(Highbridge Park Mountain Bike Trails, Manhattan)
Thursday Mostly sunny, with a high near 38. Wind chill values between 20 and 30. North wind 5 to 8 mph becoming calm in the afternoon.
Thursday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34. Light and variable wind.
Though don't forget your lights, for the darkest week of the year looms:
As the darkest week of the year approaches, Commissioner Trottenberg @NYPDTransport & @NYCMayor remind drivers to obey the speed limit, #slowdown, & always yield to pedestrians 🚶 & cyclists 🚲 #VisionZero pic.twitter.com/OYx94rDayi— NYC DOT (@NYC_DOT) December 20, 2017
Also looming is the ebike crackdown, and the DOT will hold a presentation this afternoon on how to comply with the commercial cyclist law:
Are commercial cyclists vital to your business? Join us tomorrow at 3PM at @rutgerschurchny (236 W. 73rd St, Mn) for a presentation in English, Spanish, & Chinese about how to comply with the new commercial cyclist law. https://t.co/MPtkszQw72 #bikenyc pic.twitter.com/Q9l7LnxVKc— NYC DOT (@NYC_DOT) December 20, 2017
Among the requirements for delivery cyclists is taking a course, which appears to involve reviewing a PDF containing information like this:
After which, congratulations!
You're ready to deliver.
We're excited to see the #bikenyc lanes on S 4th, Borinquen Pl, & S. 5th in Williamsburg, and the bike lane on Jay St (pictured) in DUMBO named by @peopleforbikes as two of America's best bikeways of 2017! Northern Blvd also got an honorable mention! https://t.co/mmvYW5ZrbY pic.twitter.com/gP7MbHAQl2— NYC DOT (@NYC_DOT) December 20, 2017
Specifically, the Williamsburg Bridge approaches came in 5th:
Everybody knows bikeable bridges are crucial to citywide networks, but it takes a truly thoughtful city to carefully design the approaches to these bridges. NYC’s transportation department reshuffled parking lanes and whipped out its creative paintbrush to make the streets that lead to the country’s most-biked bridge comfortable and intuitive.
And right behind it is the Jay Street bike lane:
This single block of protected bike lane with a new bike signal shows the big power of closing a small gap. It links Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood and waterfront with protected bikeways on Sand Street, Jay Street and the Manhattan Bridge, and therefore a network all the way to the Bronx. By serving more than 10,000 jobs in just a few square blocks of DUMBO, this one block of bike lane matters to more people than some cities’ entire networks. It’s a reminder that bike lanes should go where people are, instead of simply where cars aren’t.
So next time you encounter a car in any of these make sure the driver knows they're not blocking just any bike lane, they're blocking one of America's best!
As for most vilified bike lane in America, look no further than the Northern Boulevard lane in eastern Queens. Not only has it been blamed for the drivers who have managed to impale their cars on it:
The collision took place at the site of a highly controversial bike lane that the city’s Department of Transportation installed earlier this year. After a member posted a photo of the incident on the Bayside, Queens Facebook group, comments on both sides of the bike lane debate came flying in.
Some began speculating whether the bike lane was a contributing factor in this and other accidents. A few users claimed the city safety project makes it more difficult for drivers to merge from the Cross Island Parkway onto Northern Boulevard.
"Contributing factor?" Why stop there? Surely they can find a witness who will testify that the bike lane was behind the wheel of the car.
At this rate if any banks get robbed in the neighborhood I think we all know who the prime suspect will be:
Maybe that's why the police are always parked in them.
And while we're all congratulating ourselves for our accolades, let's also revel in the fact that we'll soon have valet bike parking:
“In DOT’s Strategic Plan 2016, released in September of 2016, the agency committed to expanding cycling,” said a DOT spokesman in a statement. “One hurdle that prevents some people from regularly cycling is the lack of secure bike parking at their destination. DOT committed in the plan to a new initiative to launch secure bike parking near transit and major destinations to overcome this barrier.”
The city will try out the idea with three shed-like structures that can hold up to 29 bikes at University Place adjacent to Union Square, Broadway at 42nd Street and the Myrtle-Wyckoff Plaza in Ridgewood. Commuters would only be able to access the sheds during operating hours, and the DOT is requiring the valets to, at minimum, be open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays.
It's no Rotterdam Central, but it's a start:
We've come a long way as a bike city, but we've got a long way to go:
Motorists have killed at least 26 people riding bikes in New York City this year, including three victims of the October West Side Greenway attack, according to crash data tracked by City Hall and Streetsblog. That’s a 44 percent increase from 2016, when City Hall reported 18 cyclist fatalities for the year. Even if you don’t count the victims of the greenway rampage, 23 cyclist deaths is more than any year since 2007.
Here's to a better 2018.