Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

March 25th, 2019: Slow It Down

We could have some rain today, so be prepared:

Monday Weather

Monday A 20 percent chance of showers before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 52. North wind 7 to 9 mph.

Monday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 33. Wind chill values between 25 and 30. North wind 8 to 11 mph.

Sunrise: 6:52am

Sunset: 7:13pm

You might also encounter some milling and paving work, so check the schedule:

That guy should narrate everything.

The Queens Chronicle reports that the NYPD is backing the story of the driver who killed Robert Spencer in Long Island city:

“The operator of the vehicles [sic] was traveling southbound on 2ndStreet, in the right of two travel lanes, approached the intersection at Borden Avenue. The vehicle entered the intersection with the green traffic signal. The bicyclist was traveling westbound on Borden Avenue, approaching 2ndStreet, and apparently disobeyes [sic] a steady red traffic signal. The bicyclist continues into the intersection and was struck by the southbound vehicle.”

Asked if police have video to support their conclusion, a department spokeswoman said she could not answer that, but that the probe took multiple angles to reach its conclusion.

For good measure they also published the following editorial:

Another commenter claimed the front license plate had been defaced. That associates the driver with wrongdoing. But the plate is not defaced. It’s peeling — pretty badly — and needs to be replaced, which the Department of Motor Vehicles will do for free. Peeling is not the same as defaced.

This is a petty argument.  If your license plate is peeling "pretty badly" it's your job to get a replacement, even if you didn't intentionally deface it.  There's no License Plate Fairy flitting about town and putting new ones on cars with the tap of a magic wand.  Yes, there is a police department that should ostensibly be ticketing drivers for having damaged license plates, but given that they're such license plate customization enthusiasts themselves it's possible this may not be high on their list of priorities--the 108th Precinct, where Spencer was killed, has issued one such violation this year to date.  [PDF]

The editorial also dismisses the idea of a protected bike lane thusly:

As for protected bike lanes on Borden, sure, unless there’s some good reason not to install them there (the area community board opposes them, so it too was slammed after the accident). The ones on Second Street are separated from the lanes by raised concrete. But such protections do not extend across intersections. The best the city can do there is mark the lanes, as it already had at this corner.

Did they just imply community board opposition is a good reason to not install a bike lane?  That's like saying your three year-old's aversion to brushing is a good reason not to have any toothbrushes or toothpaste in the house.  As for "the best the city can do," they could easily just ban cars from the area altogether, so be careful what you ask for, Queens Chronicle.

Speaking of community boards, CB9 in Manhattan opposed a street redesign on Amsterdam Avenue, where a speeding driver killed a pedestrian last Friday:

“Erica was killed on a stretch of Amsterdam Avenue where local residents and safe streets advocates have demanded a redesign that puts safety ahead of driver convenience — but Community Board 9 has stood squarely in the way,” Transportation Alternatives said in a statement. “While Council Member Mark Levine has long supported the redesign, Mayor de Blasio has still refused to act.”

The statement cited the roadway’s “wide span” that “encourages drivers to speed.”

The reason they opposed it?  Because it would "slow traffic down:"

Levine did not call out CB9 Chairwoman Carolyn Thompson by name, but others did. Last year, Streetsblog’s coverage of the board’s rejection of a DOT-backed street safety plan for Amsterdam between 110th and 162nd streets [PDF] clearly identified the main opponent of safety.

“All it’s going to do is slow traffic down,” Thompson said at a “town hall” meeting on the project. “Every time you say you’re taking out a lane, you’re slowing traffic down.”

Yes, we wouldn't want that.  Otherwise Erica Imbasciani might still be alive.

Meanwhile, further south on the West Side:

Three cars crashed into Harry's Shoes:

Three people were taken to St. Luke’s Hospital with minor injuries, according to an FDNY spokesperson. Police had no information about the crash. One tipster told us she “saw 3 cars that jumped the curb and crashed right in front of Harry‘s. Not sure if they went into the glass but it was 2 cars and a taxi. Police closed off Broadway going past and ambulances were arriving when I drove by.”

And someone getting out of a car was dragged by a truck:

At 11:40 p.m., a woman was taking her keys out of her car door in front of 215 West 84th Street when she was clipped by a white truck and dragged several feet when her clothing got stuck to the truck, according to an NYPD spokesperson.

Hopefully they find the bike lane responsible.