Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Time to license bicyclists

As the number of bicycles increases due to high gas prices, we as a nation should examine new ways to ensure that these vehicles (usually operated at 15-30 mph, and sometimes as high as 50 mph) are driven in a safe and responsible manner, and that collisions with motor vehicles, pedestrians, and other objects are minimized.

The goal is not to pass blame for the 770 bicycle deaths, but rather to save lives.

Since the invention of the automobile, federal, state, and local authorities have enacted a series of laws governing the licensing, registration, inspection, insurance, and safe operation of motor vehicles. A similar set of laws should be applied to bicycles and bicyclists.

In addition, bicyclists should pay their fair share of tolls and parking fees, as long as these fees are applicable to other motor vehicles.


Toward A New Bicycle Safety in America

As someone who was walking on a sidewalk and hit by a bicycle illegally riding on it, I wholeheartedly agree that this is a good idea.

82 comments:

Lauren said...

for a blog that is supposedly dedicated to things going on in queens such as disdain towards thoughtless/tasteless new luxury buildings... you'd think there would be more support for bicyclists.. with more of these condos comes more cars...

fine license bicyclists.. but bicyclists shouldn't have to pay fees.. we're not detrimental to the quality of air or the roads. sure there are bad cyclists.. hipsters who think they own the road.. delivery people riding and on cell phones not paying attention.. but there are a large number on conscientious people who are riding because it's good for them and good for everyone else.. why should we be punished.. most of the drivers in queens are terrible.. for countless reasons.. with significant ones being reckless speeding, pulling over (without signaling) and blocking the road, and honking, which is a pollution all its own and just as terrible. I'm not even a huge bike fanatic but are you really serious with this? give me a break.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see aggressive ticketing of those assholes who thing that the bike lane is a parking space.

This anti-bike thing is ridiculous on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Next time I'll use the preview feature. The first "thing"="think."

Anonymous said...

Yeah, add another layer of bureaucracy to the city. Petty badge wavers from the Bicycling Licensing Commission or some crap. What a stupid idea. Stupid beyond measure.

Anonymous said...

To say that a bicycle and an automobile are on the same level of responsibility is a joke. Driving is a privelige and I say that as an avid car enthusiast. By nature Cyclists have to be more careful, especially with the poor driving here in Queens. 50mph on a bike? Perhaps down hill on the tour de france. Give me a break. Claims like that show how poorly educated the OP is.

Queens Crapper said...

If the purpose is to raise money for mass transit, then you should all be for it. Besides, there are many bikers who don't know traffic laws and should have to prove that they can safely ride in the city.

Anonymous said...

here come the streetsbloggers again. "everyone else should be taxed but me"

Anonymous said...

Paying fees is not punishment because you're detrimental to the quality of air or roads, it's to raise money for the city.

Queens Crapper said...

I like this suggestion from the other blog: "the licensing fees should be spent on a number of initiatives, including a public education campaign to encourage cycling and safe motorist behavior around cyclists."

Don't you agree?

Queens Crapper said...

"for a blog that is supposedly dedicated to things going on in queens such as disdain towards thoughtless/tasteless new luxury buildings... you'd think there would be more support for bicyclists.."

I wholeheartedly support bicyclists. I just think they should pay for the streets they have the privilege of riding on like drivers do. An equal opportunity tax.

Anonymous said...

As soon as they start ticketing Jonny and Joey for Double parking the BMW in a bike lane while running in for Gyros or to holler at a fly shorty, or for flipping an illegal uturn leaving , or for grandma trying to hit as many cars as possible while parallel parking, or horrible gypsy cab driver honking before the light even goes green, or parking infront of my driveway (that I pay for) for 20mins .. Id gladly look at ticketing cyclists. Id tend to be more worried about the unlicensed and uninsured drivers in the meantime.

Cameradork said...

If this Licensing/toll/tax/Title/Registration plan guaranteed me a safe route to work by bicycle, complete with dedicated bike lanes on sides of the street not shared with parked cars that pull out or open their doors on me, with aggressive ticketing for illegal parking within them, I think it would be a fantastic idea. If it doesnt make things safer for cyclists as commuters I think people will gladly spend their time taking your parking spot, driving slowly in your path, and and stinking out your neighborhood with their "carbon footprint" .

