Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

June 4th, 2019: Who's On 2nd

Another perfect cycling day for your commuting pleasure:

Tuesday Weather

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 71. Northwest wind 8 to 10 mph.

Tuesday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 61. Southwest wind 13 to 16 mph.

Sunrise: 5:26am

Sunset: 8:23pm

Certainly plenty of people took advantage yesterday:

Yesterday was also World Bicycle Day, which is why you may have encountered the news media making a positive story about bikes for a change:

The actual story his here, and remember:

When interviewing cyclists, always wear a helmet. 

Have you ever wondered if the DOT actually uses their own bike lanes?  (For riding bikes, that is.  We know they use them for parking cars.)  Well, the answer is...they're starting to:

This is great, but winter should be an eye-opener; wait until they find out how many bike lanes never get cleared.

If you're a Queens commuter, take note that there could be partial closures of the already crowded bike and pedestrian path next week:

And on the Manhattan side, the DOT are finally looping drivers in on the parking rules:

Still, the 2nd Ave. bike lane is a work in progress:

And yesterday I had occasion to travel nearly the entire length of it as I headed from the Bronx to Brooklyn for the first episode of my new Bike Snob radio show!  (It's in the archives if you want to hear it.)  I will say the so-called "pork chop" was a tremendous improvement, and while the concomitant island-hopping does take a little more time it's also considerably less stressful:

Pork Chop

By the way, while the tweeter above may have been yelled at by a traffic agent, we were praised by one for using the porch chop correctly.  "That's exactly what I want you to do," and while I felt kind of like a 2nd grader on a field trip I also beamed with pride for the next few blocks.

Unfortunately, the bike lane still disappears at the Midtown Tunnel into a churning maelstrom of motor vehicle traffic:

Midtown Tunnel

This forces riders to either take refuge on the sidewalk:

Midtown Tunnel

Or take their chances with being crushed to death:


Further downtown, note that 2nd Ave. is being resurfaced north of 14th St., and the bike lane has still not fully returned to the portion south of 14th St.

All of the above notwithstanding, the most harrowing moment I experienced yesterday on 2nd Ave. was nearly falling victim to a door containing what appears to be a urine bottle:

Urine Dooring

Other than that, it was a delightful trip, and the inbound Manhattan Bridge bike traffic was indeed rather formidable:

Manhattan Bridge

Of course, cyclists aren't the only ones who benefit from bike lanes.  They also help drivers:

Unmentioned in Baltimore’s latest bikelash is something that might conceivably make drivers more supportive of protected bike lanes: Protected lanes for cyclists make them safer, too. That’s according to a comprehensive new study published in the Journal of Transport and Health. Researchers at the University of Colorado, Denver and the University of New Mexico found that protected and separated bike lanes are strongly linked to lower fatality and injury rates not only for people on bikes, but for people in cars.

“If you’re going out of your way to make your city safe for a broader range of cyclists … we’re finding that it ends up being a safer city for everyone,” Wesley Marshall, a University of Colorado Denver engineering professor and a co-author of the paper, told Streetsblog.

In other words, they're that much less likely to spill their bottles of urine.

We could also use much more safe bike parking, though the city seems unmotivated to work with entrepreneurs who want to provide it:

We began the planning process with community organizations and Department of Transportation staff in late 2016, with engagement continuing throughout 2017 and 2018. Sponsorship revenue has always been the key part of our sustainability model. We understood the sensitivities of media in public space, and felt that we could create an experience that would fund our operations while remaining respectful to the Plaza. This was a key component in our approved operating model.

After launch, and after securing a contract for our first sponsor, we discovered that the City of New York lacked clear and definitive guidelines for sponsorship, which surprised us. In the absence of that framework, the City’s lawyers imposed subjective and unduly harsh restrictions on the makeup of marketing content on the kiosk.

If the city doesn't like the ads maybe it should sponsor the parking facility itself.

Finally, if you're looking for some reading, here you go:

Illustrated with 30 to 40 historic images, the book lets cyclists visit the city's first dedicated bicycle path down what is now Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn and Wilbur Wright's landmark 1909 flight over the Hudson River. Other routes wind through the Financial District and down the Rockaway boardwalk to Fort Tilden.

Dann said he hopes the book will inspire more New Yorkers to traverse the city by bike and compare today's landscape to the old images.

"By bicycling you cross boundaries, and what is New York City except an incredibly fluid place where the boundaries are broken down in a way that they aren't in the rest of America and in the rest of the world, so that you have the most attractive, fertile cultural situation on the planet?" Dann said. "And the bicycle is the perfectly made tool to work with that."

Wonder if there will be any historic images of urine bottles.