Letters: Helmets, Skates
& Bike Cops
Riders using the new East River bikeway north of Fulton Fish Market (a
splendid and well-marked route, but too short) are advised to exercise caution
around the NYPD/NYFD compound opposite the NY Post building on South Street.
North of where the bikeway ends, riders must revert to either the wide
sidewalk or the gritty roadway under the FDR drive. Riders must watch for
vehicles pulling out of the parking area of the compound (although it is to be
hoped that the drivers, mostly police or fire personnel, will be equally
careful). On a recent Sunday afternoon, while riding north (at about 12 mph)
and seeing a van about to pull out of the parking area, I hit my brakes too
hard and flew over the handlebars landing on my head. The van's driver (who
said she had seen me coming and was waiting for me to pass) quickly came to my
aid (together with a passing fellow cyclist) and I was dispatched by ambulance
to Beekman Downtown Hospital to receive seven stitches above my eye. (The EMS
crew let me take my bike with me in the ambulance.)
The city should clearly mark the entrances to parking areas along this route,
or even install bollards to slow us down. After years of our having to contend
with traffic and debris on South Street under the FDR, the new East River
route is tempting to speed along, but one still must always be careful.
By the way, the brunt of the impact of my fall was borne by my hard-shell
helmet. Wear your helmets, folks!
William F. Lee
In your "Skater City" article [T.A. magazine, Sept./Oct. '98], you
stated the problems caused by sidewalk skating, but you have failed to
recognize one important fact: city law distinguishes between skating on
sidewalks, which is permitted, and reckless sidewalk skating, which is
unacceptable and illegal behavior, subject to fines up to $100.
Good catch. Thanks for the clarification. - Ed.
I have seen nothing in your magazine about uniformed bicycle cops giving out
How about some information about date inaugurated? How many cops? How many
tickets given out date to date? And anything else we should know. Thank you.
New York, NY
You asked. See our article this issue. -Ed.
Do you know that car traffic in the parks cleans the roadways...the Parks Dept
cannot/will not clean the road. Case in point Forest Park road is always
You're sadly mistaken. Let's get the facts straight: 1) On park drives,
like Central and Prospect, cars push debris into the bike lane, like they do
to the side of any road. 2) The Parks Department cleans these lanes with old
mechanical street sweepers. Forest Park should be similarly swept. -Ed.
Please find enclosed a contribution for your cause and mine! Keep up the good
Riding in Mongolia (but not in January-icy sheets and below zero temps and
drivers with no brakes...)
And we thought cyclists had it tough here in NYC! - Ed.
Oh, wouldn't it be lovely if New York could think clearly and logically about
transportation, as Germany does in Mike King's "German Soccer
Lessons" (T.A. magazine, Jan/Feb 99). Germany is the great unknown wonder
of bicycle touring. There are so many bike paths that you can go just about
anywhere, including airports, without ever riding on the road. The food is far
better than I'd hoped, and the beer, well... every village has its own special
brew. Meanwhile, on the home front, we can't even get NYC to put bike racks in
front of its own libraries and offices. The bus to the Meadowlands gets there
after the performance has begun because the bus is stuck in traffic!
I almost hate to read the TA magazine - it's so frustrating to know all the
things that are being done wrong by the city and DOT. Good luck with the wish
list. This region is so entrenched in bad approaches to problem solving,
though, that it's hard to see how we'll ever make progress. DOT is not so much
a Dept. of Transportation as an advocate for the automobile industry. If NYC
really wanted to improve air quality, DOT would set goals and define methods
for decreasing auto traffic, while increasing use of public and human-powered
transportation. DOT is not doing its job.
New York, NY
Space didn't permit, but
Caryl also corrected last issue's "Wish List" which failed to note
that Donald Trump is contractually responsible for installing both interim and
permanent paths along the Hudson between 60th and 72nd streets. -Ed.