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  1. #1
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    STAY OUT OF THE "BIKE LANES"

    Here are notes from last Friday's Stay Out Of The "Bike Lane" meeting..

    It was agreed that because the lanes are REALLY parking lanes & "get doored" lanes, at this point we can not dignify them by using the term "BIKE LANE".

    Tasks: CLEAR EXISTING LANES

    Take name, phone #, lisc plate # & pix of delivery vehicles & TLC cars. Post info [web] <<< is that something I can do here? & call/write the company of these worst offenders. ie. UPS, Frito, etc, etc. Tell them we are sending a list to.. Better Business Bureau, NYPD {ha**

    PAINT OUR OWN BIKE LANES: Re-mark sections of lanes by painting red, orange, green WIDER lines & WIDER lanes with rollers.

    Do FIRST @ most dangerous intersections…
    Stencil or Roller BIG SYMBOLS with bright colors to mark lanes. [agree on one or use many different - important to make big-bright-eyecatching] Decorate with flowers, stars,etc. idea: narrow roller - HUGE LTR B

    Design & install BIKE LANE ONLY signs on poles
    -"real" metal official-looking, lost-lasting
    -Hundreds of big, bright, "arty" signs [like the cardboard bikes]

    Support ongoing individual efforts:
    Ghost Bikes, Red Stickers, Car Curse etc.

    Start ticketing campaign:
    Parking Violation Tickets on vehicles in lanes.
    -real looking with message on back

    PRESSURE POLITICIANS RUNNING FOR OFFICE. It IS an election year.

    SECOND AVE LANE RIDE: From 11th to 6th Sts. - Fri &/or Sat nights during nightlife rushhours-Ride in groups less than 20, obey all traffic laws, when lane is blocked: stop, cross arms, look, & wait [at each car]-no talking-silently looking/waiting. Break off & go North to return to START then back down 2nd. Repeat

    There's more where we digress to other subjects:
    NYC CarFree DAY
    Hold fundraiser - coffee house/string quartet -
    @ Bike Central [anybody want to help?]
    Get BIG Ad Agency on board as public service
    pax, lin

  2. #2
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    So you're advocating vandalism then? No wonder the NYPD jumps on all over cyclists. Also adding "real" signs and "ticketing" people will not earn you respect. It will quickly have a backlash effect

  3. #3
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Isn't the Manhattan speed limit something like 30-35 mph at most?

    Take a lane... forget about bike lanes...

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    What we are advocating is STAY OUT OF THE "BIKE LANE".
    The list is of ideas resulting from a brainstorming session by informed & concerned individuals. If you're referring to the painting on public property, the idea was simply to point out the fact that people need to "STAY OUT OF THE BIKE LANES". I ride in Critical Mass too. I suppose that makes me & everyone else that pushes back against repression a criminal ?
    If someone decides to paint a few lines & flowers on the street, they are only pointing out how pitifully neglectful & unfriendly NYC's Cycling policy is. It wouldn't hurt anything really. I don't plan to do it but if someone does, MAYBE people would wake up a bit to the issue. Why don't you focus on the real problems instead of dissing the efforts of others. There are serious issues to be resolved & obviously some are more willing than others to use creative, non-violent ways to get points across.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    That picture is kind of funny because the area that is the bike lane should have diagonal white stripes and the area with Diagonal white stripes should be the bike lane to keep bikes out of the door zone. Must not have been designed by a cyclist.

    I often chide drivers for pulling into my lane for whatever reasons. Many could never color between the lines as children and evidentally continued the practice as an adult, many think that if they start their turn by edging into the bike lane before the light turns green that they will be much "Faster" when it does (perhaps they want to beat the pedestrian also waiting for the green to the punch), Then there are your drivers stuck in traffic that just edge into the bikelane because...... because...... Aww crap, I can't explain stupid stuff like that, Why would someone pull into a bike lane while stuck in a traffic jam unless they were driving a british car or an old mail jeep?

