Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

February 21st, 2019: Tickets Coming And Going

What a difference a day makes:

Thursday Weather

Thursday Cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 52. West wind 7 to 13 mph.

Thursday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 35. Northwest wind around 10 mph.

Sunrise: 6:42am

Sunset: 5:38pm

Yesterday's weather may have brought some added drama to your commute, but if there's one thing cycling in this town doesn't need it's more excitement:

Starting next week, note that there will be partial closures on the Queensboro Bridge bike path:

As well as the Williamsburg Bridge bike path:

And while the city's cyclists are still reeling over the mayor's recent ticketing comments:

Mayor de Blasio defended the NYPD’s decision to target cyclists in the wake of a biker’s death by a hit-and-run driver — despite witnesses saying cops knocked one man off his bike during the ticket blitz.

“Whenever there is a fatality of anyone, it’s a horrible situation, and we all feel it. That does not mean we’re going to stop enforcement,” de Blasio said Tuesday during a Vision Zero press conference.

Another kind of ticketing is fostering bike lane resentment:

"The city is trying to transform East Harlem into something shiny and expensive, but that's not for us — the bike lanes, the $100 million waterfront. That's not for the people who've been here for generations," Marina Ortiz, founder of East Harlem Preservation, said at the Tuesday news conference, according to Picture the Homeless. "For us, all they have is harassment, tickets, mass displacement."

All else aside, whether you're riding a bike or looking for a bathroom, basically the way it works is that the city provides you with totally inadequate facilities and then tickets you for the inevitable consequences.

In that sense we're all in it together.

Finally, first we checked out the High Bridge, then we took a look at Vernon Boulevard, so now let's pay a visit to Broadway in the Bronx:

Map

Where, in the summer of 2018, the DOT installed a protected bike lane along Van Cortlandt Park between W. 246th Street and W. 261nd Street.

I happen to be partial to this bike lane because it's in my backyard, but it's also noteworthy because:

  • It's only about a mile and a half from Manhattan via the Broadway Bridge;
  • It provides the Westchester-bound cyclist an alternative to the Old Putnam Trial in Van Cortlandt Park, which is often unrideable due to mud;
  • It connects (more or less) with the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway;
  • In addition to being protected from car traffic, it's also one of the few flat bike routes in the northwest Bronx, which makes it easier for those of us who live here to ride with our kids:

Another fun fact about the Broadway bike lane is that, in addition to maintaining the same number of motor vehicle lanes, the DOT also managed to add parking spaces--and yet the Community Board 8 chair still called it a "failure of democracy," which proves that there's absolutely no appeasing these people and so there's no point in trying.

Anyway, here's the start of the bike lane, right at the W. 246th Street entrance to Van Cortlandt Park:

Broadway

Which is of course the city's third largest park:

Broadway 2

And a runner's paradise:

Broadway 1

There also aren't too many bike lanes in the city that pass by riding stables:

Broadway

The protected portion ends at W. 261st Street:

Broadway 5

Presumably because the BX9 bus executes a sweeping U-turn before the city line which is two blocks away:

Broadway 5

What the Broadway bike lane could really use is a better connection to Manhattan via the Broadway Bridge, and in turn to the Hudson and Harlem River Greenways.  This could happen if plans to convert a nearby stretch of railway into parkland are ever realized, which would be fantastic, but it's not exactly imminent.  (The Broadway Bridge itself is also fairly treacherous, though it's supposed to get upgraded for cyclists one day as part of the DOT's planned Harlem River Bridge improvements.)

In the meantime, the Broadway bike lane is a tremendous improvement, but like so much of the city's new bike infrastructure it also shows us how much farther we have to go to connect it all.