible physical "compromise" regarding this.

I can only assume that anyone who owns a car in Manhattan does not need or use it for daily commuting unlike car owners in the other boroughs. Therefore their cars are for recreational use, getting away on weekends or visiting Costco or big box stores elsewhere. These car owners who demand free storage for their weekend vehicle do not have priority over people who commute and get around town using a pollution free alternative. One of the biggest dangers of riding a bike on streets without bike lanes are when drivers exiting their parked cars sometimes do not see or look to see if a bicyclist is approaching and cause a collision when opening their car doors.

Most people can agree that there are too many cars in our city, and with the recent boom in ride sharing companies like Uber have added 100,000 cars to daily traffic in the past few years. NYC should be a great place for people to use bicycles for commuting, the only way to encourage this is to provide access to safe and well maintained bike lanes.

Anonymous said...

@Giovanni - "never heard of someone intentionally spreading broken glass in a bike lane"

Thumb tacks in bike lane in Queens last year.

A few townhouse owners who are annoyed it's superficially harder to park and one EV Grieve comments crank who got annoyed at a food delivery biker once and now gets his (just guessing) rage fix on anytime bikes come up. The rest of the country is dedicated to the automobile. Move there.

I'm all for any bike lanes but the most successful separate the vehicle lane(s) from the bikes with a row of parking. Bikers should also understand that just off the curb isn't a dedicated high speed bike lane, some of us ride slower and some of us walk. If you're getting your power commuter bike racer act on ride with the cars. That's how we did it for years until Bloomberg put the protected lanes in. I know that's against the law so just remember "to live outside the law you must be honest".

Congestion pricing is needed, and yeah that's regressive but it should cost a little more to cruise while "working" for Uber and watching a movie on a tablet. We've subsidized the automobile for much too long, car owners shouldn't be a protected class. Go back to Westchester and sit in traffic.

Anonymous said...

"@10:10 AM , Streets are not wide enough to have a bike lane and 2 rows of parked cars. There is no possible physical "compromise" regarding this. "

If you reduce the bike lane width- I believe at least SOME (this is key word in my previous post) of blocks are wide enough to have both bike lane and 2 rows of parked cars ON 29th street the street is 34 feet the entire length which enabled bike lane and both sides of parking

on both 12th and 13th Street there are various blocks (like btw Ave A and Ave B ) where the block is 34 feet as well but DOE chose to completely eliminate parking from one side . if they just returned parking to those blocks that are 34 (or even 33 feet) it would be a good compromise and make the bike lanes BETTER.

Anonymous said...

REDUCING the width of the bike lane? That's a bonkers idea. At rush hour, the main arterial lanes are dangerously congested -- I've been sideswiped by a fellow biker on 2nd Ave.! If anything, we need to be implementing bike lanes the width of car lanes and eliminating lanes of free weekend getaway vehicle storage for the rich. Take the lane, DOT!

cmarrtyy said...

This too will pass. It's a non issue. The city will never remove the bike lanes for 2 reasons: they help transportation and the L train reconstruction will still cause traffic problems even with the Cuomo plan.

Anonymous said...

The Gothamist piece identifies City & Country School parents as a significant force of opposition. So we've got parents at a super-fancy private "progressive" school, fancy townhouse owners with cars to transport them to the Hamptons on the weekend feeling entitled to free parking, and old folks whose fear and resentment towards bicyclists is partly a projection of their aging-related anxieties....

Anonymous said...

Terrible that someone put glass down, could have resulted in serious injury. NYPD should investigate and prosecute.

But personally, think the bike lanes should be removed.

Sorry but at this point I think cyclists are the bullies in NYC.
On a daily basis, observe cyclists endangering pedestrians (especially disabled and elderly people.)

Cyclists routinely go through red lights, go the wrong way on streets, ride on sidewalks and some don't even use bike lanes on avenues with bike lanes. Cyclists not only endanger pedestrians, but they endanger everyone in general as they weave in and out of traffic, causing drivers to have to swerve or stop short.

The delivery people are clearly exploited and in fact I think they are pretty careful. No complaints about the delivery people on bicycle.

But the "regular" cyclists - the affluent suburban transplants to NYC - seem to feel entitled to do whatever they want. On their own bikes or on Citibikes.

Just this weekend, saw two separate incidents - cyclists going through red lights. One hit a teenager who was looking at his phone, the other hit an old person who fell to the ground.

