November 28th, 2018: The Bicycles Are Coming, The Bicycles Are Coming!

More wind today:

Wednesday Weather

Wednesday Mostly cloudy, with a high near 46. Wind chill values between 25 and 35 early. Breezy, with a northwest wind 18 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph.

Wednesday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 36. Wind chill values between 25 and 30. Breezy, with a northwest wind 20 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph.

Sunrise: 6:58am

Sunset: 4:30pm

***UPDATE: This was happening yesterday evening***

The big news is that a bill that would legalize throttle e-bikes is imminent:

This would put an end to the crackdown on delivery people:

Ever since that decision, cyclists and delivery worker advocates have blasted the mayor for a double standard that allows the owners of expensive pedal-assist e-bikes — and bike share companies such as Citi Bike and Jump — to ride fast and carefree while delivery workers are subject to $500 tickets and confiscation of their bikes.

Neither the mayor nor the police commissioner has ever provided evidence that e-bike users have caused more injuries or crashes.

Espinal (above) said his legislation would seek to “legalize throttle bikes in city code.”

Though in the meantime it's business as usual:

The impetus behind the bill is Bird's eagerness to operate its e-scooters here in New York City, seasoned with a dash of L train shutdown-inspired urgency:

Lobbyists for the e-scooter sharing service Bird have been pressing the City Council to grant the company permission to operate in New York City, as it does in cities including San Diego and Washington.

Bird had lawyers study the relevant law, and the company believes that e-scooters could be allowed in New York City under a section of state law that permits the city to regulate certain kinds of limited-use vehicles. The section of law also applies to e-bikes, advocates believe.

With that in mind, the City Council is prepared to introduce one bill to legalize e-scooters and a second to legalize two forms of e-bikes. Another bill would allow for a pilot to test the viability of e-scooter sharing in a limited area of the city — along the corridor that will be most hard hit by the shut down of the L train next year.

When asked for comment, Mayor de Blasio said he'd first have to run it by Jeff Bezos.

Meanwhile, last month noted cycling enthusiast Steve Cuozzo reported on the denizens of Sutton Place whose lives will be destroyed by the East River Greenway expansion, and now the Times takes up the story of their plight:

“You don’t feel like you’re in the middle of the city,” said Marjorie Posner, 77, a retired financial manager and park regular. “It’s an escape from the noise and the bicycles.”

But soon the bicycles will be coming.

And with bicycles of course comes lots of anecdotes about near-misses:

Gale Brewer, the Manhattan borough president, said that while she supports cycling in the city, she hears complaints every time she visits a senior center about dangerous cyclists who ride too fast, run red lights, go in the wrong direction and cross over onto the sidewalks. “It’s a huge concern,” she said. “They’re older and they can’t move as fast. They say to me all the time, ‘I almost got hit by a bike.’”

Mary Dodd, 64, said that she recently had two close calls with cyclists while crossing First Avenue on the Upper East Side. Both times, she said she looked toward oncoming traffic before crossing. And both times, she said she was nearly flattened by cyclists speeding from the opposite direction against traffic. Ms. Dodd, the director of the social services unit for the Carter Burden Network, a community-based social service agency, said she’s heard many stories of older people having near misses.

On one hand, there is absolutely no excuse for making pedestrians feel uncomfortable when crossing the street.

On the other, every person almost hit by a cyclist is another person who was, you know, not actually hit by a cyclist.

Drivers meanwhile...well we all know how that goes.

In any case, the local co-op boards have pledged to "pursue all available options" to stop the project:

Some opponents say the new bridge and esplanade will primarily benefit people who are younger, physically fit or active, and not a neighborhood filled with older residents. About 61 percent of Sutton Place residents are over the age of 55, compared with roughly 24 percent citywide, according to an analysis of census data by Social Explorer, a research company.

They also say the project will take away precious open space from a park that is only .85 acres, and partly block the sunlight and sweeping views of the East River. Board members of nearby co-op buildings have formed a group to stop the bridge. James P. Donovan, the group’s president, said it would “pursue all available options.”

In addition to being older than the rest of the city they're also considerably wealthier, which seems important to mention in the context of attempting to stop a project that will benefit the entire city in order to preserve a .85-acre park.

Still, despite Steve Cuozzo's dire warnings, the Sutton Place housing market has yet to collapse:

Bridge foe Ron Spurga lives in a co-op at 45 Sutton Place South, which stands at the foot of the planned bridge. As a result, he said, “Some units are on the market at discounted prices.”

Indeed, the asking price for 45 Sutton Place South #8F is still holding fast at $4,895,000.

Come down to $4,890,000.  Then we can talk.

Finally, also in the Times, more and more people are discovering that you can ride a bike to the airport:

About five years ago, researchers at the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at the University of California, Berkeley, found that airport operators were adapting to bicycle travel as a way to reduce the number of employee parking spaces. They focused on seven airports, including Los Angeles International, Boston Logan and Portland International.

“One aspect that has changed is the penetration of cargo bikes that can now easily accommodate bags for short airplane trips,” said Offer Grembek, a co-director of the center who was not involved in the study. “Another aspect is electrification of bikes that increase the range and reduce the level of effort needed.