Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

August 20th, 2018: Bring 'Em On!

Today should bring a cool and bikeable start to the week:

Monday Weather

Monday Partly sunny, with a high near 78. Northeast wind around 10 mph.

Monday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67. East wind 5 to 9 mph.

Sunrise: 6:11am

Sunset: 7:47pm

But are we also looking at the start of a new era?  Check out the Times wholeheartedly endorsing scooters!

So the question for New Yorkers is this: Can the city’s traffic-clogged streets support yet another mode of transportation? Of course they can — if, for the safety of everyone, city officials and companies can agree on much-needed changes: more protected bike lanes, better transportation data and enforcement, wider sidewalks, access for low-income users and sensible restrictions. 

In fact, most of these improvements are already needed. The subway isn’t going to be fixed any time soon — state lawmakers continue to refuse to pass congestion pricing, the surest way to fund the necessary repairs to get trains running reliably. Even if that weren’t the case, many people live and work in parts of the city that are far from existing train lines, and it’s there that electric bikes and scooters can truly fill a mass transit gap. Used properly, these vehicles are an efficient, affordable option to get such people that last couple of miles between their destination and a subway or ferry stop.

Not only that, but they sound the call for more protected bike lanes--and for city agencies to stop blocking them:

New York needs more bike lanes that are behind parked cars and other barriers, which shield bikers and scooter riders from traffic and make it harder for cars, vans and trucks to park in them. Bird has pledged to help pay for such improvements through what it calls its Save Our Sidewalks initiative, promising city governments $1 a day per vehicle on their streets. It’s an offer New York shouldn’t refuse, and other scooter and bike rental firms should pony up funds, too. 

But Mr. de Blasio could help today if he just insisted that city employees not park in bike lanes, and he directed the police to crack down on the misuse of these lanes. Wider sidewalks for pedestrians also would help keep bike lanes unobstructed.

We've got a long way to go on that front, as this this recent Reddit thread so graphically illustrates:


And NYPD policy dictates:

As for the scooters, they're already here...sort of:


What's the big mystery?  This vehicle as configured is probably illegal in New York City too, but here we are:

I also just happen to have spent the past few days in Portland, where scooters launched just a few weeks ago, and without giving away too much they have completely failed to destroy the city:


Of course we're not Portland, but anything they can do we can do better.

Yes, Portland, we're challenging you to a latte art battle:

Latte Art

(My 3 year-old made this in daycare.)

Also from the Times comes this very worthwhile read about delivery workers:

“I’ve seen too many accidents, and each time I think, ‘This could have been me,’” said Fabián, a 21-year-old deliveryman from Mexico who donated money to Edwin’s parents in Guatemala. Fabián vividly remembered the first time a driver, opening his car door, knocked him off his bike.

“He looked down, saw me and left without even asking if I was fine,” he recalled in Spanish.

It doesn't address bike confiscations, but you can add them to the indignity heap:

Then the Times completes the trifecta with this story about bikes in Newark:

Watch out Streetsblog!

Finally, we may have our problems, but in Seattle someone cutting bikeshare brake cables:

Dockless and brakeless is not a good combo.