Beyond the question of 14th Street....there is a real problem when subway and bus service gets worse and fares go up - but somehow there is money for enabling the bicycle infrastructure.

And the real reason for vehicle/traffic congestion is Amazon/ecommerce delivery; Uber; and construction/overdevelopment.

Anonymous said...

Maybe look around whwn crossing mid-block, or against the light

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:48, it sucks that some bicyclists (like any other type of road users) are assholes. It's also unfortunate that we haven't created rules of the road that respect that they are neither cars nor pedestrians (and therefore should treat red lights as yellow lights, being extremely respectful of pedestrians/not moving when there are pedestrians in the crosswalk).

But if you rip out the bike lanes, you still have bikes on the road. They're just even less predictable because you've put all the law abiding bikers in the road. You also have more reckless motor traffic (the traffic calming effects of bike lanes are well documented), which means more old and young people being smooshed by SUVs.

Anonymous said...

The biggest danger here is when a comment starts with "I can only assume". And if the "free parking" were removed the city would lose millions of dollars in revenue from their prodigious parking ticket program. So unless you're willing to pay higher taxes, the free parking ain't going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

You know, automobile's tires need air too, and they can also be deflated out of spite. The dope that put down the broken glass obviously didn't think this whole plan through.

Anonymous said...

"REDUCING the width of the bike lane? That's a bonkers idea."

ONCE again on 29th street the bike lane is half the size -- but it is plenty of room for bikes to go single file down the bike lane
- and once agin it actually makes the bike path SAFER .. you have a row of parked cars with creates a barrier - no delivery trucks in the bikes lanes ... no cars swerving into bike lane to get by stopped vehicles.

Anonymous said...

It would be ideal if the city would host town halls with the people who live on the blocks where there are bike lanes.

I am not a cyclist or a motorist, and I can see both sides of the issue. I would learn more by hearing from my neighbors.

noble neolani said...

My. roommate almost broke his leg when someone exiting their car forgot to check behind them. Parking must be on the opposite side of the street from bike lanes.

Oh to the comment about taxes being raised because of bike lanes and less parking tickets bringing in revenue..... good try not going to bite.

"the "regular" cyclists - the affluent suburban transplants to NYC" and what do you base that fact on? Most of the people on my bike lane block have lived here for decades if not their entire lives.

I'm waiting for someone to say that the bike lanes will make rich people abandon the city and we will lose all those tax dollars. Anyone want to use that one next?

Anonymous said...

This is a lose-lose situation. On the one hand, I cannot fathom people whining about losing parking spaces. On the other hand, cyclists, there's a reason everyone who doesn't ride a bike hates you. The dirty secret of cycling in Manhattan is that it's only an efficient form of transportation if you run red lights and salmon. And doing so erodes the walkability of the city for everyone else.

Anonymous said...

LOL, the police in front of the old PAL building still park there all the time, the Strand as a veritable amazon truck depot set up and so on, at least the Fire Dept people stay mostly out of the lane.

Anonymous said...

@7:35am: You are very wrong! I live many many blocks away from where you claim townhouse owners want the bike lanes removed, yet on my block WE WANT THE BIKE LANE REMOVED. It was put in for the explicit reason that the L train shutdown made it "imperative". Well, now the "imperative" has been removed, and the lane is just fucking up everything from garbage & recycling collection to deliveries.

I pay taxes and *my* health & well-being & safety are just as important as any bike rider's is. NYC is spending so much money (and with no accountability) to "protect" bike riders, yet bike riders continue to have ZERO respect for pedestrians. Until bike riders grow up, I see no need to accommodate them in this way.

We need to revert 12th, 13th and 14th Streets to exactly the way they were before all this L train idiocy began!

Anonymous said...

@2:56pm: You nailed it exactly with this: "The dirty secret of cycling in Manhattan is that it's only an efficient form of transportation if you run red lights and salmon. And doing so erodes the walkability of the city for everyone else."

If we don't owe anything "free" to car owners, then we ALSO damn well don't owe anything FREE to the bike riders who are a menace to just about every pedestrian in their vicinity.

BIKE LANES ARE NOT FREE. Bike lanes cost money to install, to "protect" (ironic that NYC is busy protecting the riders who ENDANGER the pedestrians every day), and to maintain.

So when are the bike riders getting the bill for all these cushy lanes that they (and they alone!) get to use? I want them licensed and insured. I want them to be easily identifiable, so they can be arrested when they knock someone over and speed away. Right now, they threaten pedestrians with complete impunity, and they usually curse you out as they depart.

