Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

October 22nd, 2018: Blame It On The Bike Lane

Today will be cool, clear, and free from the gusts that blew us around yesterday:

Monday Weather

Monday Mostly sunny, with a high near 53. West wind 6 to 9 mph.

Monday Night Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 52. Southwest wind 7 to 9 mph.

Sunrise: 7:15am

Sunset: 6:05pm

If you're wondering what's going on with the Amtrak Bridge on the Hudson River Greenway, repairs are now "underway" and scheduled to be complete by "mid-November:"

Repairs should be complete by mid-November depending upon weather and site conditions.

Note they don't specify the year.

In Queens, the DOT has released a draft of a new "bike grid" as part of the "Big Jump" initiative to get more people riding:

In the network, the majority of the paths are concentrated to one neighborhood — Jackson Heights —  and there are a few key needs that have not been addressed. Restrepo and Queens Bike initiative— a group of Queens residents campaigning for safer bike lanes — pointed out that there is no connector from 34th Avenue to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, no protected bike lanes connecting neighborhoods from East to West and no protected bike lane for north-to-south travel.

Big Jump

One obstacle in creating a more comprehensive grid is that many who would benefit from it "don't speak the language of elected officials:"

“The people that need it the most don’t speak the language of elected officials,” said Restrepo, who said that  language barrier for Corona’s high number of Spanish-speakers might have prevented them from attending one of the 70 workshops and public meetings held since October of 2017, when the Big Jump Initiative started. According to Restrepo, Jackson Heights has had more of a voice in regards to cycling than other neighboring communities.

NIMBYs on the other hand are perfectly fluent in it:

As Streetsblog points out, the truck was blocked by illegal parking, but Uniformed Firefighters Association president Gerard Fitzgerald is running with it:

“Incidents similar to the firehouse on Skillman Ave. are not just occurring at one location, and not just in Queens,” Fitzgerald said in an email. “Extended bike lanes affect traffic patterns and block access to necessary equipment for our men and women in uniform to perform their jobs effectively. This is becoming more and more common throughout all five boroughs which adds significantly to response times — and firefighters across the city have been delayed for crucial minutes as a result. We are committed to finding a solution to this problem — and we hope the Mayor’s Office will acknowledge this issue and work with us on a solution that benefits both New York City residents and New York’s firefighters.”

However, it's perfectly fine when response times is slowed by their own cars:

Here's another "problem" with the Skillman bike lane:

While the cycling traffic was light, just over half the bicyclists observed to approach red lights at Skillman and 51st stopped for them.

“It’s disrespectful to the neighborhood,” resident Margo Corr said of the bike lane. “It’s been disruptive.”

So basically there aren't enough cyclists using it, and too many of them aren't stopping for the red light.

This is reminiscent of the joke about the terrible food and the tiny portions but I don't think we're supposed to quote that guy anymore.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the neighborhood, there's been a rash of car break-ins:

At least 14 vehicles, parked under the LIRR overpass on 43rd Street between 37th and Barnett Avenues, were found this morning with their front passenger side windows broken in. The bulk of the cars were on the west side of the street, with three cars observed on the east side.

The vehicles appear to have been foraged through, with papers and other common glove box items seen thrown around.

Rummaging would mean the culprits were human, but since it's foraging behavior then this is clearly the work of raccoons:

Either way, if you were wondering how locals might possibly manage to blame the bike lane for this, then here you go:

Bike Lanes


Nicely done.

Finally, via Reddit, here's video of someone hitting a cyclist and then driving off nonchalantly because "I thought you were alright:"

Left hook hit and run @ 2nd/St Marks from r/NYCbike

It says a lot that drivers are perfectly comfortable to admitting to hit-and-run on camera.