Anonymous said...

Just drove up Vernon the other day and saw all those stupid bike lanes put in for the developers.

You guys have to be kidding. The car lanes are dangerously squeezed into the center going around curves.

I drove on the bike lane just to prove a point, you toadies of the polticians and developers cannot take over my community.

I encourage the rest of you auto and truck drivers to do the same.

Anonymous said...

I encourage the rest of you auto and truck drivers to do the same.


PROTEST! PROTEST! PROTEST!

Anonymous said...

Look, if you guys realy cared about our community, why do the bike lanes follow the lines of development, or link institutions that are politically connected like the Musuem of the Moving Images.

No bike lanes connect the community with the waterfront.

You bike advocates are full of shit if you say you are doing this for the community.

Anonymous said...

I was crossing 35th Street and Broadway the other day and almost got clocked by a speeding bike rider.

These guys are a menance. Third world driving habits in cars and trucks are bad enough, now I got to watch out for assholes on bikes?

Anonymous said...

Thos ebike lanes are not for nothing. many people use them everyday and just because your fat, out of breath, senior citized ass cant fit on a bicycle seat dont give iothers a hard time.
Fight all you want but your way of thinking is on the way out in Queens.
Every summer there is less and less of you left. Soon there will be none and good riddance.

Anonymous said...

As a bike rider who OBEYS traffic regulations, I sometimes feel like a sucker when, crossing at the green and not in between, I nearly get clobbered by bicyclists who blow through the traffic lights riding the WRONG WAY against one-way traffic.

(Transportation Alternatives and bike-friendly blogs meet such complaints with... well, not much.)

If bicyclists want to be accepted on par with motor vehicles on our streets they should be open to supporting regulations ensuring a safer ride both for them and for pedestrians. I would.

www.forgotten-ny.com

Anonymous said...

And, by the way: there should also be greater enforcement against motorists who willfully disregard the bike lanes, ie. parking, standing, etc.

I have gotten involved in many arguments, some of which nearly became physical, over the years with motorists who thoughtlessly opened their doors and nearly knocked me into traffic. The problem there is that unless the bicyclist has a witness, this kind of stuff is unprosecutable.

The city has made little provision for cyclists who aren't necessarily training for the Tour de France. I've largely stayed off the new bike path on the west side, alongside 12th Avenue, since the bike lane is way too narrow and has mostly ben taken over by the bike racers. Ditto Central Park. We're not all professionals.

www.forgotten-ny.com

Anonymous said...

License everything with wheels. I got hit by a baby stroller last week. The Arab woman and two babies musta have been doin 4 5 miles an hour. No license no insurances, no english.

Anonymous said...

My message to the goverment- hands off my bike! I use the bike lane and drive safely, so why am I beling penalized? Penalize the illegal immigrant delivery men, but hands off my bike!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, we can't discriminate. You are now equal to an illegal immigrant deliveryman. This is America in the year 2008.

Ridgewoodian said...

Licensing of bikers? Eh, maybe. If it can be done efficiently. It would be good if all bikers were aware of the rules of the road.

License plates on bikes. Again, maybe. Might be a good idea to help enforce traffic laws as bikes become more common.

Congestion pricing for bikes? I don’t think so, at least not until bikes actually CONGEST the streets, the way cars do. Even if that were to happen I wouldn’t charge them more than a token amount - $.50 or $1.00 or so. The rational behind congestion pricing is twofold: cars take up a lot of space, more than their fair share of the street per person transported, and they’re polluting. Bikes are much smaller than cars and so are not nearly as congestive, and they don’t pollute at all.

Anonymous said...

Its one thing to glide around on a bike. When you add to the danger of our steets with all those bikes, take away our driving lanes and parking spaces, and tout the developers and politicians lines on development with nothing for the rest of us (for example, community education programs for kids) then you are riding into dangerous territory.

I remember Koch put bike lanes in Manhattan and there was such an outrcy Denkins got rid of 'em.

