Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

February 27th, 2019: Breaks for Some, Tackles for Others

Cold today, then things could get messy overnight:

Wednesday Weather

Wednesday A 20 percent chance of snow after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 28. Wind chill values between 10 and 20. North wind 5 to 9 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon.

Wednesday Night Snow likely before 1am, then a chance of snow and sleet. Cloudy, with a temperature rising to around 30 by 2am. Wind chill values between 20 and 25. Southeast wind around 6 mph becoming light and variable. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow and sleet accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Sunrise: 6:33am

Sunset: 5:45pm

Fortunately, tomorrow should be an improvement:

Thursday Weather

The DOT will soon be presenting their proposals for protected crosstown bike lanes in midtown, so note the dates in your Palm Pilot:

And 1st Avenue at the Queensboro Bridge is very possibly the city's most enduring and consistent ticket trap:

If you've never been ticketed on your bike, here's recent first-person footage of a rider getting picked off at this very location, beginning at 3:40:

Of course, the rider's real crime is that he's listening to "Legs" by ZZ Top on a Bluetooth speaker, but he also very clearly proceeds while the bicycle signal is still red, hence the ticket.  Interestingly, the officer explains to the rider what he did wrong thusly:

"You can't go through the bike lane light if you're in the bike lane.  I know those guys went through but they were in the regular car lane."

Over on 9th Avenue they're tackling cyclists for not using the bike lane, yet here's an officer saying it's fine to ignore the bicycle signal as long as you ride in the car lane, go figure:

Anyway, the officer returns from his car with the ticket at 6:46, telling the rider:

"I didn't give you a red light ticket 'cause they're like $300, I cut you a break, this ticket's 50 bucks."

We can only speculate as to why the NYPD seems to apply a different set of rules and fines to different riders, but this guy certainly got off easy.

The big news yesterday was that Mayor de Blasio has finally endorsed congestion pricing:

Actually, the time to act was years ago, but why quibble?

Here's more from the Times:

Mr. Cuomo and Mr. de Blasio released a 10-point plan that called for reorganizing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the subway, buses and commuter railroads. They also proposed two new funding sources for the transit system: a tax on recreational marijuana sales, if they are legalized in New York, and an internet sales tax.

Given how many people are already driving around stoned and using their phones, between a congestion charge, a weed tax, and an internet sales tax, we should have the MTA fully funded in a matter of weeks.

Congestion pricing could also further reduce traffic by encouraging businesses to make deliveries at off-peak times, though certainly there's a lot more we should be doing to fix our broken delivery system:

One solution is to replace streetside parking spots with more loading zones. Experts say there’s ample reason to do it. Free curb parking has little economic value to the city, explained Donald Shoup, a professor of Urban Planning at UCLA. He proposed replacing curbside parking with new load zones and charging for their use by the minute. “The trucks are a more high-value use so they should be able to pay for it,” said Shoup.

That makes way too much sense, it'll never fly.

And in more delivery news, a columnist at Land Line (it's "The Business Magazine for Professional Truckers" in case you're wondering) writes about increasing traffic on the GWB:

The George Washington Bridge is America’s worst traffic choke point, according to the ATA’s American Transportation Institute. The problem has been building slowly but steadily for decades. Now it’s bad. Real bad.

And it’s not going to get any better.

And manages to implicate bike lanes:

Despite the GWB bottleneck – a logistic problem on a national scale – there is no discussion of another bridge or tunnel to ease congestion. But don’t despair. As part of a current maintenance project, the Port Authority is spending $90 million to add dedicated bicycle lanes.

I'm not sure the $90 million version of the bike and pedestrian lane configuration is actually happening, but either way, until the Port Authority builds us our own bridge, all we're getting is crumbs.