I want to see a full public accounting from NYC as to the total COST of installing & maintaining EVERY INCH of bike lane in NYC, and then we can figure out a surcharge on bikers so that they can pay for what they use.

Bike riders, you are NOT any more entitled to FREE space on the streets than you say parked cars are. You are NOT saving this city; far too many of you are entitled snots who are endangering anyone who's on foot, and I guess you think older people should just stay home.

I hope EVERY reckless bike rider (which is pretty much ALL of them) lives long enough to be threatened by younger careless bike riders; then you will know what true terror feels like.

Anonymous said...

Reading all the pedestrian complaints about bikers makes me remember that US citizens don't travel much. I've been in other big cities where vast numbers of pedestrians, cars and bikes self organize with a minimum of fuss and personal umbrage.

Too many these days walk The Sidewalks of New York with an entitled chip on their shoulder demanding a right of way and the personal space that they've decided on. This is a relatively new development. Back in "the day" three friends didn't automatically decide they could walk arm in arm blocking the entire sidewalk and have leisurely conversation, or stand in the middle of a crowded block taking a cellphone call, or randomly obliviously park their strollers for maximum crowd control. Many pedestrians these days walk like they are driving around a suburban mall, like they have a portable living room surrounding them with their own personal entertainment playing, and then they seethe with the same "you cut me off!" anger that they would in rush hour merge traffic "back home".

It's pretty easy to keep your head up, step out of the way of the faster walkers, move momentarily to the side for oncoming foot traffic, understand that most bikers sliding through the intersection against the light aren't in anyway kinetically interacting or endangering you. Bikes aren't scary if you're paying attention.

I understand that these days, especially in Manhattan, everyone has a smart phone and a credit card and are entitled to carry their own personal bubble with them where ever they go, but learn to walk in a crowded city without being intimidated by delivery bikes or offended because you need the entire crosswalk when it's "YOUR LIGHT". Occasionally a biker will annoy you. It's New York City, brush it off. When you step off the curb with your back to traffic and some terrified newbie citibiker slams on the brakes just remember next time to look both ways before you step into the street.

There are more bikes on the street than there used to be. That's because it's much safer to bike. There is no room for more cars on the street. One thing we learned from Robert Moses is, if you make more space for cars you will have worse, not better, traffic. The neighborhood will adapt to 100 less parking spaces. Removing any bike lanes wouldn't make much of a difference.

Worry less about the perceived insult of a biker running a red light and more about paying attention at all times to where you are. And occasionally make room for those walking faster than you.

Anonymous said...

Okay parking advocates, you want a fight? Let's go.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that all bicycle riders are perceived as being rude and inconsiderate. I think it's a fair criticism. When people say scofflaw bicyclists you tend to picture some young rude dude. But I see all kinds of riders being rude. Like young ladies in sundress and sandals on citibikes... now there is surely a polite kind of rider? Nope! Watch em plow right through a herd of pedestrians who have the right of way. I am a cyclist by the way, I am for the bike lanes, but just observing that yes, all types of cyclists are jerks. We're jerks. That's all there is to it. Imagine going to place like Amsterdam, or Copenhagen. Entire cities populated by nothing but bike jerks!

Anonymous said...

@3:49 PM

You realize that bikers "plowing" through pedestrians generally inconveniences only your sense of privilege? Because in general they're just moving through the intersections, not sprinting into crowds against the light.

The problem is far too much of the public space is reserved for the automobile. Turn the streets over to bikes and expand the sidewalks. Have dedicated hours and low speed limits for day-licensed truck deliveries, dedicated bus only lanes with cameras to bust drivers.. Have staging areas next to the avenues and crosstown streets that are dedicated to the automobiles for the Uber legions.

Not anytime soon but that's where the city is going. Don't like it? Move. The rest of the country is dedicated to the automobile. Enjoy the suburban drive throughs and car parks.

Choresh Wald said...

If anything, all this is just advocating for wider sidewalks on 1st Av, REAL slow zones east of 1st Av with TWO speed humps on each block as a real mean to slow car drivers. Have sidewalk "neck-downs" on every intersection so that driver will be FORCED to give pedestrians their right of way when we cross the street. We need LPI on every crosswalk (where pedestrians have five seconds to cross the streets prior to the drivers light. The city DOT has many solutions in its' toolbox they can utilize in order to prioritize people before cars on our streets. Plant more trees for pedestrians to have shade when walking, and plant them instead of car storage spots ("parking spots"). There's so much that can be done to make this place livable and humane.

noble neolani said...

