Sunday, April 28, 2013
Bike Share program has gotten a little nuts
From CBS New York:
Some street vendors say the city’s new bike sharing program has given their livelihoods the boot.
Nearly a dozen lower Broadway street vendors say they showed up to work on Monday only to find their corner at Liberty Street taken up by dozens of bike share racks.
They showed up to protest on Thursday.
From the West Village to Battery Park City to Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Bike share stations are appearing, and some find them appalling.
“I’m very unhappy about this!” one woman told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello.
“This was just a really anxiety-producing moment, to realize you won’t have your space to vend that you’ve been working in for many years,” Stephanie Barretta of the Street Vendor Project told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.
They said they don’t mind the Citi Bike program. They just don’t want it on the busy street corner where they make a living.
From the NY Post:
Taxpayers are forking over cash so a small army of city DOT employees can baby-sit rogue cyclists, reminding them of the basic rules of the road so they don’t pedal into pedestrians.
Nearly a dozen Department of Transportation workers — some who usually maintain traffic signs — were deployed to sparsely occupied bike lanes on First and Second avenues in the East Village yesterday to hold up red stop signs to control speeding cyclists.
The other side of the signs display the warning “wrong way.”
The sign holders said they loved their new, easy gig.
“This is great! Usually, I’m changing signs,” said DOT worker Danny Gonzalez, 40, of Bayside, Queens, a traffic-device maintainer who earns more than $50,000 a year. “This is so much less stress on my body. I don’t have to lug around a ladder to do this!”
The DOT calls the workers “street safety managers.”
They were specially trained by contractor Sam Schwartz Engineering.
The team will rotate to different bike-lane areas each day, and they’ll be out until October.
They’ll also hit the bridges and ask cyclists and pedestrians to not veer into each other’s lanes, the DOT said in a statement yesterday.
“It’s a waste of money, and it’s a waste of peoples’ rights. People know safety better than the government,” said Eric Alberti, 39, an East Village resident.
The DOT explained the workers are needed in advance of next month’s rollout of the city bike-sharing program, which is under fire from residents who say the racks block precious sidewalk and parking space.
The DOT won’t say how much all the new sign holders cost, but officials insisted that using city workers saves “costs associated with contracting out similar services from a private vendor.”
Residents argue the program isn’t necessary at all.
From the Daily News:
City Council Thursday cracked down on one of New York’s newest menaces — motorized bicycles that zoom down sidewalks or speed the wrong way in traffic to deliver food at breakneck speeds.
The so-called “e-bikes” have long been outlawed on city streets but cops couldn’t issue a citation unless they could prove the rider was exceeding 15 mph.
A bill the Council passed Thursday will prohibit the bikes regardless of their speed. If signed by Mayor Bloomberg as expected, the bill would slap business owners with $100-$250 fines for having an e-bike on their premises or if their employees are caught riding them on the street.
You know things are bad when the City Council looks like the voice of reason.