Anonymous said...

Message to bike groups:

We see you are organized and we will see what money is behind you.

Word of advice to bike groups:

The harder you push us New Yorkers the harder we will push you back.

You feel lucky, punk?

Anonymous said...

Hey I think biking for commuting is a great idea if you can do it. The problem is that it's highly impractical considering most offices don't have showers or a place for you to store your bike while you're at work. So you're good for the spring and fall, but the other 2 seasons you're f*cked.

Mr. Angry said...

If cyclists are ever going to get any sympathy from the rest of us, they're going to have to start obeying traffic laws and riding less like a bunch of lawless jackasses just because they can get away with it. It's that simple.

And to the commenter on the vernon blvd situation - i too drove in the bike lane around those curves. There's no other way to do it safely. Those lanes and the buffer space around them are overkill, plain and simple. I will drive in those bike lanes whenever my safety and the safety of others is at risk by not doing so. F the DOT

Anonymous said...

if we are going to tax people who bike, then lets tax people who walk to work too ... and levy a toll on pedestrians on the bridges...

I am not an avid biker, and nothing pisses me off more than bikers who demand respect while showing none for cars or pedestrians, but please! enforce the existing laws, and you wouldnt have these problems.

Ant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ant said...

Anonymous said...


I drove on the bike lane just to prove a point, you toadies of the polticians and developers cannot take over my community.

I encourage the rest of you auto and truck drivers to do the same.


Anonymous said...

I encourage the rest of you auto and truck drivers to do the same.


PROTEST! PROTEST! PROTEST!


Yes! Please drive in the bike lane and park there overnight! If enough of you do, then the City can pay for even more improvements with the number of fines they'll collect from you.

cameradork said...

I still find it hilarious that in a city with so many piss poor drivers, there are so many complaints about cyclists. Its all very petty.
Once again, if all things were equal id gladly pay to ride my bicycle, but at the moment my commute to work in queens to midtown by bike is like running the gauntlet.
Since we are talking about responsibility Id like to suggest that motorists be subject to random stops and driving tests. Afterall you are the ones piloting a deadly weapon.
Driving is a not a right, it is a privelige.

Anonymous said...

License cyclists? NO CITY IN THE WORLD does that. If you have ever been to Copenhagen or Amsterdam you would see examples of great urban planning. The problem isn't the cyclists, it's the fact that this city is made for cars... Some cyclists feel safer on the sidewalks and tend to ride on them, rather than going against traffic.

That being said, if you ticketed every jay walking asshole in midtown, you'd make enough to repave all of Manhattan. I've been riding in this City for 10 years and I generally obey all the traffic laws. If the light is red and there are no cars coming, I'll run it. What pisses me off is when cars and bikes have a green and 30 people jaywalk in front of the cars and bikes.

Anonymous said...

One crazy idea for those car drivers who find it hard to stay within the lane on Vernon Blvd: slow down.

The lack of proportionality here is astonishing. I live on Queens Plaza and I can't count how many cars run red lights, violate pedestrian cross walks, have bad mufflers, swerve and don't signal...in a ten-minute period!

My area is not unique, nor is this situation a Bloomberg conspiracy.

Tons of metal hurtling through dense urban streets are far more of a menace and enforcement agencies can't keep up as is. And reflecting our bizarre misuse of resources, we have far more cars than bikes on our roads at any given time.

But these are wasted electrons and pixels: licensing won't happen anytime soon. It's failed to gain support in NYC and other cities because enforcement would be a nightmare and cities know they can't afford to slow the transition to saner transportation.

Queens Crap seems to simply oppose change, not only bad change.

Queens Crapper said...

The change being advocated for here is the licensing of bicyclists. It's not me who's against that.

You seem to simply oppose change, not only bad change.

Julie said...

Why do bicyclists feel no need to prove they can safely maneuver in the city's streets?

Biking is a privilege, not a right.

Anonymous said...

Wow this has been linked to be several blogs already. Viva la bike tax!

Colin said...