"Well, now the "imperative" has been removed, and the lane is just fucking up everything from garbage & recycling collection to deliveries."
Quite the opposite, garbage pickup is quicker than ever, those trucks don't stop traffic for blocks are insane car owners honk and honk again expecting these trucks to either elevate or just skip a block of pick ups.

Deliveries are also easier for different small companies to make to the few commercial spaces on 12 or 13th. Let's face it the only people complaining about the bike lanes are car owners. Well too bad, the future is not more cars but more bikes and less cars. Bikes, clean, no fossil fuels and encourage better health, cars keep using our resources, pollute our air and roads, can be killers when an idiot is behind the wheel.

Anonymous said...

Yes, pedestrians in Amsterdam definitely have to be on guard, all the time even on streets that seem quiet and empty.
Cyclists creep up silently.
And on some of the main streets, at rush hour, pedestrians have to wait and wait to cross the street as the cyclists do not let up....

But always surprising to hear people compare Amsterdam and NYC. Completely different.
Amsterdam is much, much smaller, the buildings are virtually all under 6 stories - there are only a few high-rise buildings and they are no more than 20 stories and situated at the edge of the city.
And mass transit is not so great in Amsterdam IMO. Trams are limited and buses cannot fit on small narrow streets.

Unknown said...

Lets not forget about the Bike lane DOT installed on Delancey Street taking over an entire east bound traffic lane going towards the Williamsburg Bridge. This is causing a huge vehicle traffic jam all the way back from the Bowery to the Bridge. This bike lane was installed for the L train close down and now that it is not going to happen they should remove that bike lane which is mostly empty of bicyclists from what I have seen. The constant horns honking and blocking of the intersections by cars is causing a real problem for people like me who live in the area.

Anonymous said...

@3:39pm: You said "Worry less about the perceived insult of a biker running a red light and more about paying attention at all times to where you are."

To which I say: WTF? If someone curses at me from their bike as they ride away after almost knocking me over, that is not a "perceived" insult, it is an ACTUAL insult!

And let's face it: the people who need to pay more attention at ALL TIMES are the bike riders. They represent a clear & present danger to pedestrians, and your comment just underscores how much your sympathies are with those who are NOT obeying the law (and who do not much care about the rights of others).

Anonymous said...

@4:22pm: You have an unhealthy fixation on car owners. I hate bike lanes and careless bike riders (who are the majority, IMO) even though I have NEVER owned a car. I'm a dedicated pedestrian who would like to walk around this city without having careless bike riders take MY life into THEIR hands.

Anonymous said...

@Giovanni - well said.

If you live with so much fear that you are afraid to leave your home because of cyclists, you have bigger issues and perhaps should reevaluate your life. Removing bike lanes will only create much more danger by having cyclists bike in the street. Bad cyclists, like bad drivers, need more law enforcement. This is all common sense, but when ever there's a post about bike lanes, insanity rules.

Charles said...

Well said. This kind of compromise is good.
The question is whether the powers that be, want a FAIR compromise.

Charles said...

People who park on the street are not the rich, who can afford parking garages. They're also lower and middle class people who own automobiles and put up with tight parking situation im the neighborhood. These ill-designed space wasting bike lanes are affecting this population of locals.

Matthew has 2 T's, dumbass said...

There are not enough bicyclists going across town to justify 10 feet width of bike lane. It’s idiotic. Especially east of 1st Avenue.
And if we need bike lane so bad on cross streets then put them on every single cross street of Manhattan.

Charles said...

Yes. To your point about entitled cyclists in Amsterdam, they're trying to force this so called utopia onto nyc. I'm also a daily cyclist but I see there also needs to be common sense balance in a complex city like nyc, particularly more enforcement by nypd of the most dangerous behaviors of: cyclists, motorists, and also pedestrians.

Charles said...

BTW, I love these comment sections. Too mamy news sites, ex., have taken out their comment sections. One can useful information from them.

Anonymous said...

@4:17pm: Your comment "don't like it, move" is a non-starter. I've lived here far longer than you've likely been alive, and I'm not going anywhere until I die. I and a lot of others were living here when you couldn't GIVE New York City away, and the arriviste bikers "oh, how Amsterdam-ish!" can all go to hell, IMO.

