Monday, April 25, 2011
Cyclists get bike lanes and tickets that come with them
From SI Live:
The 65 units installed by the DOT last October go unused at the taxpayer's expense, to the tune of almost $17,000 on a busy stretch of Hylan Boulevard where locals say lack of bicycle lanes makes the rack location useless. The DOT claims the location in New Dorp was picked to provide parking options for bicyclists.
The city updated PlaNYC Thursday, a long-term agenda to make New York greener, including increasing bike lanes and decreasing pollution.
But some cyclists say that what the city gives with one hand, it takes away with the other.
Since 2007, the city has installed 205 miles of bike lanes for the 200,000 people that bike daily. But cyclists complain that in the same period, ticketing has increased, reaching a total of 34,054 last year. In 2011, the NYPD has given out 55 percent more tickets than at this time last year.
Why the tickets? This is why. From the NY Post:
Forty-one percent of two-wheeled travelers observed on a pair of SoHo bike lanes last week blew through red lights, pedaled the wrong way, zipped along the sidewalk or rode outside the lanes, a Post investigation found.
The lanes that intersect Lafayette and Prince streets got plenty of use -- 7,182 cyclists rode them between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. over five days last week.
But reporters saw 1,759 of those riders -- 24 percent -- running red lights, narrowly avoiding collisions with pedestrians and cars.
Another 1,111, or 15 percent, rode the wrong way and bolted in and out of the lanes, pushing fellow cyclists into traffic or nearly sending them sprawling from their bikes.
Eighty-one adult riders rode the sidewalk instead of the bike lanes. In one case, a female biker riding the Prince Street sidewalk skimmed a pedestrian, knocked a shopping bag out of her hand, and kept riding.
There was an average of four near-collisions per hour on each route, with errant cyclists narrowly missing each other, pedestrians or cars as they entered the intersection.