Ignoring absolutely everything else wrong with this post and the comments that follow it, I'd like to point out that bicycle licensing is totally infeasible. It would be a bueraucratic nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Anyone ever tried to cross the Central Park roads? They are closed to traffic most of the time, and have pedestrian signals. Try to cross. Go ahead. You'll be screamed at and cursed at by these bike nazis if one doesn't flatten you first!

Anonymous said...

Hey asshole, go fuck yourself.

We Light Up Queens said...

Perhaps something that can be added on to a regular drivers license or a non-license id would be best. Forcing everyone to carry identification in the event of an accident.

Anonymous said...

"Hey asshole, go fuck yourself."

Exactly, that's what they say when you try to cross with the light and they come barreling down the road!

Anonymous said...

While I'm not really opposed to licensing bicycles, I don't think that's the solution to the problem of non-compliance with current laws by bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers.

The current laws need to be enforced. Right now, the laws are taken as suggestions. Stop signs, just a friendly suggestion. Stand on a corner and watch how many autos run the stop sign.

Bicycle riders may feel safer riding on the sidewalk (and they may indeed be safer), but it's against the law.

Pedestrians are the worst, though. Everybody jaywalks. It's a habit. There is also the lead off the sidewalk. I believe this comes from baseball with the lead off the base. People will stand in the bicycle path if it means that they are closer to being across the street.

Fine the hell out of everybody until people realize that there are laws and that these laws are not mere suggestions.

I think that in 3 or 4 generations we may have a city where cars, bicycles, and pedestrians can coexist with mutual respect for one another.

geo462rge said...

unbelievable....i am a long time reader of this blog. And now, i am a bit disappointed. I completely agree with ticketing cyclists for riding on the sidewalk, and perhaps for even riding the wrong way. As a cyclist myself, i ride to work everyday and back and adhere to the laws of the road as i also carry a drivers license for this great city. I say great city because i live and grew up in jackson heights and can get just about anywhere in NYC on just my bike with no problem. But having cyclists licensed? Come on....thats just silly. This will only get the city to collect some ridiculous tax on people who are either trying to ride for exercise, transportation or just to do their part (in an eco-green way).

While we are on this...lets license joggers....they jog up and down on the bike lanes taking up space forcing me to ride in the middle of the street as i have to pass them while they jog at a blazing 4 miles an hour. Thus putting me in danger of getting hit by a car. And after that lets just take it a step further and license people to walk their dogs.....i see plenty of people not curbing their dogs and not being able to control them either.

It starts here, they take it a step further and further....and where does it end?

Ed said...

Just about every single street in New York City is engineered to safely accommodate motor vehicles. There is a crowned asphalt roadway with a concrete base taking up about 2/3 of the right of way, reflective thermoplastic striping to designate moving lanes, overhead street lighting, electronic traffic signals and diamond-grade reflective signage. There is also usually two full lanes of vehicle parking, curb cuts for driveways, parking signage, and sometimes parking meters.

All we are asking for is a g*ddamn lane, on SOME streets, so we don't get killed by careless or aggressive drivers. Bicycles need much less infrastructure than vehicles - just a single smooth, unblocked path. People on bikes deserve to be safely accommodated on the streets that they pay taxes for just the same as drivers. It is about fair and equitable engineering of the City's built environment.

And all that is not to mention the fact that bicycles take up less room on the vehicle-congested road space, do not use the oil our nation's soldiers are dying trying to acquire, don't create asthma-causing and environment-changing carbon monoxide air pollution, don't create honking and screeching noise pollution, don't cause high-speed collisions (the #6 cause death in the U.S.), and actually prevent obesity and poor health (the #2 cause of death in the U.S.).

If you think our city government should continue to engineer public streets with inequitable design priorities that grossly favor a dangerous and polluting mode of transportation, please write them a letter saying so. But I caution you it may fall on deaf ears. If you think that the city might still be an ok place to live in when a little girl can take a bike ride to a friend's house without some maniacal aggressive homicidal driver in the bike lane "just to prove a point" (#13) possibly smashing and killing her, then don't worry - your city officials agree with you. And they also don't believe in the ridiculous suggestion that that little girl should need a license to do so.

