Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

June 13th, 2018: Garbage Trucks and Garbage Stories

Today will be a respite from that perfect weather we've been enduring:

Wednesday Weather

Wednesday A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Cloudy, with a high near 80. South wind 7 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Wednesday Night A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 67. Southwest wind around 10 mph.

Sunrise: 5:24am

Sunset: 8:28pm

Enjoy it while it lasts, because after that you'll have to deal with day after day of sunshine:

Thursday and Friday

Which in turn means crowded paths--and, unfortunately, people like this guy:

Sounds like someone put some jalapeño in his chamois cream.

Speaking of lousy cyclists, we've all experienced this:

But not for eleven days.

As for the ticketing alert level, that remains high:

Alert Level

Especially downtown, where the DOT is promoting Vision Zero:

And the NYPD is doing "enforcement:"

So basically the winners get pamphlets and the losers get tickets.

Of course handing out pamphlets and/or tickets doesn't help much when our approach to road safety is so fundamentally broken:

As the story explains, there's plenty to indicate Neftaly Ramirez's death was the fault of the driver:

Newly obtained documents related to the death of 27-year-old cyclist Neftaly Ramirez — who Action Carting driver Jose Nunez fatally crashed into in Greenpoint around 12:25 am on July 22, 2017 — suggests many questions remain from that night, according to the Ramirez family’s lawyer, who is taking the driver and the notoriously negligent private carting company to civil court next month after District Attorney Eric Gonzalez decided not to prosecute Nunez earlier this year.

“When you put the pieces of the puzzle together, you get a picture of what really went on,” said Michael Kremins. “If it weren’t for negligence of the driver, Neftaly would still be alive today.”

Unfortunately the police operate under the principle that the larger and more deadly the vehicle the less responsibility the driver has to operate it safely:

“If someone hits someone and it’s a big gigantic garbage truck and they don’t know they hit him, you can’t charge someone with a crime,” Lieutenant John Grimpel said at the time.

While Action Carting simply blame the victim:

Action Carting brass jumped on Gonzalez’s decision not to prosecute its driver, claiming through a spokeswoman that Ramirez caused his own death because he knocked back a few drinks before hopping on his bike that evening.

“After months of thorough examination the report indicated cyclist error … alcohol in the cyclist’s bloodstream, no required protective gear was worn, etc.,” company rep Jean Kim wrote in an unsolicited e-mail with the subject “cyclist error” sent to this newspaper on April 23.

And the city claws back a measly $5,000 from the millions its paid them:

The city’s Business Integrity Commission slapped Action Carting bosses with a $5,000 fine on April 12 for allowing Nunez to drive a truck without the proper license — but the penalty is a drop in the bucket for the firm, which raked in $104,286,930 from city contracts alone in the past decade.

This is unconscionable, and private trash hauling is a menace:

But while nobody but the Brooklyn Paper is staying on the Neftaly Ramirez story, yet another local news outlet is covering the Ben's Best closing:

Parker

According to him, ever since the Department of Transportation implemented the protected bike lanes along Queens Boulevard, as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero initiative, his business has taken a 25 percent hit in recent.

A bulk of his customers, Parker said, relies on cars and now have limited options when visiting the deli.

"I have had customers have their cars towed out of here, so you come for a really nice pastrami sandwich and you end up with a $115 ticket," Parker said.

25% now?  He just keeps raising that number.  

I wonder if it's occurred to a single reporter to walk in to the Lot-Less next door and ask how they're doing:

Lot-Less

Meanwhile, Bayonne, NJ has launched a bike share program:

Bayonne

The city initially went out to bid for a program in February 2017, and in March of that year awarded the 5-year contract to P3GM, the company operating the Hudson Bike Share program.

The company operates bike-share programs in Hoboken, Weehawken, West New York, Guttenberg and North Bergen. It also has a trial period with the NJ State Park Service at Liberty State Park, according to a spokesperson for the company.

Cyclists hoping to get around Hudson County will be able to leave their bikes at any of the operating terminals managed by Hudson Bike Share.

Amazing how, five years after the Citi Bike launch, bike share has begrimed the entire region.  At this point New York City is virtually surrounded by bike share programs.

Will scooter share be next?  People are freaking out about it just as they did in the early days of bike share, but acceptance may be just around the corner and coming in hot:

Like the writer I'm also ready and willing to embrace the scooter, though it would be nice if we didn't bring the helmet baggage along:

There is no doubt that scooters could be safer if helmet laws were better enforced and basic safety training was provided before riding. But it’s probably not time to panic just yet. We don’t have enough data to know if scooters are more dangerous than bikes, motorcycles or other types of two-wheeled transit, and scooter safety will most likely improve as riders get more experience and drivers learn to share the road.

Consider me a doubter on the helmet front.  Also, I'm ready to go out on a limb and say scooters are safer than motorcycles.

This is also a good point:

It’s true that scooters have gone from nonexistent to ubiquitous in a matter of weeks — one morning, I counted more than 100 within a few blocks of my hotel. But their visibility is a function of their novelty. We don’t view parked cars and bus stops as eyesores, even though they’re everywhere.

As is this:

In fact, the only scary scooter rides I had were the times that cars veered a little too close to the bike lane I was riding in. If cities want to encourage safe scooter riding — and they should, given the benefits they have for congestion and environmental health — they should create protected scooter lanes and encourage drivers to give them more room.

Perhaps it will the diminutive scooter that ultimately undermines the supremacy of the automobile.  

Death by a thousand cuts.  (Or tiny wheels.)