Pedestrians and cyclists fight over crumbs on 8th Avenue

I know , pedestrians will tell you that cyclists are doing all sorts of illegal stuff: running red lights, interfering with pedestrians in the crosswalk, going the wrong way, riding on the sidewalk  and they are right about all of it. Bicyclists scare pedestrians with unexpected moves and can be very callous when called upon it.  But pedestrians also act illegally when they jaywalk in a bike lane and it turns out such behavior is dangerous .

gregg_ambulance-2Gregg is my neighbor. You could not find a more reasonable , moderate and law abiding citizen. He was biking in the 8th avenue bike lane three week ago , around 45th street when a pedestrian, walking illegally in the bike lane, elbowed him and threw him to the ground. He stayed in the hospital for 3 days with a collapsed lung, three broken ribs and a broken collarbone. He is back home in great pain, starting reeducation. Full Story 

The main culprit here is neither pedestrians nor cyclists but rathe the poor design of the 8th Avenue bike lane , adjacent to an overcrowded sidewalk.  It is not that the DOT did not know .. the community board resolution alerted them to the specific problem and the fact that is will be dangerous . Expediency was chosen over safe design.

As they continue to roll out this new infrastructure, DOT must not sacrifice quality design to the urgency of adding bike lanes, nor should the advocates pressure them to do so.  We are often blaming former generations for designing streets for cars and speed.  In our haste to change this, we must not accept less safe infrastructure that does nor resolve current problems for **all Users**.

If there are not enough funds to install safe bike lanes and complete streets for everyone, then lets pressure the Mayor for more resources to reduce deaths and injuries. But let’s  not tolerate expediency and ultimately become responsible for more injuries .

No room for Pedestrians on NYC’s 8th Ave so they walk in Protected Bike Lane from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

 

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