Monday, July 27, 2009

Don't pick up passengers in a bike lane

From NY1:

If a road has bike lanes on both sides, how can a driver load and unload passengers? That's the question one Lower East Side resident had after receiving a ticket for blocking a bike lane. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following report.

Lower East Side resident Ernest Marshall never expected to get a ticket for blocking a bike lane.

But he recently received a $115 ticket when he pulled over to pick up his wife.

"As my wife was leaving the sidewalk to get into the car, a traffic officer pulled in front of me, blocked me in and then proceeded to give me a traffic ticket," says Marshall.

He says he wasn't standing for more than a second, as his wife walked to the car and wonders where he was suppose to pull over to pick her up.

"There's parking, a bike lane and traffic on both sides of the street," says Marshall. "It's impossible to load or unload passengers from a car without blocking a bike lane or traffic itself. It's unfair."

Under city traffic rules, which are enforced by the New York Police Department, bicycle lanes are considered no stopping zones and vehicles, whether attended or not, are not permitted to stop, stand or park in them.

According to traffic rules, there are no exceptions, including commercial vehicles and vehicles dropping off children, seniors and the disabled.

Marshall, who cycles himself, says he has nothing against bike lanes but wonders why drivers all over the city are allowed to load and unload passengers in other no stopping zones without ever being ticketed.

NY1 called the Department of Transportation for a comment and a spokesperson said that on Marshall's street there's alternate side parking and meter spaces. If those are occupied, vehicles are permitted to expeditiously drop off or pick up passengers at the bus stop.

Marshall says drivers would have no way of knowing.

They don't want you to know. They want to give you a ticket.


Anonymous said...

Just another way to raise revenue in good old NYC.

Anonymous said...

If you're tired of bikers ruling this city, vote Bloomberg and Sadik-khan out of office.

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed. Bikers be damned.
What this city needs is more cars!

Queens Crapper said...

Never understood why bike advocates think that if you want to make things easier for motorists it means you want more cars. Cars are necessary for most, especially in the outer boroughs. It's a fact of life that if you are going to promote more development in the outer boroughs then you are going to have more cars in the city. Maybe when you make buses faster and more reliable, then there will be less need for cars. But that is not likely to happen anytime this century. If the MTA didn't throw its money down a black hole, they could work on it without the mention of congestion pricing.

Anonymous said...

We need more buses not bikes. But buses are not sexy and bikes are a way to get the youth on board with Bloomberg.

Like to see some of you bike nut trolls out there respond to ticketing people in bike lanes.

But, since you think its ok to let a prole from Queens lose her job so your employer can afford to put a shower in for you, and we can mark the entire city up with lines using money that could have been used to build schools, I am sure you just don't give a shit.

You look down on the people in the outer boroughs, don't you?

Anonymous said...

Exactly. These are folks who demand that everyone use mass transit, then they refuse to use it themselves and expect the city to bend over backwards for them.

Ridgewoodian said...

Why is this a story? Because it's probably the only time this has ever happened. Cycle around this city and you'll encounter plenty of blocked bike lanes. Sounds like this guy just got unlucky.

SPY vs SPY said...

Why is this a story? Because it's probably the only time this has ever happened.



Cycle around this city and you'll encounter plenty of blocked bike lanes.


Sounds like this guy just got unlucky.


Barney Fife said...

On the other hand, folks: whether it is bike lanes or traffic in general, how many times do you see cars just stop and double park (or double stop) heedless of any cars behind them. Often there is curb parking 10 or 20 feet away, but the cars HAVE to stop in front of that particular store or whatever. Then cars have to go into the oncoming lane. A lot of this is sheer laziness, and sheer disregard for others. I run into this everyday. Selfish SOBs.Anyway, just saying....sometimes these folks need tickets and I wish I had a pad to ddistribute.

Anonymous said...

BREAKING NEWS : Lazy man too lazy to find curbside parking, or walk around the corner after parking his car!

Anonymous said...

BREAKING NEWS: Bike nut can't read story; doesn't know the difference between pulling over to pick someone up and parking.

Erik Baard said...

A number of news reports have noted a surge in ticket writing across the board. I won't argue that this can be abused. As for this case, would the same ticket have been issued for a motorized traffic lane? If so, then it's not a story -- bike lanes are vehicle lanes.

Personally, I think some common sense can be applied. If a police officer saw a person pull into a bike lane, cutting off a cyclist or forcing the cyclist to dangerously veer into traffic, then a ticket is warranted to enforce a safety message. If the bike lane was clear for a block or two and the car was obviously poking in and then out quickly, then the ticket was needless (no public safety good was served).

