If you have any questions on the upcoming bike lanes installations on 8th and 9th Avenues, from 34th Street to Columbus Circle, now is the time to ask. DOT already provided responses to the original CB4 letter.

After going door to door to each business on these stretches, the DOT will present its final detailed plans and answer all outstanding questions at the next Transportation Committee. Don’t miss it!

Bike Lanes Final Plan
Wednesday, March 21st, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Holland House, 351 W 42nd Street, Piano Room

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Keith
Keith
9 years ago

As far as reading through the pdf response from DOT I am in agreement with many of the things CB 4 has requested, except for one section, which has to do with “enforcing” cyclists.

I don’t know if Corey, or whoever drafted that section rides a bike or not, but if they do, they just might feel really upset about having to ride in fear of getting a ticket for going the wrong way or going through a light.

I’m talking about the many situations where cyclists, using reasonable judgment will proceed through an intersection where no cars are coming – that is, looking up the street and seeing that one can get across safely. Let’s face it, it’s done all the time. To have some cop nail you with a $100 ticket will just ruin your day. This request is draconian and horribly cruel. CB 4’s letter to DOT does a lot of good to gain support for bike lanes, but let’s not poison it with police-state restrictions.

99% of cyclists I see on the streets are observant and courteous. Yes, the 1% may be troublesome, and a tiny percent of them may be dangerous, but don’t let them speak for the majority. Persons on bicycles have something called ‘momentum’ – that is, when you’re spending energy to pedal, you don’t want to have to needlessly stop and start all the time. That’s where an open intersection opportunity is advantageous. As for going the wrong way – please spend a few minutes anywhere along the Broadway bikeway to see bikes going the wrong way. No problem! There’s plenty of space, very few cyclists anyway, and the peds have their own space, in addition to the sidewalk.

If CB 4 has its way, why stop with victimizing cyclists? – Let’s come down hard on all those jaywalkers – and think of the revenue NYC could gain from ticketing them, too. With this mindset, we could end up like those Good Germans – obediently waiting for the green light, even in the middle of the night.

christine berthet
9 years ago

Keith, the objective is that all street users respect the law. As you know, Chekpeds has been very vocal in seeking traffic enforcement for drivers of cars, buses trucks etc..
In a similar fashion we consider that pedestrians who cross outside the ped crossing or against the light are asking for trouble. While most bikers are very safety conscious as you are, the delivery bikers are overwhelmingly breaking the laws and startling all of us pedestrians. One of them ran me into the ground on the sidewalk at full speed and blamed me of obstructing his way. This is not tolerable and needs to be addressed.

Keith
Keith
9 years ago

Thank you, Christine. Yes, I am also a pedestrian in the neighborhood – for 16 years, but have never experienced such an incident. It’s of course regrettable that this happened to you, as it may have to a few others on rare occasions. Most delivery men do show respect – or at least steer out of the way. Consider that our sidewalks are overcrowded to begin with, and there are a great many restaurants. Although I have but to put myself in your place to sympathize, we still ought not to let these relatively few accidents punish the rest of us. Rather, CB 4 and Chekpeds might adapt an educational approach with an emphasis on teaching good street manners.

Thanks to your efforts, I do happen to think this will evolve with the addition of a nicer, and very much needed bikeway on 9th, complete with plantings, some street furniture and a whole lot more traffic calming (and less PM 2.5 in our air corridor) as a result.

The thing about delivery bikers, now that you mention them, is that they are terribly underpaid, work long hours, and try to cut corners as a result. Not to excuse the offenders, but a recent article in the NY Times Metropolitan section gives attention to the matter:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/nyregion/for-food-delivery-workers-speed-tips-and-fear-on-wheels.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=bike%20delivery%20men%20metropolitan%20section&st=cse

Christine, you are right, this needs to be addressed – let’s hope in a humane and enlightened fashion eventually. And let’s not forget that extremely excessive car traffic is the real villain in our neighborhood: putting pedestrians in harms way and severely diminishing the quality of life here.

The police should not be forced to go after every cyclist who may occasionally and judiciously cross when no cars are near. On the subject, shouldn’t they ticket cars that block our bike lanes on 8th? Having to go out of lane puts cyclists in severe danger, and, as you well know, accidents – even fatal ones have reported.