Two Wheelers Take Back Sixth Avenue Bike Lane

December 30, 1998

8:30 AM, Thursday, December 3, 1998
Sixth Avenue and 9th Street

On Thursday morning, December 3rd, a group of 30 cyclists, armed with signs and banners, will oust double parked drivers from the 6th Ave. bicycle lane. The 6th Ave. lane is one of the few bicycle lanes installed in NYC, but is often blocked by cars and trucks.

Joined by police officers from the local precincts and the Manhattan Traffic Task Force Bike Patrol, on foot and bicycle, cyclists will travel Sixth Ave. from 9th Street to 42nd Street, clearing motorists from the bike lane. Bicyclists will hand mock summonses to drivers who refuse to clear the lane. The group will also distribute leaflets instructing bike riders in English, Spanish and Chinese to ride with traffic and always to yield to pedestrians. The action will begin at 8:30am on Thursday, December 3, at Sixth Ave. & 9th St. to clear the lane for morning commuters.

"Double parked cars make bike lanes impossible to see and use" states Susan Boyle, bicycle program coordinator for Transportation Alternatives (T.A.) "many cyclist only feel comfortable riding in a lane designated for cyclists -and depend on it as a safe space to ride." The action is one of many staged by T.A.'s Give Respect / Get Respect Campaign, an effort to reclaim city bike lanes from errant drivers, and stop sidewalk and wrong way cycling.

T.A.'s Give Respect / Get Respect campaign calls for

  • More NYPD enforcement of bike lanes;
  • Stringent enforcement of NYC speed limits;
  • Designated cab stands to end taxi-hailing mayhem.

Campaigners also encourage cyclists to respect pedestrians and other road users

  • Keeping off the sidewalk
  • Ride with traffic, not against it; and
  • Always yield to pedestrians.