May 16th, 2019: Life In The Bike Lane

Yesterday was glorious, but we could see some rain today, so don't get complacent:

Thursday Weather

Thursday A 20 percent chance of showers before 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 70. Northwest wind 7 to 10 mph.

Thursday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Sunrise: 5:38am

Sunset: 8:07pm

Also, be alert for ticketing, and note that the Hudson River Greenway is the latest hotspot:

Cops are posted up on the Riverside Path ticketing people that run the light. Careful out there from r/NYCbike

I can personally attest that they were still out there as of yesterday.

In legislative news, the State Senate has approved a bill to "incorporate a 'bicycle and pedestrian safety' component" into the driver's licensing exam:

State Senate

ALBANY, N.Y. (WETM) - The New York State Senate today approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara to enhance bicycle safety in New York by requiring the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to incorporate a “bicycle and pedestrian safety” component into the pre-licensing driver’s manual and exam motorists are required to review and pass before obtaining a driver’s license.  

“With more and more cyclists sharing our roadways, we should take every reasonable step to make all drivers more aware of the need for safety,” said O’Mara, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee.  “This legislation would help make motorists more aware of bicyclists on the road, and help prevent accidents and save lives.” 

Now let's approve another law requiring everybody in New York State to re-take the test.

Speaking of unsafe driving, when you think of "pigs in bike lanes" this is probably not what you have in mind:

Here's a better look:

Drivers don't seem to have much trouble parking in bike lanes, but it takes real audacity to park in front of a synagogue with a pig on your lap:

Meanwhile, with Bike To Work Week in full swing, it's worth considering what the novice commuter finds when they take to New York City's oft-touted bicycle infrastructure for the first time.  For example, here was the situation in the W. 26th Street crosstown bike lane yesterday:

26th Street

Apparently when you paint a green strip alongside a bunch of loading docks the traffic doesn't just magically sort itself out, go figure:

Truck

Then, assuming you're bold enough to brave the trucks, you must then confront your most deeply-held superstitions by passing under not one but two ladders:

Ladders

I went around them, and while the NYPD has been known to ticket cyclists for leaving the bike lane, I'm reasonably confident that my curse-avoidance defense would hold up in traffic court.

The new cyclist should also bear in mind that, while the bike lanes may be there to protect you, this protection does not come at the expense of car service customers who prefer not to walk those last five feet to the curb:

Car Service

And of course "protected" bike lanes may disappear at any time and at a moment's notice:

2nd Ave

This is 2nd Avenue below 14th Street, by the way.  I'm fairly certain there used to be a bike lane there but I may have dreamed it.

And finally, you may be tempted to report all these blockages to 311, but they'll only refer you to the NYPD:

Police

Happy Bike to Work Week!