It is an obscene joke that drivers are complaining that cyclists don't obey traffic laws, as if they are never double parking, never run a red light, never cross two lanes of traffic, always use turn signals, never pass an unloading school bus, and come to a complete stop at every stop sign. But I guess drivers don't complain about that behavior because they are ignoring traffic laws themselves all the time.

What I can tell you is that right now the cycling environment in this city is extremely dangerous. The current street designs are only adequate for the fiercest of cyclists - exactly the ones that are the most likely to be disobedient. If you just design streets to safely accommodate bikes, you will see that the sensible, law-abiding cyclists will start using them in greater and greater numbers, and the attitudes of all cyclists will be tempered. If you'd take a look at how streets are being sensibly designed in places outside the community you think is being taken over, you'd see that city officials are trying to deliver to you a safe and equitable public realm. Too bad that, as the prior commenter said, Queens Crap seems to be more interested in opposing all change and keeping crappy Queens crappy.

Anonymous said...

We already have dog licenses and joggers can be ticketed for obstructing traffic flow. I can pretty much avoid a jogger or dog walker, however, bicyclists come out of nowhere at high speeds, ride on sidewalks and cause problems. "Enforce existing laws" doesn't work. They need to be stopped when they are reckless and asked to show that they belong on a bicycle, just as motorists have to.

Anonymous said...

I still think those bike lanes on Vernon are the first step to take away Vernon from the community and turn it over the rich that are taking over our waterfront. Vernon will become a limited access 4 lane road for the 20 and 50 story towers built by developers. They got this as they are campaign donors to our politicians and buyers of real estate ads in our newspapers. They shall take the waterfront away from the community and give it to rich people.

I am tired of seeing all those green types simply mouthing the machine line in exchange for ice cream money and being party to this process.

Zach said...

Queens Crap is, and remains, an embarrassment to everyone in this city. Let's all just quietly get off his lawn, hm?

Anonymous said...

Queens Crap is, and remains, an embarrassment to everyone in this city. Let's all just quietly get off his lawn, hm?

--------------

I realize that hearing American citizens speak their mind just might embarrass some.

Tough shit.

Anonymous said...

Just who is funding TA?

Might clear up some confusion about what they are 'about', eh?

Anonymous said...

"Look, if you guys realy cared about our community, why do the bike lanes follow the lines of development, or link institutions that are politically connected like the Musuem of the Moving Images."

Good question.Even more interesting that the bike nuts don't dare to answer.

Anonymous said...

I was almost killed by a cyclist two weeks ago. Couldn't agree more that these crazies need to be licensed! They break the law, speeding between lanes and running red lights. There were plenty of witnesses to this guy grazing me at high speed and running a light but no cops around and we couldn't catch him so he got off scot free. Just a matter of time till he kills someone.

Ed said...

It's almost not even worth posting the idea that transportation infrastructure should follow new development. And bike lanes should be built to connect destinations, like museums. Is that an amazing concept to you?

Queens Crapper said...

"It's almost not even worth posting the idea that transportation infrastructure should follow new development."

How about following the development that is already here first, or are you of the notion that it should all be bulldozed and start over from scratch, like the Bloomberg administration seems to be?

Anonymous said...

"It's almost not even worth posting the idea that transportation infrastructure should follow new development."

Transportation infrastructure should come BEFORE new development.

Nitwits.

Robert said...

Queens Crap,
I posted this on the blog you linked to, and wanted to make sure you saw it too.

More than 5,000 pedestrians and cylists are killed each year by motor vehicles, and more than 100,000 are seriously injured. I agree with you that we need to minimize conflicts and crashes between all road users, but WAKE UP and put the burden where it belongs. Drivers bear the greatest responsiblity for killing off thousands of our friends, family members and neighbors each year. It is the driver's presence that creates the danger.

