Thursday, December 10, 2015

Blind fear rogue cyclists

From AM-NY:

Blind and visually impaired people are adamantly opposed to the suggestion that bikes in NYC should be allowed to roll through red lights ("Idaho stops") when they see no pedestrians or traffic -- and would like to see more bikers complying with traffic regulations already on the books.

Vicki Acopulus, who is severely farsighted and has an astigmatism, has been hit and knocked down twice in Hell's Kitchen by delivery guys shuttling food on bicycles. Luckily, says the 72-year-old, she had on a puffy, padded winter coat that cushioned her falls or "I could have broken a hip." A resident of senior housing in Hell's Kitchen, she says she often runs errands for elderly neighbors who tell her they're terrified of being run over by rogue cyclists.

Bike use in the city has exploded, with 10 times as many bicyclists on city streets as there were in 1980, according to cyclist counts conducted by the DOT. And while pedestrian-car accidents are far more likely to be lethal, lawbreaking cyclists inspire unique fear in the 53,000 NYC adults between the ages of 18 and 64 who identify as blind or low vision. (Other surveys say 172,484 people with "vision difficulty" reside in NYC, a city hall spokeswoman noted.)

"When we're crossing streets, we've been taught to listen for cars, but you can't hear bikes," explained James Champion, 23, an administrative intern who lives in Williamsburg and suffers from retinitis pigmentosa. Cyclists are often unaware that many pedestrians on the streets of New York rely on auditory cues and are not able to see them approaching and move out of their way, Champion said.


Anonymous said...

In downtown Flushing, the fear is about car and SUV drivers who drive thru red lights.

(sarc) said...

There is a simple fix.

ALL cyclists MUST be licensed, bike registered and insured.

So when they injure someone or damage something there is a financial recourse...

Anonymous said...

The bikes are one thing, but those motorized scooters that people use for delivery are even worse. They ride anywhere and everywhere, in any direction, and don't stop for anything. What will it take to enforce some regulations against those?

Anonymous said...

That anyone in an elected office would even consider such a ridiculous desecration of basic traffic safety laws is disgusting. Cyclists are not special little flowers. They should not be given a blank check to behave even worse than they already do. Not everyone can see them coming or jump out of their way.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
In downtown Flushing, the fear is about car and SUV drivers who drive thru red lights."
I could not agree more. Driving skills are at a all time low in this city and people are being killed and maimed way too often !

Anonymous said...

There are more vehicles these days and the newer ones are much quieter especially the electric ones.The newer cars are also much faster acceleration these days.The facts are that whether you're talking about vehicles,bikes or pedestrians nobody likes to stop, we want to go, go, go.
The way most intersections are set up there are so many pedestrians crossing car, trucks and busses can't make a turn and that is where most of the pedestrian-vehicle accidents occur. The law says a vehicle must give pedestrian the right of way if they are in a crosswalk but drivers get impatient.
I was in Jacksonville back in the 60's and they had the system where at major intersections when the walk signal came on pedestrians could walk to any corner then when the light changed only vehicles would go.
Downtown Flushing is got to be the worst out of control area for safety with so many people on the sidewalks and crossing streets plus all the cars, busses and trucks. Yet they keep building.

JQ LLC said...

There was legislation a few years back inspired by a well-connected widow whose husband got killed by a delivery guy going the wrong way downhill fast on East 45th st.,that demanded that all commercial bikes, even personal ones, should be equipped with bells. I think they are ineffective since with all the traffic and of course the noise of construction on every block from hyper-development drowns out the sound of the pathetic ping of the bell. I prefer to yell watch out and it usually works, except for the insolent pedestrian jaywalkers, which as also grown from the growth of tourism and the presence of smartphones and coffee shops.

Predictably this legislation, which included the wearing of illuminated and florescent vests even when the sun is out and in the summer when the days are hotter and longer, has done nothing to stem the lawlessness of these reckless piles of shit. And it's even worse now because of app-based consumerism, especially in the areas mentioned in that article which in addition to workplaces a lot of luxury and affordable luxury high rises are there. And don't forget the idiots who use airbnb. (Again assholes, if you have to use airbnb to visit NYC because you can't afford to go to a hotel or motel, don't come to NYC).

And because a lot of money is being frivolously spent, cops look the other way or not at all. Even with the usage of these motor bicycles which are actually illegal to use. I have seen these creeps on vespas going the wrong way and on sidewalks.

There was a time when people such Vicki would see justice and solidarity from strangers and informed people that read newspapers. But there is a digital social darwism happening in this moron zeitgeist, and the race for profit has become callously cutthroat that people like her now are ignored and considered expendable. Like the banks, app service has become to big to fail and I don't see any progress or enforcement coming.

Every day I have to watch my back to avoid getting hurt, especially being uninsured. I used to worry about cabs and reckless drivers, but now it's the bikers, all kinds I worry about hitting me. In fact, I get cut off more by these amateur wanna be racers and delivery creeps than cars.

And when I catch up to these seamless creeps and asian jerks, they don't speak a damn word of english and just laugh. The majority of these riders are not even citizens. Yet again profit before responsibility. And yet again, we have to wait for something tragic to take action.

Even I don't feel confident about that either.

There are just too many of them.

Anonymous said...

> (Again assholes, if you have to use airbnb to visit NYC because you can't afford to go to a hotel or motel, don't come to NYC).

Or, ya know, they could pass that legislation mentioned a few days ago to fix that terrible law that shut down most hostels. An affordable alternative that isn't in your apartment building.

Roger said...

I have normal vision, and I fear the delivery guys on mopeds (or whatever they're called). They ride right through the red lights, and one has almost hit me as I was crossing on a green walk signal. I think they are one of the biggest safety issues in the borough.