March/April 1999, p.5

Bike Shorts

Smashed Racks Cripple NYC Bike-on-Bus
Bike racks on the front of QBx1 buses seem to be getting crushed by other buses when drivers park them overnight at the Queens Surface bus depot in College Point. As the only bike-on-bus option in the city - not to mention the only way for cyclists to cross the Whitestone Bridge - the racks need to get fixed now for the warm season ahead. Write Louis Calcago, Commissioner of Surface Transit at The Department of Transportation, Battery Maritime Bldg., 3rd Fl., NY, NY 10004, and tell them to install new racks now.

High Costs at High Bridge
The Parks Department is seeking $2 million in TEA-21 funding to cover design and construction costs for a new stairway and bicycle ramp from the water tower terrace in Highbridge Park to High Bridge's entrance plaza. In order to completely restore the 160-year-old bridge, which connects 173rd St. in northern Manhattan and 170th Street in The Bronx, the Parks Department needs to find a whopping $25 million. Parks Commissioner Henry Stern says his agency will "aggressively pursue opportunities to fund the project and make the opening of High Bridge a reality."

Bike Lane in Limbo
Although slated as a priority bike route since 1997, The Bronx's University Ave. bike lane still exists only on paper. The holdup is as American as apple pie and baseball - specifically Yankee baseball. The DOT is concerned that a bike lane will impede traffic along a ten block stretch used by fans driving between the stadium and the Cross Bronx Expressway. It seems, rather than encourage cycling to the Stadium, the DOT plans to accommodate auto-dependent fans by redesigning the lane.

Read the latest news on this subject.

CityRacks: Hope Springs Eternal
With cities like Philadelphia having installed 3,000 bike racks over the past three years, one wonders why fewer than 1,000 have been installed in the Big Apple. Nevertheless, the DOT's CityRacks program promises to hire a contractor by this spring to install nearly 1,700 bike racks already requested.

Read the latest news on this subject.

Downed Cyclist Memorialized
On January 15, over 150 cyclists and friends joined together to remember cyclist Brad Minch, who was killed by an oversized 18-wheel tractor-trailer truck at the intersection of 30th St. and 6th Ave. Brad, 23, was working as a messenger for Click Modeling Agency. He was remembered fondly by fellow messengers and friends, who were inspired by the tragedy to reinvigorate the NYC MessengersAssociation
(NYCMA). For information on the next NYCMA meeting call 212-281-1829.

Take the Bike to the Train
Lockers and bike racks were recently installed at six stations along Metro-North's Harlem River Line. With an eye towards encouraging upstate bike-to-train commuters, Metro-North has installed ribbon racks at the following stations: Dover Plains, Harlem Valley-Wingdale, Pawling, Patterson and Brewster North. In addition, ten bike lockers were installed at both the Patterson and the Dover Plains stations. The lockers are managed by All Right Parking Corp., which charges $60 dollars to rent out a locker for a year. To get an application, call them at 914-838-1154.

Check current bikes-on-transit restrictions.

Cyclist Killed by Truck
On February 4, Jian Shun-Li, 36, was killed at the intersection of Delancey and Allen Streets when he veered his bicycle away from one truck and was struck by another. The details of the crash are unclear. Sergeant Noschese from the Fifth Precinct reported that a garbage truck driver at the scene was issued a summons for "unsafely backing up through the intersection."

Ziggy Rides On
The bad news: the NYC DOT insists on using the 1980s cartoon character Ziggy as the symbol of the City's bicycle efforts in their 1999 Bike Month advertising campaign. The good news: they've committed to losing "the lovable loser" next year and finding a better "mascot" for NYC cyclists. T.A. suggests a character known for intelligence, bravery, resourcefulness, and of course, good looks.