Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

January 9th, 2019: Stupid Is As Stupid Writes

The good news is that the wind is blowing the rain and clouds out of here:

Wednesday Weather

Wednesday Partly sunny, with a high near 44. Wind chill values between 30 and 35. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph.

Wednesday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 31. Wind chill values between 20 and 25. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

Sunrise: 7:20am

Sunset: 4:47pm

The bad news is that those gusts might blow you off the bridges too.

So plan your route accordingly.

Speaking of bridges, note that the DOT has updated its Brooklyn Bridge walkway repair schedule, and work will now take place between 11pm and 5m on Tuesdays and Thursdays:

And speaking of gusts, maybe they'll blow some of the drivers out of the bike lanes:

Hey, we can dream.

In other DOT news, canned responses seem to indicate that they will "evaluate" the new bike lanes in the face of the L train shutdown reversal:

Presumably these replies were generated by the new WaffleBot 2.0.

And in national news, I can practically hear Steve Cuozzo running the lint roller over his writing fedora as he readies himself to outdo this inane screed:

We recently saw a more reasoned take on these numbers in (I can't believe I'm even typing this) USA Today, but Jacoby conveniently leaves out the 20% increase in bike commuting in Philadelphia and the 6% and 8% gains in Minneapolis and DC respectively to focus on places like Seattle:

Seattle is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the United States — by one reckoning, themost bicycle-friendly. It’s also a city in which bike commuting is rapidly losing its appeal. In 2017, according to recent Census Bureau data, a mere 2.8 percent of Seattle’s workforce commuted to work by bicycle. That was down from 3.5 percent in 2016, and from 4 percent in 2015. The Seattle Times reports that bike commuting in the Emerald City has fallen to its lowest level in a decade. In raw numbers, the number of people cycling to work in Seattle has plunged from a peak of 16,000 to fewer than 12,000 — a decline of one-fourth.

Of course Jacoby doesn't mention that these numbers are based on people who say they use bicycles as their "primary mode of transit," or that the article Jacoby himself links to indicates lots of positive indicators for Seattle cycling.  Consider for example that someone who uses bike share to run an errand or shorten a trip to a station wouldn't be counted as a cyclist.  This is significant because according to this 2018 report, Seattle bike share seems to be doing pretty damn good:

Seattle

[PDF]

And besides bike share you've also got other new non-car ways of getting around, such as scooter share.  Given this, in 2019 it seems hopelessly old-fashioned to focus on people who use bikes as their "primary mode"--though it does give people like Jeff Jacoby an opportunity to write stuff like this:

Considering the billions of dollars that federal, state, and local governments have poured into bicycle infrastructure over the past decade, the steady drop in cycling amounts to a sharp vote of no confidence in bicycles as the much-touted wave of transportation’s future. So maybe it’s time for public officials and policy makers to turn their backs on the militant, self-righteous bike lobby and its fantasy of a world in which drivers defer to cyclists as the rightful kings of the road. Bicycles — nimble, healthful, nonpolluting, cheap — have many advantages. But they don’t belong in crowded urban traffic.

Obviously the fact that bicycles are "nimble, healthful, nonpolluting, [and] cheap" is exactly why they belong in urban traffic.  As for what's causing the traffic, I shouldn't have to state the obvious, but it's plodding, awkward and outmoded, and it emits toxic gas.  (To be clear, I'm talking about cars and not Jeff Jacoby.)

But no, in the Jacoby-verse, somehow car traffic would flow freely if it weren't for bikes:

Plainly, however, tens of thousands of Americans have had second thoughts about cycling to their jobs. And that’s despite the recent mania for inserting bike lanes into city streets, which has everywhere disadvantaged the majority of commuters who drive in order to accommodate the tiny minority who bike.

Yes, anybody who's ever sat in traffic in the Holland Tunnel knows it's because of the bike lane that runs through it.

Oh, wait...

Still, you've got to at least give Jacoby credit for his honesty:

The doctrine that cars, buses, and trucks should “share the road” with bicycles sounds egalitarian and green, but it’s as impractical as expecting motor vehicles to “share” urban thoroughfares with skateboards and strollers.

It takes a profoundly brave cruel and selfish person to admit he thinks drivers shouldn't have to share the city with strollers.

As for his sources, apparently Jacoby's opinions on urban transport have been informed by Lawrence Solomon.

“Cyclists are at high risk when they’re on the road,” observed environmentalist Lawrence Solomon in Canada’s Financial Post. Citing data from Canada and Europe, he noted that the accident rate for bicycles is at least 26 times the rate for cars, explaining that dedicated bike lanes are more likely to cause accidents, especially when cyclists and drivers turn or cross at intersections. 

Good to see he takes his cues from a climate change denier and anti-vaxxer who thinks bikes cause pollution.

Anyway, Jacoby's conclusion isn't that the earth is flat, but it's almost as ignorant:

Where street space is scarce and traffic is heavy, bicycle lanes simply don’t work. They may initially have seemed appealing, but Americans know better now. Commuting by bike is not the wave of our urban future. It’s just another overrated utopian scheme.

Yes, more cars is definitely the answer.  We'll have that traffic licked in no time.