Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

October 24th, 2019: Red Light Green Light

Today's weather will be a repeat of yesterday:

Thursday Weather

Thursday Sunny, with a high near 65. Southwest wind 5 to 9 mph.

Thursday Night Clear, with a low around 52. South wind 6 to 8 mph.

Sunrise 7:17am

Sunset 6:03pm

The next Citi Bike expansion workshop takes place next Monday in Harlem:

Also in Harlem, the 2nd Ave. bike lane is suffering from a severe case of lane lag:

DOT staff and advocates toured East New York yesterday:

The DOT also touted upcoming projects:

And announced the near-completion of others:

Though of course the big news was new cyclist-friendly signal timing:

In typical fashion the NYTimes asked the most important question when it comes to any bike-related initiative, namely: What do drivers think of it?

Some drivers, not surprisingly, were less enthusiastic. “It seemed like I stopped at every light,” said Daniel Ortiz, 41, who drives to work in Downtown Brooklyn. “It’s horrible. It slows you down. Every light you’ve got to keep stopping.”

Oh, the injustice of it all.

The Times also buried the lede, which is that cyclists receive a wildly disproportionate number of tickets:

In 2018, police officers issued summonses for running red lights to 16,254 cyclists and 56,086 motor vehicle drivers, according to police records.

Yes, that's right, over 20% of the red light tickets the NYPD issues go to cyclists.

Sounds fair, doesn't it?

But hey, you wouldn't want drivers to be late to their jobs and appointments.

While the retimed lights have made it easier for cyclists, they have also slowed traffic. On Hoyt Street, for example, traffic slowed during the evening rush to an average of 12 m.p.h. down from 17 m.p.h., officials said.

Rudolph Harrison, a retired security officer, said the change had made traffic worse and benefited cyclists at the expense of drivers. “You’ve got to go to work or to appointments,” he said. “It’s good for cyclists, but not motorists, and I’m both.”

If only there were some way to ride a bicycle to a job or an appointment...

Someone really should try that sometime--though it's hard to get to your job or appointment when the bike lanes are full of police vehicles:

As DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg took to a podium in East New York to announce “green wave” timing for Hoyt and Bond streets, police officer-owned vehicles — a majority with multiple serious moving violations on their records — filled the bike lane on Schermerhorn Street, which connects the two bikeways in question.

Hey, they've got to park somewhere while they're ticketing cyclists.

Meanwhile, if you want to know why the Queens Boulevard bike lane isn't finished yet, you'd better be fluent in doublespeak:

Michael Cohen, a Koslowitz spokesman, called any accusations of linking the jail and bike issues “nonsense.” Yet he appeared to concede the de Blasio administration’s delay could be tied to the Rikers Vote.

“Yes, the councilwoman has opposed what the city has proposed [with phase four of the bike lane] and perhaps out of respect for her support for the jail, it’s given the administration pause,” Cohen said.

And in a debate on Tuesday night the candidates for Public Advocate both agreed that they don't like the sound of "breaking the car culture:"


The two candidates were not all that far apart on the push to "end the car culture" in the city by promoting more bike lanes and pedestrian plazas. Over two dozen cyclists have been killed by vehicles on New York City streets this year.

"People who rely on their cars every day to get to work or go to the doctor or whatever, they are not hot-rodding down Queens Boulevard," Borelli said. "They are using it because they need to use their cars."

"'Vision Zero' was a good attempt; it's not working. We have too many deaths," the incumbent Public Advocate said. "I also think people should refrain from saying, 'Break the car culture.' Because we have residents that need their car. But what I do say is that we need to change the car culture."

The fact that people need to use cars just to get to the doctor is precisely why the car culture needs breaking, but we can't go hurting the cars' feelings, can we?

Finally, bike lanes don't cause traffic:

But of course you already knew that.