An analysis of Pedestrian fatalities in NYC in 1997, found drivers were strictly responsible for 75% of pedestrian fatalities. (Study)

A study of bicyclist fatalities in NYC from 1995-1998, found drivers were stricly responbile for 80% of bicyclist deaths (Study)

The NHTSA studied 8,000 pedestrian and bicyclist crashes and found motorist reesponsible for motorists responsible for 54% of crashes with a known cause. (Study)

Your argument that cyclists do not pay for the roads doesn't hold water. If you actually look where money for highways and local roads come from, it's clear that cyclists are paying their way, and actually subsidizing motorists. From STL Bicycle Federation with govt sources:

- According to the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA), 92% of the funds for local roads--the ones most often used by cyclists--come from property, income, and sales taxes. Bicyclists pay these taxes just like everyone else does.

- FWHA calculates that 92% of federal highway funds come from user fees. But 8% come the general fund, so even a bicyclist who owns no car contributes to federal highway funds, too.

Research in multiple cities has shown that tripling the number of bicycle riders on the street cuts motorist-bicyclist crashes in half, so the increase in cycling will bring greater safety.

Ed said...

Exactly right! - it SHOULD come before new development. And it should follow the development that is already there first. Vernon Avenue was selected for bicycle accommodation 11 years ago in the City's 1997 Bike Master Plan, before Bloomberg and before there were condos going up in Long Island City, probably because it connects Manhattan and Brooklyn with destinations in western Queens and vice versa.
(http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/bike/mp.shtml)

I don't support for the bulldozing of buildings to put up craptastic condos. But once high-density residential development is being constructed, I find it entirely appropriate that the city chooses that place and that time to fit it into the hundreds of miles of bike lanes it is installing:
(http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/bike/mp.shtml)

I understand it is a sore point that the city gives a bike lane to an area after much of it has been torn down and replaced with yuppies. And I do have a serious problem with the way this city is bending over to let private developers put big nasty luxe garbage on any neighborhood that they feel is neglected. But that has nothing to do with the fact that it is sensible transportation policy to put bike lanes on a street where those big crappy developments are going and at least encourage some of the new tenants not to use a car.

Are you opposing development or are you opposing streets that are safe for New Yorkers to bike on? Because the two are not the same thing and I think that is an important distinction many commenters here are trying to make.

Anonymous said...

"I wholeheartedly support bicyclists. I just think they should pay for the streets they have the privilege of riding on like drivers do. An equal opportunity tax."

Feh.
I'd gladly pay money if I knew it was going to actually go to bicycling needs - like more bike paths, the fixing up of existing bike paths, more awareness to drivers and pedestrians.

And, by the way, most accidents between bikes and pedestrians occur because of the carelessness of the pedestrian, not the bicyclist.

This is a lame post.

Mr. Angry said...

"Colin said... I'd like to point out that bicycle licensing is totally infeasible. It would be a bueraucratic nightmare."

Oh, like the DMV? Welcome to NYC, pal. prepare to be regulated.

Anonymous said...

Bicycling is NOT a practical way of commuting for MOST PEOPLE. Heck. most of you damned bikers can be seen most days taking up 3 damn seats on the train. If it's so great, WHY ARE YOU ON THE DAMNED TRAIN?? Why aren't you out there BIKING???

Look, I have to haul around guitars, laptops, guitar amps and all sorts of stuff. When I do that it's CAR or CAB time. And why the hell are you nuts so pissed off in nyc anyway? Most of us are suffering in the SUBWAY. You know, the same subway you idiots are TAKING UP ALL THAT SPACE IN!!!

I don't know how many times I've seen bikes in the CENTER of a lane, holding up traffic. I wish a bus would just clobber one of these idiots.

Anonymous said...

so .... who is funding Transportation Alternatives, anyway?

If they were a real grassroots community group they would not get the time of day from the city. Instead they are fawned over.... just like developers ....

Anonymous said...

"And, by the way, most accidents between bikes and pedestrians occur because of the carelessness of the pedestrian, not the bicyclist."

That's what motorists always say. Guess what? Pedestrians always have the right of way.

Anonymous said...

Why dont they talk about subways if they are transporation ALTERNATIVES.

Oh, no, can't do that. It would draw attention to OVERDEVELOPMENT.

Just parrot the mayor, GREEN!

Judd Wiley said...

I wrote the post that The Crapper linked to.

One big correction: We originally wrote that the top bike speed was 50 mph, which was a mistake. We meant about 30 mph. Apologies for the typo.

