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.

From Metro:

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.


JO said...

hylan blvd is very tough to ride on. bike racks are unnecessary -- every road sign is basically a bike rack already. If the signs were overwhelmed with bikes, then there is a need for bike racks. They have to see where the bikes end up organically.

Anonymous said...

I drive up-town on 2nd Avenue every day. Bike lane lines that are worn out - very confusing and, in the last two months that I have been making this trip, I have only seen 2 bikers. So aother waste of taxpayer dollars ... for what??

Anonymous said...

great statistics... at the same intersection did anyone count how many cars were speeding, double parked and running red lights, or how many pedestrians were jaywalking or illegal aliens, or how many street vendors were properly licensed? the whole cars vs. cyclists is getting old.

Anonymous said...

The ticketing blitz on cyclists is getting pretty ridiculous. Ticketing riders in Central Park at 6 am for speeding, ticketing people for not wearing helmets when there is no such law for adults, cops blocking the bike lane and then ticketing for riding outside the lane to get around them, that dean who was ticketed for riding with a purse on her handlebars (again, no such law).
Ticketing legitimate safety violations makes sense. People blowing through lights without even slowing down, or blowing past pedestrians in crosswalks or on sidewalks are legitimate violations. Rather than do this the police go after the low hanging fruit. Giving tickets for not having a bell is pretty petty and serves no practical purpose except to bust balls. This is basically the equivalent of Giuliani's crackdown on drivers when they were enforcing a rigid 30mph speed limit which everyone thought was pretty ridiculous.
The cops have been given a group cyclists) that they can exert their power trip on and you are ok with that because it happens to be a group you don't like, but wait till they move on to the next group and it happens to include you.

I like this statement from the post "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." They neglect to mention how many "near collisions" there were between pedestrians and between pedestrians and drivers. Come on, this is a city where people stand in the street as close to traffic as possible waiting to cross and start walking while cars are still passing in front of them. These "near collisions" are pretty bogus. It's like saying you were batting and the pitcher threw a strike and it was close to you so it was a near collision.

Erik Baard said...

For kicks I observed the corner of 41st Avenue and 29th Street the other evening. I saw 22 cars run the stop sign in the 30 minutes my laundry was in the machine. Not one car came to a full stop. One private garbage truck drove the wrong way between 29th St and 28th St.

Better ban those four wheelers!

Anonymous said...

In fairness Erik, not coming to a FULL stop is not exactly running the stop sign. I think we all know there is a difference between the outright blowing of a stop sign, and stopping for the stop sign without coming to a full dead stop, which no one really does unless they are taking their road test or a cop is parked on the corner.
I'm sure some actually blew the light by not coming close to an actual stop, but you should base your observation on what is generally practiced and is generally safe, not the letter of the law to a T.
What do you think crappy, should cars all have to come to a full dead stop at every stop sign, and do you this yourself? It's unlikely. Then keep in mind that the same kind of common sense judgment of safety should be applied to bicycles as well, not an enforcement of every law to a T, which I'm sure many of us will agree is pretty impractical and petty.

Erik Baard said...

Yes, I was applying the same Puritanical standard to cars as is applied to bicycles on this blog and elsewhere. The central formula for all this is f=ma. If that law is applied proportionally, much of the anti-bike hysteria is revealed as absurd.

That's now a call for lawlessness but a bow to logic.

Erik Baard said...

Not* not "now." Sorry. Droid typing on a bus.

Anonymous said...

Good to ticket those lawbreaking cyclists running red lights and not yeilding to pedestrians...they're all a bunch of assholes.

Anonymous said...

Queens Crap continues to be... well, crappy.

Anonymous said...

Anon # 2 ....driving UPTOWN on Second Avenue can be very dangerous.

it is a ONE -WAY ,DOWNTOWN ONLY avenue !!

Anonymous said...

Get yourself a nice reflective vest..........i don't see or react as fast as i used to.I wouldn't wannt you to be roadkill.....

Anonymous said...

If you can't see or react as fast as you used to, you are probably too old to drive.

And I hate being stuck behind you when I'm driving.

They should renew driving tests after age 60, forcing old people who want to drive, to make sure they're healthy enough to. This includes yearly eyesight tests, and health exams.

Anonymous said...

We hear that CB#7, TDC Rockefeller Group, Peter Koo, Toby Stavisky and always-sticking-your-nose-outside-of-your-district Dan bike lanes replacing motor vehicle traffic lanes on all of the streets in downtown Flushing.

Then colorful bike riding Chinese in straw coolie hats will surely bring tourists flocking to this vibrant area.

Rickshaws will only be allowed on Main Street.

LOL...a little bit of old China comes to Queens!

Anonymous said...

If only the tickets that are being written would cover the wasted money of installing these unused bike lanes.

I do find it ironic that the "anti-bike hysteria" guy was typing on the bus. Funny how those motor vehicles come in handy!