    Incidentally, being a recumbent rider, a bike lane makes it a lot easier to get up to the front at traffic lights without annoying drivers (not that I wouldn't love to annoy the crap out of them but that wouldn't make them have a very high opinion of cyclists now would it? Or else help their already crappy attitude to cyclists get any better anyway),
    Sunrise saturday,
    I was biking the backroads,
    lost in the moment.

  6. #6
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    I sometimes ride in the "Lanes" usually not [because they're full of cars & on busy streets]. The "Bike Lane" push is only part of the greater effort to get NYC to recognize the cycling community & to make NYC more bike-friendly. It's a Meatgrinder out there.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    The real problem is that New York City dwellers have these incredible egos. The police have these, and so do the cyclists. And they are conflict-locked. Big surprise!

    Gee, what would be a way to get out of this situation?

    Maybe have a summit with NYPD? Talk to them? Listen to them?


    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    So you're advocating vandalism then? No wonder the NYPD jumps on all over cyclists. Also adding "real" signs and "ticketing" people will not earn you respect. It will quickly have a backlash effect

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    Palo Alto is the headquarters of parking in the bike lanes here, they're really park-your-car lanes, that's for sure. So, you just ride out of the door zone, at least it's not NYC traffic.

  9. #9
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibitiboo
    There's more where we digress to other subjects:
    NYC CarFree DAY
    etc.
    Is your NYC CarFree Day in conjunction with the World Car Free Day? I don't see NYC listed on their website.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  10. #10
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    Hi - I'm curious where you live & ride ? You obviously have an opinion, but it seems to be an uninformed one. Research the history of NYPD & Cyclists before you make silly suggestions.

  11. #11
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    I WISH NYC was on the car-Free Site. The list is of ideas & suggestions, not reality. Seems tho that with enough pressure, NYC could be convinced ?

  12. #12
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    If history rigidly determines future state, then we are all doomed. But it doesn't. From what I read, the relationship between NY cyclists and NYPD has got to be the most dysfunctional one ever... which means, it's abnormal, not typical. Which means, it could be improved upon, if the parties involved in the conflict wanted to improve the relationship.

    But there must be dialogue. Is talking and listening a "silly suggestion" ? If you think so, then I feel sad for you.

    In Houston, we at least have a good relationship with the City Government and the Police... we talk, they listen. They talk, we listen. We don't always agree. We don't always understand each other. But the channels are open. That's so important.

    I wrote a letter with concerns to the Police, and a Lieutenant in the Downtown command staff took the time to call me back this week, and we talked about it, and we understood each other, and all of my concerns were allayed... how much more could I ask for? And the cycling environment here is exponentially better than, say, 20 years ago. And it's going to get better.

    But this NYC thing of each side throwing down the gaunlet... it's gotta stop. Cyclists can't win. The NYPD can't win either, but cyclists will not-win worse. Why? They got handcuffs, pepper spray, clubs, and guns.


    Quote Originally Posted by bibitiboo
    Hi - I'm curious where you live & ride ? You obviously have an opinion, but it seems to be an uninformed one. Research the history of NYPD & Cyclists before you make silly suggestions.

  13. #13
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    SO...come ride your bike here sometime & see for yourself. Sounds like th eofficials there are more reasonable than the ones in NYC.
    It's impossible to communicate if one "side" won't listen. The officer in charge of bullying cyclists in NYC was in charge of the Street Crimes Unit that shot Amadu Diallo.

    Even children in the playground know it's useless to talk to a bully.

  14. #14
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibitiboo
    SO...come ride your bike here sometime & see for yourself. Sounds like th eofficials there are more reasonable than the ones in NYC.
    It's impossible to communicate if one "side" won't listen. The officer in charge of bullying cyclists in NYC was in charge of the Street Crimes Unit that shot Amadu Diallo.

    Even children in the playground know it's useless to talk to a bully.
    Quoted for dead-on accuracy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  15. #15
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    Senior Member H23's Avatar
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    Its not like a force field keeps you inside the bike lane... anticipate situations, go around things, use your mind, adapt.

  16. #16
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    There is the same problem in Boston & in Toronto. Wonder when the carpeople will admit that the Oil Age Is Over? Here's a flyer from Toronto that we've been using in NYC as well.

