Friday, November 11, 2022

Reader report: No motor vehicles in the bike lane

EVG reader Garrett Rosso shared this photo yesterday from First Avenue near 13th Street, where someone mounted a "No Motor Vehicles" sign facing this northbound bike lane.

Per Garrett: "Citizenry resort to posting their own signs since electeds leave transportation alternatives largely lawless & unregulated." 

We spotted another sign on First Avenue just past First Street. There are likely more. (Let us know if you spot any elsewhere.) 

There is confusion between legal e-bikes (electrified devices with pedals) and mopeds, many of which are illegal and need to be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles and issued license plates. 

The NYPD also doesn't seem to know the difference, seemingly demonizing, as Streetsblog put it, all electric, two-wheeled devices (save for Citi Bikes). The NYPD later started cracking down on illegal sales before the actual sale.

Streetsblog put out a handy field guide last year (which you can find here). 

As they put it:
"Certainly, New Yorkers are confused about all the new motorized devices that are filling our roadways (and, infuriatingly, our bike lanes), which have become a Wild West of chaotic interactions."

And...

All the two-wheeled motorized devices on the market today are potentially far safer to vulnerable road users than the four-wheeled, 3,000- to 5,000-pound conveyances they seek to supplant. But it doesn't feel that way right now because users of illegal mopeds are often speeding through bike lanes, surprising pedestrians with their speed. Of course moped riders are choosing the bike lane — it’s the only place where they feel safe from the true behemoth on the roads: cars and trucks.

E-scooters — defined by the city as having handlebars and a floorboard or seat, and powered by electric and/or a person — are allowed in NYC. 


• You must not operate an e-scooter in excess of 15 MPH. 
• E-scooters may be ridden in bike lanes and on streets with speed limits no greater than 30 MPH. 
• Do not ride e-scooters on sidewalks.
Back to the signage... yes — the mopeds and various motorcycles need to get out of the bike lanes.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

should say no NYPD vehicles parked in the bike lane.

Anonymous said...

Saw the sign somewhere else in the neighborhood, can't remember where.
I don't know what is to be confused about, when it comes to bike lanes. Seems pretty simple to me, and absolutely regulated.

Brian Van said...

Once again, we've got a real problem on our hands that is mainly due to the fact that motor vehicles rule these roadways & are not driven safely enough around two-wheeled vehicles (legal or not) to be trusted with their safety... but some people let us know what their mindset is by saying the traffic in the bike lane is "largely lawless" except 95% of traffic in it is totally-lawful e-bikes, e-scooters and regular bicycles (including CitiBikes)... refuting the notion that they're all inherently bad.

Same people fought the installation of bike lanes with the same arguments saying all bicyclists were irredeemable scofflaws. Uh huh.

I think the argument that "mopeds don't feel safe in the main roadway" has a lot of credit to it. They're wrong for speeding up the bike lane, and that violation should be enforced. But I can see why they're not so keen on sticking to "the law" and mixing it up with garbage trucks and 53-foot trailers that are all in a rush. The law as it is written is-what-it-is, but it seems particularly indifferent with guaranteeing the safety of regular road users (as mopeds are, for all other purposes, road legal with licensing and registration). And, given how things shifted with the introduction of physically-protected bike lanes, there seems to be an obvious solution to the issue that DOT should consider on the avenues (if it cannot rely on NYPD alone to calm traffic speeds and discourage reckless lane changes of cars).

Anonymous said...

Seen a lot of motorcycles in bike lanes which is dangerous. They're much heavier than bikes and go much faster, making them also dangerous at intersections with cars turning and poor visibility. It's clear nothing about bike lanes is regulated in the city, people don't even obey the direction of them.

Anonymous said...

Not a real (official) sign.
Artist might as well also hang a sign on traffic signals reading "No Running Red Lights".

Anonymous said...

We'll never get the mopeds out of the bike lanes, b/c it IS the wild west in NYC, full stop.

And the bike riders have themselves to blame for that to some extent, since for years BEFORE mopeds were an issue, the bike riders decided that they could do whatever they wanted. The overall mindset of many bike riders is: "This is how I rode my bike when I was a kid on my local street, and I can do the same now."

If I had a nickel for every ADULT I see riding a bike or an e-bike on the SIDEWALK, I'd have a nice pile of money at this point.

The underlying problem, IMO, is two-fold:
- A selfish "everyone for themselves" POV that one sees in today's society, and
- NYC's complete inability to get people on bikes, skateboards, e-bikes, mopeds, etc. to obey the law.

People single out cars as the "big bad wolf" b/c cars are larger. BUT cars are more visible and more audible - as a pedestrian I'm more likely to be aware of a car or truck. The people-powered items like bikes and such are usually silent. (And no, bike riders shouting "HEY!" doesn't work, b/c there's so much *other* noise around - and with enough bike riders on the street, you can't even tell who's yelling.)

