Fall 2002, p.5

Five Easy Things Gov't Should Do to Better Bicycling in 2003

There are many, many things that government should do to make cycling better in NYC. Indeed, we have identified hundreds in T.A. Magazine and the Bicycle Blueprint. Here are just five that should be accomplished in 2003. Listed next to the goals are the responsible agencies.

Dodging danger in Brooklyn.Make Brooklyn Side of the Manhattan Bridge Safe (DOT)
The DOT must make it safe to walk and ride to the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge. It is surprising that no cyclist or pedestrian has been killed there since the new path opened on June 25, 2001. Now, more than 500 days since its opening, a thousand people walk and bike over the bridge everyday-and it is still scary and unacceptably dangerous to get to the bridge. Motorists speed and illegally turn off the bridge's blind curve exit ramp onto Jay Street. It has been more than 3,800 days since T.A. first expressed concerns to the DOT (in 1992) about dangerous traffic on Jay Street. But the DOT's response has simply been to create a nonsensical quarter mile route to the path that requires cyclists to dismount.

Commissioner Iris Weinshall
40 Worth Street
NYC 10013 

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Confused? Illegal stop sign contradicts green light.Remove the Stop Signs on the Hudson River Greenway (State DOT)
The illegal stop signs that pock the Hudson River Greenway below 59th Street must go! They give the false impression that turning traffic-not greenway users-have the right-of-way. Each weekday this puts 5,000 people at risk of being hit by a vehicle turning across the greenway. Greenway users always have the right-of-way over other traffic. The stop signs are dangerous and send a conflicting message to greenway users and motor vehicles. State DOT, end the confusion and remove the stop signs.

Douglas Currey, Director
NYS DOT Region 11 
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101

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Endangered: 6th Ave bike lane.Fix All Disappearing Bike Lanes (DOT)
The DOT should survey every bike lane and repair and remark them as needed. For example, parts of bike lanes on Broadway, 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue are now gone. In their place, contractors have left blocks of metal "skid" plates, unfilled utility cuts, asphalt ramping, holes and patches of blacktop with no bike lane striping or symbols. The DOT needs to repair these hazardous street conditions and replace bike lane striping and symbols where they have disappeared. NYC's streets take a beating, but never have bike lanes been in such dire shape. They are not safe and must be restored.

Commissioner Iris Weinshall
40 Worth Street, NYC 10013 

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Bikes are allowed inside the Municipal Building.Provide Bike Access to All City-Owned Buildings (Department of Citywide Administrative Services)
New Yorkers need secure places to park their bikes while they work; lack of secure parking is the number one reason why people do not bike to work. The City should lead by example and allow anyone who works in any of its 81 buildings to bring his or her bicycle inside and safely park it while at work. It is up to the Department
of Citywide Administrative Services to mandate that employees can bring their bicycles into all city-owned buildings.

Commissioner Martha Hirst
NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services
1 Centre Street, NYC 10007 

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Track Different Types of Summonses Issued to Cyclists (NYPD)
The NYPD breaks down statistics for motor vehicle summonses such as speeding and failure to yield. This helps the police develop effective enforcement strategies. The NYPD must also break down and track summonses issued to cyclists (e.g. red light running, riding on the sidewalk, riding the wrong way). This will help the NYPD develop sensible bike enforcement strategies, respond to public safety concerns and reduce meaningless quota-filling ticket traps.

Commissioner Raymond Kelly
One Police Plaza
NYC 10038 

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