  17. #17
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    yes, of course but...a lot of newer cyclists are not riding "hyper-aware" - the only relatively safe way to ride in NYC.

  18. #18
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    Do they actually enforce that bike speed limit in Manhattan?
    The Amazon link to my new favorite book: THE ART OF BICYCLING: A TREASURY OF POEMS (Breakaway Books; June 2005)

    Just got this as a gift, and can't stop reading it. The first ever collection of verse about cycling -- over 200 total, with photos throughout. There's even a poem by Pantani himself.

  19. #19
    Sweetened with Splenda
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    Quote Originally Posted by kf5nd
    But there must be dialogue. Is talking and listening a "silly suggestion" ? If you think so, then I feel sad for you.

    In Houston, we at least have a good relationship with the City Government and the Police... we talk, they listen. They talk, we listen. We don't always agree. We don't always understand each other. But the channels are open. That's so important.
    Things here ARE looking up, and I think CM is at least partly responsible for that - yesterday, for example, the 9th Precinct in Manhattan held their first-ever "Safety Day". The event was designed to serve two purposes, safety and communication; the precinct made a powerpoint presentation of safety info alongside three community speakers who also made safety presentations, and that was followed by an open forum about police procedures and cyclist needs.

    Two very interesting things came out of the meeting, from my point of view. One of the community speakers gave a vehicular cycling lecture, and the NYPD officers there seemed very interested - they took a lot of notes, and it appeared that they were thinking about the issues in a vastly different way as the lecture proceeded than they had initially. My hope is that the officers present will share with others in the precinct (and eventually the rest of the city) simple ideas like the fact that riders take the lane not in order to inconvenience others, but in order to increase safety. Also during the safety talks, there were a number of times when cyclists in the crowd interrupted to clarify traffic statutes and applicable laws - a useful proof, I think, that cyclists aren't all a bunch of scofflaws, but that many of us have at least as comprehensive an understanding of our rights and responsibilities as the police have.

    The other truly useful thing that came out of the event, in my view, is simply that the officers present are more aware now of the double-standard that cyclists in New York feel, and that we don't believe that we are getting the same protection under the law as is afforded to others. When I was hit by a car last year, for example, the officers responding refused to take an accident report; I asked the senior officer at the meeting yesterday what I ought to have done in order to ensure that a report was taken, and he asserted, rather strongly, that a report is ALWAYS taken in the event of a cyclist / auto accident as a matter of policy. When we assured him that in fact they are RARELY taken, as evidenced by the first-hand experiences of many of us in the room and the long-term records of the advocacy groups in attendance, he was visibly taken aback. The officers all agreed that our experiences imply a serious training oversight in the department (if not an actual bias), and, based on their reactions, I'm confident that the issue will be addressed within the department, at least in the 9th Precinct. This is serious progress! I've spent a lot of time in precinct houses in the last 18 months, having suffered a collision and two assaults, none of which I could get reports taken on, but this is the first time I've felt like the NYPD is actively interested in my safety and in ensuring that my rights under the law are protected.

    As for why I think CM has played a role in getting to this point: The start point for CM is within the 9th, and those of us arrested for riding have usually been processed at that precinct house. CM has certainly raised the visibility of cyclists within those walls, and the officers there are certainly aware that schoolteachers, parents, stockbrokers, students, and all kinds of other professional, law-abiding, conscientious citizens are among the cycling community - they've MET all those people, taken their prints, had conversations with them. In addition, the neighborhood association there has been extremely active in their support of CM and by extension very vocal in demanding that cyclist concerns be addressed, as has the local neighborhood newspaper. I'm not claiming that CM as a ride has been effective, necessarily, but it is certainly my impression that CM has served as a catalyst for change in the last several months, if only because NYPD tactics have necessarily made advocates more militant in their demands for change and because a large number of cyclists who previously complained privately are now standing up to be counted. It's also true that a number of the more-visible advocacy groups that have recently organized things like memorial rides and other public events grew out of Critical Mass and continue to grow in strength and visibility as arrestees and their friends join up.