When I ride by the many, many cars blocking bike lanes, I call out, "It's a bike safety lane!" I insert the word "safety" because this isn't about some territorial pissing match, but trying to keep streets safe. The purpose of bike lanes is safety. Many injuries and deaths occur because cyclists are doored, forced to swerve, etc.

Please also note that pedestrians abuse bike lanes too, as taxi hailing extensions, jogging lanes, curb leaders when at red lights, etc.

Better designs might be needed in some cases, but overall it's a cultural evolution that has to happen. Tickets applied with some logic can be part of that process. But officers must apply discretion lest tickets appear arbitrary and abusive, which only turns the community against the police and each other.

Anonymous said...

Cycle around this city and you'll encounter plenty of blocked bike lanes.


Me think percentage is actually closer to 99.4%. (SNORT!!)

Brooks of Sheffield said...

So, if some of you think it's OK for a car to block a bike lane, is it OK for a biker to block a car lane? I mean, if he really needs to in order to get his personal business done?

The solution to this "problem" is simple. If you have to pick someone up or drop them off, find a place where you can legally do it. Temporarily park, if you have to. Sorry for the inconvenience, but nobody said owning a car in New York was convenient.

Anonymous said...

"vehicles are permitted to expeditiously drop off or pick up passengers at the bus stop."

GREAT. Morons already pull into in bus stops, and not "expeditiously". They idle there, I've seen them wait 20 minutes (how long it takes the busses to come sometimes). The best part is when they pull in bumper to bumper two or three at a time. If its shitty weather, you've got a 50/50 chance of the bus driver not 'seeing' you. This sounds great :/

Omen said...

Barney Fife is absolutely right . . . and I drive everyday. I can't believe how lazy we have become. We have to be doublepark so that we don't have to walk the extra ten steps and make it more dangerous for pedestrians, emergency services vehicles, who often cannot maneuver down the street and other drivers, who have to drive into on coming traffic.

For GOD's sake, park a few spots away near the curb and walk a few steps. It may help you to prevent that heart attack.

Empty Pockets said...

I think this is revenue driven; remember when Bloomberg's cops were ticketing small business owners for awnings a few years back? Ridiculous!Shameful! Remember that on election day.

Anonymous said...

No, really... this is an outrage!
Meanwhile, the number of personal autos idling curbside for 5, 10, 20 minutes is of no concern.

Anonymous said...

Bikers don't pick up or discharge passengers, Brooks. Besides, they just ride their bikes on the sidewalks whenever they want to.

Anonymous said...

There should be NO BIKE LANES in New York City or any of the five boroughs. They are dangerous to pedestrians, motorist and bikers. GET RID OF THEM.....DO NOT ADD ANYMORE.

Honestly, who thinks of these stupid ways to spend our tax dollars?

Anonymous said...

Take the bike lanes away and see if drivers here can be courteous to bike commuters being safe. Wearing a helmet, lights, etc. and stopping at light. I know I do and Im about to leave for work at this early hour luckily avoiding the rush. Dont think bike commuters look down on people from the outer boroughs. Thats pretty comical.

Before the bike lanes popped up I was given a ticket for biking in the street over a couple of years ago for no good reason. Wasn't on the sidewalk and was close to the curb away from traffic.If your going to double park which is illegal anyways, but its common practice, then make it short. And yes, if its a van for the disabled and such of course they should be able to double park since there is no parking anyways.

Oh and saying "bikers rule this city" vote bloomberg out sounds just hysterical because this city and about 20 other in this country have had bike commuters for the last 30 years. But yes get rid of Bloomberg please.
Really doubt the corruption will stop in this political atmosphere which is normal for Repub\Dems in this city.

Anonymous said...

What is the diversity make up of the NYC traffic Department?

Anonymous said...

I have seen a lot of cases where there are two lanes of traffic but the cars insist on blocking the bike lane when they stop and half of one lane of traffic. The bike lanes are never wide enough for parking or standing so they end up blocking one lane of traffic anyway, that's why they need to be ticketed, because they're effectively blocking a lane of traffic AND the bike lane.

JO said...

The problem is the inconsistencies in the application of the law. I see this all the time. Cops can pretty much turn on their lights at any moment in the day and find someone to fine.

I ride my bike nearly every day. When I see people parked in bike lanes, I just ride right into the backs of their cars. They'll learn.

oh, and I will never vote bloomberg, so there goes that idea of bikers voting Bloomy.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't bike lanes or bikers, it is over-ticketing, and using ticketing to raise money for NYC. My friend who is a biker made the mistake of not dismounting her bike in the street when she arrived home. She just popped up on the sidewalk to coast the five feet to her apartment. She got a ticket for $90. Should we eliminate sidewalks and say "screw pedestrians"? These bike lanes are the best thing to happen to this city. And I live in an outer borough, btw, but I can't afford a car. Why shouldn't I be able to safely bike in my own city?