Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

October 11th, 2017: Curbside Squatters

Temperatures will be in the 70s again today:

wed oct 11

Wednesday A 40 percent chance of showers after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 73. North wind 8 to 11 mph.

Wednesday Night A 50 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 57. Northeast wind 13 to 15 mph.

Sunrise: 7:03am

Sunset: 6:22pm

Nevertheless, it's time to install those fenders if you haven't already, because it's only going to get colder and wetter.  Also, beware of wet leaves, autumn's answer to ice:

south county

(South County Trailway, Yonkers)

Last night, cyclists gathered to create a protected bike lane along 5th Avenue:

And by all accounts it was a resounding success:

Though the mayor may not have noticed as he was embroiled in a debate at the time, during which he touted his "millionaire's tax" idea to save the transit system:

Evidently he's still a congestion pricing denier.  As for specifics on the millionaire's tax, it remains to be seen, but most likely it will come in the form of an excise tax on top hats and monocles:


As of press time De Blasio hadn't yet discussed Vision Zero, nor had Bo Dietl yet ripped into bike lanes like he presumably does his morning roast beef sandwich.  Of course, his feelings on the matter are already well known:

“Day one when I get elected, I’m going to be on a bulldozer taking out those bike lanes,” he said.

And I'm pretty confident he will have gotten around to it before the night is through.  He's already hinted at his policy after all:

Smart indeed.  Of all the old saws about bike lanes the "emergency responders" one may be my favorite as it is so demonstrably false as to be laughable.  We've all watched as an ambulance, sirens wailing, sits immobilized in gridlock.  Meanwhile the NYPD practically lives in the bike lanes as it is, so how much of an obstacle could they possibly be?

Unless there's already a news van in it, of course:

Speaking of Vision Zero, the Right of Way Law is under constant assault:

The criminal trial for 47-year-old Robert Owens, who fatally drove a box truck into 29-year-old Heather Lough while she rode her bicycle to work at the New York Botanical Garden last April, has been delayed for four months while his lawyer argues against the constitutionality of the Right of Way Law.

Owens's case marks at least the 25th time the law, which made failure to yield a misdemeanor offense, has been challenged on the grounds of its constitutionality since it was introduced in late 2015. And while the top penalty is relatively low—up to thirty days in jail and $500 in fines—Lough's lawyer says quashing the charge could have a major impact on the civil case and damages for Lough's family.

In part because our society treats driving as an inalienable right:

"Obviously we don't have anything against the goals of Vision Zero, which I think are very laudable," she told Gothamist. "But the way that they've gone about writing the law, it takes what is really just a traffic accident, which our society deals with through civil lawsuits, and criminalized it when there is no proof of intent or criminal negligence."

"Even a misdemeanor conviction can really just hamper someone's life in so many ways," Isaacs added. "The collateral consequences can be so severe, especially for someone who makes their living driving."

If you make your living driving and you kill somebody, perhaps it's time to find another line of work.

Finally, how many times have you reported some motor vehicular offense to 311, only to receive a message like this?


Indeed, at times it can be discouraging, but after looking at this heap for so long I've lost track I decided I could no longer stand idly by:


When you live on a street with no alternate side parking regulations just a short walk from the subway people tend to take undue advantage.  On the mildly irritating end of the spectrum are the suburbanites who use it as a de facto park and ride, and on the more egregious end are the people who just leave their cars and then vanish to walk the earth for months at a time.  That appears to be the case with this vehicle, which has sat immobile possibly since the last presidential administration and has been essentially tarred and feathered with about three seasons' worth of sap and leaves.  

Parking aficionados know that in the absence of signage the longest you can park a car in one spot is seven days.  Indeed, it's the first item in the FAQ when you make a report:


Of course, seven days is hardly even noticeable, but seven months is another story.  Still, that doesn't stop people from slapping on a talisman and hoping for the best:

IMG 0012

It's amazing how easy it is to claim a piece of curbside as long-term storage for a motor vehicle, yet put in a Citi Bike station that everybody can actually use and people freak out about the "loss" of parking.  I'd imagine aggressively clearing out some of this automotive dead wood would net the curbside equivalent of thousands of Citi Bike stations.  In the meantime all you can do is prune, and hopefully this one gets consigned to the chipper.