    Listening and talking are indeed important - the most important, in fact. But listening and talking require that both parties be engaged and willing, and before the big CM mess of the last year, the City was simply not interested in hearing from us. There's hope now that that's finally starting to change, and we have the CM debacle to thank for that.

  20. #20
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenrobot
    Things here ARE looking up, and I think CM is at least partly responsible for that - yesterday, for example, the 9th Precinct in Manhattan held their first-ever "Safety Day". ...
    Now that you are making bicycle advocacy progress with the police, what happens when the anti-car and anti-government CMers continue to block traffic, break the law and harass motorist?

  21. #21
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    No, the speed limit is not enforced, well...rarely [ you'ld have to be going REALLY fast to catch their attention.] It's estimated that drivers in NYC run 1.23 million RED LIGHTS EACH DAY. Seems like a cash cow for the City & would improve safety tremendously to simply ENFORCE the vehicular laws.- can't figure out why we have to explain it to them !

  22. #22
    Sweetened with Splenda
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    Now that you are making bicycle advocacy progress with the police, what happens when the anti-car and anti-government CMers continue to block traffic, break the law and harass motorist?
    I don't know any anti-gov't CMers, so I can't comment for them - if they even exist in any real number. I would hope that we can get to the point where EVERYONE who breaks the traffic law is treated equally - but it's going to take a whole lot more progress before we get anywhere close to that!

  23. #23
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    I went to the NINTH Precinct Safety Meeting & the officers there seem very sincere in their efforts to find "solutions to save lives & prevent injury." The meeting was held in efforts to "reach out". They had prepared a Power Point Presentation complete with video of dangerous cycling practices. ie. "Don't assume the driver will see you." & "Watch out for other cyclists."
    It would be PERFECT for showing to beginner cyclists, maybe in the NYC Public Schools. Personally, I was bored & insulted. I can safely say that as a group, we were WAY over-qualified & several times knew more about the law than the police did !
    Attempts to talk about the Parking Lanes while we waited to begin were shuttled aside. "We'll get to that later." When we asked about the illegal parking, we were told that "incidents have to be reported" before they know [& can do anything] about them. One guy said, "Do you mean we're supposed to report every time there's a car or truck in the "Bike Lane"?"

    So…the meeting hadn't started yet…I went outside to find a police truck parked out front in the "Bike Lane". When I re-entered, I told them I'd like to report a vehicle parked in the "BL" [as is usual in front of the 9th]. They moved it but if you go over there right Now, it's a good bet you'll find official cars using their new parking area.
    They gave us some nifty reflectors [the kids will love 'em], cookies, & a lot of flyers. The one I found most interesting was from NYState. It is fairly extensive, lots of info but…in the section on car driver safety, it DOESN'T ONCE SAY "STAY OUT OF BIKE LANES". They're mentioned to drivers, "Some roads have bike lanes alongside them".

    Before I left I told them "If the issue is safety & what you can do, the number ONE thing is to keep the lanes, such as they are, clear."
    I'm losing patience with these people.

    Also , a rep from the City said that NYC Corporation Council is telling the City to start "discouraging" people from locking bikes to street signs. She shrugged when I suggested that the City is trying to cover its patootie after cutting bikes from said poles during Critical Mass. If you look at the NYPD website, you'll find a flyer that recommends locking to same poles. I guess they decided to change the rules so that their past illegal cutting of bikes is OK.

  24. #24
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    There's a long list of comments about meeting with the police in NYC on www.indymedia.org The article is called Meeting of the Minds? It'll give you some idea of how the NYPD "respects" cyclers. Also go to www.webshots.com see album called SO_CALLED_BIKE_LANES for months of photos of the NYC Parking Lanes.

  25. #25
    Bent_Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    So you're advocating vandalism then? No wonder the NYPD jumps on all over cyclists. Also adding "real" signs and "ticketing" people will not earn you respect. It will quickly have a backlash effect

    If the law protected law abiding cyclists, (which it does not), then law abiding cyclists would not have to take the law into their own hands.

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