That said, the rest of our points stand.

Bikes and bicyclists should be subject to the same rules and regulations as cars. The general public is better off.

The funny thing is that I'm a huge libertarian, of the fiscally conservative, socially liberal variety.

You know there's a problem when a total libertarian believes in more rules and regulations.

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tvr said...

has anyone ever actually been killed by a cyclist in ny?
as in. a person walking, or even someone cycling. killed. by being hit by a cyclist?

Judd Wiley said...

Pat, actually we wrote that post at Commuter Outrage.

But thanks for the plug.

Ed said...

Judd I couldn't agree more that with the surge of people on bikes we must look at ways of ensuring their safe and responsible operation.

But you begin your argument with the idea that the government has had to introduce considerable regulation since the invention of the automobile. Yet bikes have been around even longer and have prompted hardly any regulations because they are not even remotely as deadly. It is only because of the deadly nature of motor vehicles that regulation at the level of licensing, inspection, and insurance has been necessary.Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of death for all Americans ages 3-33 - that is why those regulations are in place.

It is ridiculous to propose that a 15-year-old would not be allowed to ride their bike to a friend's house, or that a 16-year-old would need a license to bike to the store for milk. The problem isn't that little Johnny is a danger on his bicycle. The problem is that the street little Johnny is riding on wasn't designed to accomodate bikes and he is placed in constant conflict with cars and pedestrians.

Billions of dollars a year are spent nationwide building facilities specifically designed for vehicles with no accommodation for cyclists. Put cyclists in physically separated lanes with lead time at signalized intersections and you wont need enforcement. Or even helmets.

Anonymous said...

>>>And, by the way, most accidents between bikes and pedestrians occur because of the carelessness of the pedestrian, not the bicyclist.<<

I know, I know. When crossing at the green I REALLY should be looking for bicyclists running the red, against one-way traffic.

D'oh! I keep forgetting.

www.forgotten-ny.com

Tom B. said...

check out this video:

http://www.commuteroutrage.com/2008/07/01/shock-video-sociopathic-bicyclists-in-new-york/

i'm horrified. the crapper is right.

bring on the licenses

Anonymous said...

I live in Astoria and fortunately have never been run over by a crazy speeding cyclist. I wish I could say the same for crazy speeding motorists. Just last week, a woman who didn't feel like stopping at a stop sign screamed at me while I was *in the crosswalk* "Do you want to die?!" Why no, I don't. When motorists in this city get the concept of of pedestrian right-of-way maybe we can then start on the cyclists.

Sign me - would love to ride a bike around Queens, but scared of the drivers.

Anonymous said...

I have driven all over the world, and the motorists in Queens, Astoria in particular are without question, the worst.

Ridgewoodian said...

TOM B. - I doubt you're really going to have to worry about those guys, they all like early candidates for the Darwin Award. There's no excuse for that but I will say this: they're more likely to kill themselves than anyone else. Unfortunatly, the same can't be said for crazy drivers. And though randomly selected videos don't prove anything here's an amusing one for you.

Anonymous said...

50 mph? please, unless they're falling off buildings they're not going fifty miles an hour. I believe that's even faster then the record set in a velodrome for a conventional bike.

Anonymous said...

I commute by bike most days. I try to use bike lanes as much as possible. Its as safe as I can make it, but I still have to be one of those insane bicyclists. If you see me and are annoyed, then odds are you will not drive into me. Remember there are no fender benders for a bicyclist. Any contact with a car is likely to end in pain and a broken bike. We play for much higher stakes than cars do.

which means only aggressive people can bike on new york streets as they are now. I don't think I'd mind needing a license. as long as it meant that we were treated as a legitimate form of transportation, with lanes for ONLY bikes (see below) that go everywhere a person might want to go.

For your edification, here is the commute for a bicyclist:

Step 1) get to the (new) Dekalb Bike Lane (in Bed-Stuy). To do so go on narrow roads without bike lanes. Option a)bike between moving cars and biked cars, risking opening doors, pulling out cars and getting sideswiped by a car who has lost you in their blindspot. Option b) ride faster, away from car doors and close enough to traffic so that they will either not encroach upon you or they will remember that you're in their blind spot when they pass.