If you're REALLY a bike rider, you don't need no effin' "protected lanes"; nope, you'd ride in the street WITH the vehicle traffic, like REAL bike riders did for many decades. And if you're not good enough, then Darwinism takes over. But nowadays, with "protected lanes" all the people who can't walk & chew gum at the same time are SURE they are excellent bike riders: they don't feel any need to look at traffic signals OR pedestrians. It's just soooooo much easier to ride a bike if you just ignore everyone around you!

Then there are bonus points for riding while looking at your phone, riding with no helmet, and riding at night without helmet, without lights, without reflective vest, and wearing dark clothing. I have seen all of the above many, many times.

I cannot fathom what bucolic park-like area some of these people imagine the avenues of Manhattan to be, since no sane person rides in the dark while wearing only dark clothing, and without lights, helmet or vest. But *I'm* supposed to see THEM coming in the dark, at speed as they go through a red light, while I'm crossing with the green light and I'm in the crosswalk?

Anonymous said...

It is not just about bike lanes or free parking spots, the city has done a terrible job with the flow of traffic. There are more bottle necked streets all over the city. Look at 32nd st and 6th ave and Times Square. Or even down on Allen st. Chances are the city will take away both the bike lanes and the free parking just because they don’t care for the people.

Anonymous said...

Time to implement the convention charges for cars in Manhattan, or ban private cars from Manhattan entirely.

Anonymous said...

@9:21 PM
> I've lived here far longer than you've likely been alive

Maybe, maybe not ... as long as you're > 70. And if you've lived here long enough to even try to make that claim you know, yes, you're supposed to see them in the dark. Just like it's always been in New York City. At least we don't have dead horses everywhere anymore.

The bike-hating cranks always try to imply that there was a golden age of New York City traffic flow, but anyone who can picture Ed Koch and John Lindsey is gonna laugh and eye roll. The streets are far less crazy these days and biking is much safer, the sidewalks are now packed with the clueless staring at their phones and street crime is comparably almost non-existent. Times change. Just wait until the motorized scooters that are taking over San Francisco get here. You'll miss us bikers.

Maybe you should consider Florida and a retirement community. Nice wide uncluttered no-bike sidewalks and much easier winters.

Anonymous said...

Is work being done on the L at night?
My apartment is vibrating, at night. it's like living in a submarine.
anyone else?
shucks, I wish I could move.
To Amsterdam.
where installing a bike lane is actually a real (planned and considered) construction project, not just a line painted down the street.
Also, the city is punctuated with draw bridges, where everybody has to wait.
Yes, cars and cyclists and pedestrians, all together, waiting, for a large barge of dirt to pass through the canal.
And as well public transportation is excellent, in Amsterdam.
oh indeed I so wish I could move. This city is a joke. period. Oh, and I can say that, I was born and raised here.
again, for the idiots who say if you don't like it move, I wish I could.
(you know, "it's the city" = it's a free for all, for ALL entitled idiots to assert themselves however they want. )

noble neolani said...

When in the future will there be too many cars? When will traffic come to a complete standstill with no relief of plans in place to deal with it. New flash the cities population is growing quickly with no signs of slowing down. New York is better prepared than most cities due to it 100 year old subway system, I know it needs a ton of repairs but the infrastructure is at least there. People complain about everything here but ultimately decisions and changes to how we get from point A to point B need to start now.

One of the most destructive time of our history was during the Robert Moses era. His plans cut through neighborhoods (south Bronx) and destroyed them to enable more cars to enter and "flee" the city for life in the suburbs. Highways were planned to cross Houston street to allow traffic to flow uninterrupted from New Jersey to Long Island, the only problem was swathes of Greenish Village needed to be flattened for his vision to be realized. Demolition was started, buildings on the south side of W Houston were demolished and all building on the north side after Broadway were demolished as well. Think of what our neighborhood would be like today if Moses was not stopped when he was.

The auto industry made deals with the feds to encourage car ownership at the expense of city dwellers. Have you ever wondered why you cannot buy a new car from a dealership which has more than one manufacture? The auto industry provides a hefty tax income to the Feds, in exchange for tax dollars increasing and maintaining interstate roads. The more cars are used in the city the less reason and resources go into public transport, look at what happened in Los Angeles.

Anonymous said...

