Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

February 14th, 2018: The Big Picture

Happy Valentine's Day!  The weather's your present:

wednesday

Wednesday Partly sunny, with a high near 50. Southwest wind 7 to 9 mph.

Wednesday Night Rain likely, mainly between 9pm and 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 43. Southwest wind around 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Sunrise: 6:51am

Sunset: 5:30pm

You're welcome.

Moving on, this may seem crazy, but it's possible Elon Musk isn't going to solve America's traffic congestion problems after all:

So basically he had to start a car company in order to figure out what we already knew, which is that public transportation and bikes are the best way to move people in high-density areas:

A Tesla spokesperson acknowledged the problem saying the company is urging employees to use public transportation, is running their own private shuttles and even paying people to ride their bikes to work.

Still, filling people with the false hope that one day they'll be free from traffic is a brilliant way to sell automobiles:

Basically the car elevator is a much more expensive version of one of these things:

century-chevrolet-waving-inflatable-600

Speaking of cars, on Saturday, April 21st you'll be able to enjoy Broadway without them:

This should come as a relief to anyone who frequents the Harlem River Greenway, which basically forces you to right into them:

Theoretically you're supposed to walk your bike on that overpass, which is a whole other issue.  In practice however you wind up merging right into traffic speeding onto the Harlem River Drive.

Maybe if enough people point this out then something will happen:

Otherwise we'll have to wait for Elon Musk to build a car elevator there.

Finally, here comes the latest salvo against the protected bike lane in Rego Park:

“Transportation Alternatives are lobbying for bike lanes to be put in along Queens Blvd from the cross street of Yellowstone Blvd to Union Turnpike [Phase IV] in Forest Hills,” reads Brown’s petition. “This will remove several hundred parking spaces catering to small businesses. Forest Hills businesses are struggling to stay in business as it is, as more and more consumers are shopping online.”

Ah yes, certainly fighting bike lanes will stop the shift to online shopping.  

NIcole Lin, who owns Sushi Sake at 95-34 Queens Blvd, said that her customers constantly complain about the lack of parking. She claims that her bottom line has declined precipitously since the installation of the bike lanes last year as part of Phase III.

“It’s been really cut off,” she said. “We used to make $3,000, $4,000 [revenue] on a weekday. Now we make $2,000, $2,200, $2,300. Sometimes it’s $1,600, and I couldn’t cover the expenses for the day. We just barely make it.

OK, firstly, can we talk about the ebike?

ebike

Don't make us tell on you, Sake Sushi.

Secondly, if you peruse Sake Sushi's Yelp reviews, you'll notice a number of people complaining that the quality of food and service has deteriorated subsequent a change in management, which--if true--would also explain a drop in revenue.

Of course, I place little stock in these sorts of reviews.  Indeed, it's important to acknowledge that the only people more petty and whiny than the anti-bike lane set are the sorts of people who review restaurants on Yelp--even if one of the Yelp reviews of Sake Sushi does include a photo of a roach in the food:

o

Even this however means very little.  Not only could that roach have come from anywhere, but if you regularly eat takeout and you think you've never unwittingly ingested a roach then you're deluding yourself.

Still, before blaming the bike lane for their bad fortune, it's important to step away and consider the big picture.  And what's more likely to keep someone from visiting a restaurant: not being able to park a car out front, or photos like the one above?

Another business that complains of decreased sales is the local Lot-Less:

Celia Dominguez is the head cashier at Lot Less Closeouts, where she has worked for 12 years. The store is located at 96-32 Queens Blvd, along a part of the road where there are new bike lanes, and Dominguez said that the change has been tough.

“There’s a big, big change. Sales have gone down,” Dominguez said. “Customers always complain that there’s no parking.”

Could be.  But here's the Lot-Less before the bike lane, and the shuttered space next door implies issues that predate the bike lane:

lot-less

As for their other neighbors, hey, look at that!  It's Ben's Best:

lot-less 1

At this rate it's only a matter of time before Radio Shack blames the bike lane for their latest bankruptcy:

radio shack

You heard it here first.