Step 2: Enjoy relative paradise that is bike lane on dekalb for a moment. Continue to be vigilant for car doors, pulling out cars, delivery trucks in the bike lane, parking cars and cars that turn left without looking to see if you are there.

Step 3: get off dekalb, as that bike lane dead-ends into suicidal mayhem that is Flatbush Ave. Instead cut over to Myrtle and go wrong way on bike lane, looking out for previously mentioned hazards.

Step 4: cut back into traffic because bike lane has been permanently taken over by construction site. enter suicidal mayhem of Flatbush Ave.

Step 5: go through pedestrian Metrotech campus to avoid suicidal mayhem.

Step 6: go onto "bike lane" of Adams Street, permanently full of illegally parked court officers, car service and random cars. therefore reenter suicidal mayhem. Make mad dash reaching top speed of bike across three lanes of traffic to enter brooklyn bridge sanctuary.

Step 7: bike brooklyn bridge. perpetually hold the brake for when the inevitable suicidal tourists blindly backs up into bike lane.

Step 8: enter "bike lane" of Park Row near city hall, permanently full of police cars, busses and press vans. Take over lane of traffic so that I am not pushed off road.

Step 9: park my bike in my building. forgo coffee because adrenaline works better anyway.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, then why not just take the train to work?

www.forgotten-ny.com

Anonymous said...

>>>bike brooklyn bridge. perpetually hold the brake for when the inevitable suicidal tourists blindly backs up into bike lane. <<<

The Brooklyn Bridge is hor-f!@$'in-rendous, with a narrow lane in the center with a PAINTED WHITE STRIPE to separate pedestrians and bicyclists. Speeding bicyclists.

The Brooklyn Bridge walkway, by the way, is FOR tourists, who also have rights in this city.

Let's ban bicyclists from the Brooklyn; now that the north side of the Manhattan Bridge has a dedicated bike lane, we should allow pedestrians the full run of the Brooklyn.

I realize that any city councilman who proposes that would be shouted down as a Green-hatin', bike-despisin' Bush lover, so it's a nonstarter, as most good ideas in NYC are.

www.forgotten-ny.com

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of assholes you people are for asking those with bicycles to pay for parking and licenses. I mean complete assholes

Anonymous said...

Why?

Anonymous said...

They arent all assholes, some of them are just old fashioned and backward thinking..

Anonymous said...

cycling is the new skateboarding.
hate them all, i do.

Anonymous said...

Boy these local folks are mkaing some complete ignorant statements.These people think its funny when someone gets hit by a car and most bikers obey stop lights.90 % of pedestrians walk through red lights and dont even look both ways.A week ago i was on Vernon about to go into a bar and grill i have gone to many times but the owner with his large SUV told me i shouldnt lock my bike to the street sign because his customers could trip on my bike tire and sue his bar?Thats the dumbest thing ive heard.YES, people here are the worst drivers i have ever encountered.No other city has this many pedestrians on the news from getting hit by crazy idiot drivers almost everyday.What a bunch of third grade macho comments some of these locals have against bikers.Why dont these local residents take care of the gang problem in parts of Astoria before complaining about bike transportation.True the worst drivers on the planet are from Queens thats for sure and should have their license taken away.All night long i hear people on our not too busy street drive down the block at 80 miles an hour.Do these people ever get pulled over?I see cars and cabs run red lights every day and almost hit people on the same streets.A biker is not going to kill someone if someone walks in front of them when they cross in the middle of the road or a red light.Sounds like some bush supporters are made about their gas prices and need to cry like a bunch of kids.Nice welcoming statements there Astoria residents.How sad.

Anonymous said...

I guess i will go back to Nebraska now.NO actually its Chicago and Minneapolis where bikes are considered a positive thing and rude little comments saying how they are glad a biker was hit by a typical bad NYC driver is stone age thinking and classic narrow minded NY thinking.Some of these locals are very similiar to good ol Archie Bunker with their sad attitudes towards someone who doesnt buy gas.