Lose the bike lanes -- they should be gone already. Drivers and cyclists need to learn how to share the road. Bike lanes make drivers think a cyclist on any other non-bike lane road has no right to be there. Sharing is the answer (and if more education/enforcement is needed to facilitate sharing that sounds good too). Think about this: when the weather is lousy those bike lanes are an inefficient use of the space (I just walked from C to 2nd Avenue on 12th and 13th -- in this chill nary a cyclist in sight). And of course CHARGE for the parking spaces -- maybe even auction off the spaces.

noble neolani said...

Some years ago I was riding my bike on W 24th street, suddenly a red sports car was coming from behind me and intentionally, using his vehicle, forced me into a parked car. Fortunately I was not hurt. When the driver stop at the red light soon after I rode up to the passenger side and asked him why was he trying to kill me? He said "you passed me back there".
I pursued him for several blocks until I got to 5th avenue and at a red light he stopped got out of his car and took a swing at me. Pedestrian waiting at the crosswalk were shocked and yell profanities at him, until he got back in his car and drove off. I anyone thinks this was a once time incident I can tell you a few more of aggressive drivers who see bicyclist of second class citizens and have no problem intimidating and running us off the road for just being there.

When it comes to road rage the person in the car will always win, keep our bike lanes, drivers have not legal right to our streets over someone on bike.

Anonymous said...

@neolani: Robert Moses has been dead for a very long time, so stop bringing him up, b/c he's not relevant to this discussion (except in your mind).

You CAN bring up Bloomberg, though, who decided to choke off traffic so that he could "justify" his bike lanes (which he only wanted b/c he couldn't get his Olympic stadium on the west side AND the congestions pricing he wanted. Be careful of voting for him for president!). Now, having ruined the flow of traffic in Manhattan, we get the fake cry that there are too many cars. THERE AREN'T, unless you count the 100,000 Ubers - which are *private* cars, BTW.

So let's get rid of ALL Ubers, etc. that are cluttering up our streets and clogging the lanes, esp. as they idle waiting for their customers. And OPEN UP BROADWAY and get rid of the idiotic "seating areas" for tourists in the middle of Broadway. THEN traffic will flow again!

Anonymous said...

Jan. 14 @9:14pm AND @9:17pm: YES, and thank you for your common sense!

@9:37qm: Hell, yes, I am that old & I'm proud of it! Why don't YOU move to a wonderful bike-friendly community in Florida yourself? I own my home, I invested in NYC when the headline was "Ford to NY: Drop Dead", and I'll be damned if I'll have my rights as a citizen & pedestrian taken away by a bunch of jerks on bikes who think the world owes them EVERYTHING right now (and on a silver platter). To bikers, I say: Grow up if you want any respect. Right now, you earn exactly ZERO respect, and for good reason!

noble neolani said...

When people run out of ideas the old "I've been here longer than you defense, go back to Kansas...." comes up. For the record EV resident since 1981, from a blue collar family, not a Neo-liberal but a forward looking person who realizes the only way to proceed is to have a knowledge of the past. R Moses was a product of his time, the glorious automobile created the well intentioned suburban sprawl which in turn gave birth to shopping malls, fast food restaurants and a population which votes each election on fear and not reason.

Before the automobile our streets will filled with people, horses, carriages etc.. they were used and shared by everyone. Cars changed that by creating crosswalks where pedestrians were allowed 30 seconds to dash across streets or get plowed down by capitalism sacred cow the car. City streets and there uses were changed to favor motorized traffic over human. It can be changed again to reduce the access driver get on our streets and our city as a whole. Last time I checked there is nothing in the US Constitution saying car owners have a right to all parts of the city's street.

If you are fighting the growth of bikes in our city then you will lose that fight. The future of coal mines and cars the same. Bye bye.

Anonymous said...

@2:47 PM Oh hell no. Broadway is much nicer now. The traffic never flowed in New York City ever. Any claims to the contrary are disingenuous or encroaching senility. It's just like Crosstown Traffic ...

@2:55 PM Been here as long as you sporty and don't intend to grow up. I've been riding a bike since Fear City and the only time I hit a pedestrian he was jay walking in the middle of an avenue. The city always changes, always has, get used to it. Or not. Bikes are better than cars and that's the future, regardless of the time a delivery guy scared you as you stepped off the curb against the light.

If you're so convinced that you're not the minority opinion then get enough signatures to put a "remove the bike lanes" amendment on the ballot. On the off chance you can you will be crushed at the ballot box by me and legions of the younger generations. Since you can't get it on the ballot, tough luck. Remember to look both ways when crossing the street.