Just remember that the ONLY reason we even have bike lanes at all is b/c Bloomberg was pissed off that he didn't get congestion pricing and a west-side football stadium. This was a revenge move, and it was rolled out without sufficient thought or planning - it was just a "screw you, look what I have the power to do" move by Bloomberg. It *should* have been put on the ballot: We all should have been able to vote on this, since it affects everyone so widely. But that didn't happen, did it?

And now we are living every day with the results of Bloomberg's half-assed decision. NYC keeps trying to put bandaids on a much bigger problem than it's willing to even acknowledge exists. As long as that's the case, you can bet that this issue with mopeds is going to continue, just as ALL issues with bikes, e-bikes, etc. will continue.

The city makes "rules" - and then nobody obeys the rules and there's pretty much no enforcement. And way too many bike riders (admit it!) feel they can do whatever they want while they're out there. I see them breezing through red lights all the time. All the pious "but we're *good* bike riders" people can save their breath, b/c I know what I'm seeing! Yes, *some* people obey the rules, but *enormous* numbers of bike riders routinely flout the laws and rules.

The anything-goes attitude is part of what's dragging this city down, and I don't expect that either the city's non-enforcement nor people's overall disdain for the rules will change.

Anonymous said...

To clarify 1:23 PM. Folks can stop calling cyclists “largely lawless” when they get off the sidewalk, start obeying traffic laws and begin stopping at red lights. Until that happens, “largely lawless” is an understatement

dwg said...

Bike lanes are out of control with e-bikes, scooters, full speed both directions. sidewalks are nearly as bad. Food deliveries rule.

Anonymous said...

The motorcycles, mopeds and e-bikes don't adhere to the traffic laws. They always run the RED LIGHTS!

Anonymous said...

Think I spotted the cyclist hater.

Anonymous said...

no bikes OR scooters/mopeds on the sidewalk. need a petition to deal with this dangerous situation, it is total BS

Anonymous said...

Great sign! Welcome addition to the 1st Ave bike lane.

Anonymous said...

you people here complaining about bikes should get out and jump on one. Then you'll understand what we have to deal with when you're on one.

Anonymous said...

Is this doable?
Human powered vehicle/skate lane
E-scooter/bike/board lane
1 or 2 wheeled motorized lane
Car/SUV/Truck lane
Bus Lane

JAMES said...

And of-course these E-Bike rules will be followed by the riders(Sarcasm!) and NOT enforced by DOT...This is why it is so DANGEROUS to cross the streets (or even walk on the Sidewalks!) in NYC.

JAMES said...

1:47 Terrific POST! You said EVERY word your average Pedestrian in this city feels.if there was an advocacy group for Pedestrians things would start to be fixed but until then...

Anonymous said...

I feel so primitive... but i still believe in pedal power.

Anonymous said...

Hear Hear 1:47 you should run for city council or at least a community board 3 position cause nailed

NOTORIOUS said...

Perfectly said... "anything-goes attitude is part of what's dragging this city down"

Anonymous said...

Never been hit by a cyclist.
But slammed into by some asshole typing on their phone while walking; about twice per day on average.

Anonymous said...

Total agree. All you need to do is watch the bikers riding like it's the wild west. Stop lights? No. One way Streets? No. Middle of the Avenue between lanes? No. The list goes on and on, they just do what they want and flip you the bird because they are riding a bike.

Anonymous said...

Any vehicle with a motor on in should be registered and licensed and should not be allowed in the bike lanes.

Noel said...

The City speed limit is 25mph. Why are motor bikes allowed to go 30 especially in bike lanes?

Anonymous said...

And you are no worse for wear, because they weren’t using a conveyance that makes them a danger to pedestrians. Just like if a car driver is negligent, they might kill someone. Whereas a negligent bike rider may cause a bad injury but not death. And a negligent pedestrian, generally speaking, causes no injury at all.

Anonymous said...

@2:16pm: "Whereas a negligent bike rider may cause a bad injury but not death." Oh, really? Tell it to the families of the those who have BEEN KILLED in NYC by careless bike riders. For example:

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/pedestrian-dies-days-after-cyclist-crashes-into-him-while-crossing-nyc-street-cops/3835790/

Anonymous said...

Totally agree. The delivery e bikes, mopeds often fly down the bike lanes going 30mph if not more. Yes they are doing a valuable service but why can’t they follow rules. NYC survived prior to e bikes and some would argue was actually better

Anonymous said...

I ride my bicycle. I drive my car. I ride all sorts of mass transit. I walk. I check my phone for important messages. I and many of us are users of all sorts of transportation infrastructure that our society builds and maintains for us to use in our daily lives.

Most of us are not a$$holes but sometimes we each have a lapse and with millions of us out there, others are impacted by the occasional inattentiveness we each exhibit when we use our transportation infrastructure.

What I'm trying to say, is that we should demonstrate a little more tolerance for each other in our daily travels and interactions and we should focus on identifying those repeat offenders with enforcement and correction.