Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

April 25th, 2019: Is It Still An Exemption If Everybody Gets It?

Things start out nicely this morning but be prepared for rain later today:

Thursday Weather

Thursday A 20 percent chance of showers after noon. Increasing clouds, with a high near 61. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south in the afternoon.

Thursday Night A slight chance of showers before 9pm, then a chance of showers after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. South wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Sunrise: 6:03am

Sunset: 7:46pm

Hopefully the rain will bring some relief from all the pollen.

Want to help the push for better cycling conditions on the Queensboro Bridge?  Here's your chance:

Like the weather forecast the city's Vision Zero Year 5 Report is also a mix of sun and clouds:

Did you know the city has installed sensors for "connected vehicle technology in Midtown, on the FDR, and on Flatbush Avenue?

Preparations for New York City’s pilot of connected vehicle technology were completed in 2018, with the installation of sensors along Midtown Manhattan avenues, the FDR Drive, and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. This program will, over the next year, equip 8,000 vehicles (including 6,000 yellow taxis) with technology that allows vehicles to electronically “communicate” with each other to identify roadway risks aimed at preventing crashes. 

What's a "yellow taxi?"

And that not only do we have a Sheriff's Office, but it can seize cars with judgments of over $750?

The Sheriff’s Office has the authority to seize private property, including motor vehicles, when an individual has an outstanding judgment of over $750 unpaid. Many of these fines accrue from unpaid speed camera or red light
camera tickets. In 2018, the Sheriff’s Road Patrol, TLC, and NYPD collaborated to conduct a special operations initiative. As part of the investigation into chronic red light camera violators, the Sheriff’s Road Patrol discovered an illegal taxi operation using vehicles registered in Pennsylvania. The special operations targeted 42 chronic offenders operating illegal taxis who owed over $1.3 million for parking, speed camera, and red light camera violations. Over 132 vehicles were seized as part of this initiative.

Someone needs to show this sheriff how to use @HowsMyDrivingNY, because that's like half the cars on the road.

Most surprisingly, apparently bike lane enforcement is "a priority" for the NYPD:

NYPD continues to make bike lane enforcement a priority, because motorists who park or stop, even temporarily, in a bike lane put cyclists in danger by forcing them into mixed traffic. Enforcement shows drivers that blocking a bike lane, even for a moment, is unacceptable. 

Sure it is.

Still, the city continues to make steps in the right direction:

Even though the bus has "hardly any users:"

"It's a drastic, drastic change that's just uncalled for," Judy Pesin, co-chair of the 14th Street Coalition, told Gothamist. "The L train is not closing. It's open all day, yet they're dedicating 14th Street buses that have hardly any users...during most of the day, I personally don't see a lot of congestion."

The M14 buses currently carry about 27,000 riders daily, while consistently traveling at speeds below 4 miles per hour. Several bus riders have told Gothamist that it often takes them more than 30 minutes to travel across just a handful of avenues on 14th Street.

Sure, scrap the bus lane and let Arthur Schwartz shuttle those 27,000 people back and forth in his Yuba.

Of course, congestion pricing is also a crucial improving our streets, but it looks like by the time it's actually deployed nobody will actually have to pay it:

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has reached a conceptual agreement with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that will ensure the state’s three Hudson River crossings will be treated the same way under a new plan to toll drivers entering Manhattan’s central business district, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

Transit advocates interpret the deal to mean all three crossings will be exempted from so-called congestion pricing, which will take effect in Manhattan, south of 60th St., sometime after December 2020.

Expect news of a "I had to go to the downtown Bed, Bath and Beyond because the uptown one was out of Brita filters" exemption any day now.

Finally, you knew that weekend bell bust was bad, but here's more on just illegal it was:

The policy was not only questionable, but it was wrong, said lawyer Steve Vaccaro. When their bikes were confiscated, the cyclists were merely sitting in the park — not riding, as required in the state’s VTL 1236, which states, “No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least 100 feet.”

“Operate” is the key word, said Vaccaro.

“It occurred on sidewalk, they weren’t riding, and my god it’s a bell. And they were offering to repair the violation apparently,” he said. “Cops don’t know anything about the law concerning cyclists.”

Funny, there's no mention of bicycle bell enforcement in the Vision Zero report...